Is Name Calling Really Worth Journalists Time?

Feb 9th, 2011 | By | Category: Express News, Express Tribune, Jang

For someone who is happy to label people as ‘liberal extremist’ or ‘liberal fascist’, Hamid Mir is very sensitive about anyone saying anything about him. On Tuesday, Hamid Mir asked in Express Tribune “Why these attacks against me?” after Khaled Ahmed pointed out the ridiculousness of Hamid Mir using the ‘liberal fascist’ label against other people.

Hamid Mir explains that he used the term because he had seen it used by an American author, Jonah Goldberg.

I would like to invite his attention towards the book Liberal Fascism written by American Journalist Jonah Goldberg, published in 2008. Mr Goldberg wrote the history of liberal fascism from Mussolini to the American Left and declared Hillary Clinton as a liberal fascist. If an American journalist can use the term liberal fascism then the Pakistani media can also make comparisons between religious extremists and liberal-fascists.

While it’s true that this term was used by the American Jonah Goldberg, the facts are a little more complicated. Jonah Goldberg is not a journalist like Hamid Mir or Talat Hussain. Jonah Goldberg is a right-wing political columnist who is a regular guest on Glenn Beck and a commentator on FOX News which he even described as a populist, tabloidy network.

Jonah Goldberg made headlines last fall for calling Islamophobia “a myth” and said that Americans should stop worrying about Muslim sentiments regarding plans to build a New York City mosque. Is this really who Hamid Mir is taking his ideas from?

For the record, here is famous American cultural critic Jon Stewart interviewing Jonah Goldberg about the book that Hamid Mir is such a fan of:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Jonah Goldberg
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

It should be noted here that this term was also discussed recently as the topic of Kamran Shahid’s show Front Line on Express News of 6 February.

As could be expected, Orya Maqbool Jan presented some fairly right-wing views, but nothing particularly noteworthy and overall the entire programme seemed to be an excuse for Kamran Shahid complaining about English-language media not allowing rebuttals – a complaint that is proven meaningless by the very English-language articles by Khaled Ahmed and Hamid Mir which consist of an ongoing debate and rebuttal on the specific issue!

Hamid Mir has been writing about the bogey of ‘liberal fascist’ for a month, and the only definition of what exactly is a ‘liberal fascist’ that anyone seems to be able to come up with is ‘someone who doesn’t agree with me’. Certainly Hamid Mir is entitled to his opinion, but we must ask whether the time and energy of our journalists is best spent having a debate about name-calling while the country struggles with serious issues of economy and security.

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  1. The security establishment has thrown a bone to the rabidly Taliban-friendly Urdu media press, one of whose dons,Hamid Mir has (facetiously) suggested an Aafia-for-Raymond exchange. Nothing better could be expected from much of the English media press either as this situation is another occasion to bash their favourite target, the PPP whilst currying for more favours with the security establishment. Aside from the Express Tribune, there is not much else in the English media discourse that attempts to explore the role of the security establishment. This is best exemplified by the narrative promoted by the likes of a top ranking English journalist, Najam Sethi, who in his premier show on notorious Geo TV placed the 90% onus and blame for mishandlingthis affair on the PPP government! In his column in The Friday Times, Sethi conveniently ignored the General Pasha and Aafia Siddiqi trade narrative and instead placed the blame on the PPP. Sethi writes: “The federal government has been craven, inefficient and defensive to the point of opportunism.”

  2. Misuse of Blasphemy Law against “Fellow Muslims” & Dirty Role of Ansar Abbasi/Jang Group .

  3. Case of Raymond Davis, Sovereignty under General Musharraf & Mariana Baabar (Jang Group).

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