Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Media Blackouts and Who's Actually Rioting in France, Anyway?

While French politicians (and apparently journalists all over the world) think that a blackout of coverage of the French riots is a good idea so as not to encourage further "social unrest", Winds of Change and The Blue State Conservatives helpfully point out the hypocrisy in this stance. Seeing as how French and other Leftist media delight in showing terrorist attacks by Islamists and Palestinians. Won't that just encourage further anti-social behavior from these folks, too? It's a fair question.

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to see what reactions Arab media are having to the French riots, and came across this editorial from the Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) that places the blame for the violence on illegal immigrants:
Doubtless, the French authorities have allowed this problem to get out of hand. The authorities have seriously and criminally neglected the issue of illegals in the country. It's absurd to blame the ongoing violence and demonstrations on the immigrants from North and West Africa and French speaking world. These criminal acts are not perpetrated by the second-third generation immigrants who are really responsible and legal citizens of France. These are the desperate acts of illegals, who may share the background of the long settled immigrants from North and West Africa, but have nothing to do with the original immigrant community.
This seems like a valid point that should have been raised somewhere else in the voluminous coverage of the troubles in France. Why wasn't it?

A dispatch from UPI provides an answer; mentioning illegal immigrants helps rightwing French politicos. Helping the rightwing is a no-no among journalists who view themselves as citizens of the world (unless, of course, helping out certain savagely violent rightwing fundamentalists can serve to undermine the Presidency of a certain despised rightwinger from Texas).