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Slander in The Economist

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Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


0 posted 10-28-2011 03:10 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


quote:
IN OUR briefing last week on women and the Arab awakening (“Now is the time”), we said that Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Nahda party, opposes the country’s liberal code of individual rights, the Code of Personal Status, and its prohibition of polygamy. We also said that he has threatened to hang a prominent Tunisian feminist, Raja bin Salama, in Basij Square in Tunis, because she has called for the country’s new laws to be based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We accept that neither of these statements is true: Mr Ghannouchi has expressly said that he accepts the Code of Personal Status, and he never threatened to hang Ms bin Salama. We apologise to him unreservedly.
(http://www.economist.com/node/21533408)


Hard to believe this is supposed to be the "apology" after such extreme slander.  Any publication that wishes to be reputable should fire a journalist if he/she makes up something so wrong/false about someone else.  
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


1 posted 10-28-2011 03:38 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Perhaps they were trying to get the attention of Rupert Murdoch to obtain a job with one of his vaunted infotainment companies.....

I have to ask though Ess, and I'm certainly not trying to make a value judgement about the topic, its just -- this is a tad off the beaten path for the alley -- whatever lead you to this story and subsequent retraction?  Just trying to get to know you a little better.
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


2 posted 10-29-2011 02:20 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I found it while looking up information about the election in Tunis.

They did at least offer an apology, but suspiciously the writers/journalists/editors did not seem to offer it "unreservedly" as they suggest.  They didn't explain why or how they came to make such wrongful statements or explain how the the truth actually is the opposite, and that he actually supports better freedoms for women and individuals in general to work fairly with other parties for a better democratic future for Tunis.  

They list these political/cultural points before the far worse statement about threatening to hang a woman, but then mention that no less casually than those things.  What a saddening,  detached and desensitized thing journalism is when stating that someone threatened to hang someone when he didn't and saying the complete opposite of his political beliefs, are more or less just another casual day at journalism!

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


3 posted 10-29-2011 04:58 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

It isn't journalism at all Ess,  it's called fiction.

The problem though, 'journalism'  as a goal, as an ethic, to accurately describe reality, more precisely, recent history, is a product that comes to us through biased observation, and it is a product, with a shelf life.

Mistakes are the normal state of human endeavor, from the typogaphical error, to the unconfirmed rumor, or the outright dissemination of lies.  Your complaint is that the Economist isn't drawing a distinction and that it should.  I agree.

Perhaps you should write to the editors and express your concern and see what they have to say.
 
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