Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ghost on the internet...

Recent article in the nytimes ...

Published: January 18, 2005

When I telephoned a man named Ali Fadhil in Baghdad last week, I wondered who might answer. A C.I.A. operative? An American posing as an Iraqi? Someone paid by the Defense Department to support the war? Or simply an Iraqi with some mixed feelings about the American presence in Iraq? Until he picked up the phone, he was just a ghost on the Internet... more here.

The article primarily features Ali, who has so far not commented on this latest portrayal ~ although some others have. Personally I feel Jeff Jarvis's vitriolic response is more sour grapes over not getting a mention then in keeping with any sense of responsibility that he apparently expects from others. How anyone can demand responsibility from the media while at the same time posting vehement wrath of his own raises eyebrows higher then I could ever tweeze.

However, Jarvis rent spleen aside, the stark reality of media attention does cause many people discomfort. Time after time the complaint I hear from artist and writer alike, regardless of ethnicity religion or talent of choice, is how misunderstood misquoted and misconstrued one can end up feeling after the press interview. It's not that journalists intentionally set out with malicious intent, it's more that in seeking an angle or storyline a sort of gulf opens up between the featured artist/writer's values and the journalist's concern with maintaining reader interest. Which is where the blogger and the journalist diverge. For bloggers I feel have a vaguely endearing yet narcissic quality where readership is less important then the merry clatter of ones typepad and the glittering reflection of ones thoughts onscreen.

Personally I read S Boxer's article as a relatively harmless piece written with fairly sincere intention. Thanks Stephen IED for mentioning it in passing (ebb prepared to fall of you seat when you see who's been linked in the nyt).

Oh and btw, Jeff Jarvis needs pulling up for inaccuracy. Quoting

"... the first Iraqi after the war and after Salam Pax to start blogging." ~ Jeff Jarvis

The first two Iraqi bloggers after Salam Pax (and his respective blog partners Raed and G) were actually - Ishtar Talking who blogged briefly in Arabic and Baghdad Burning who blogs to this day. Both women. It's hardly surprising to read Jarvis citing another man's blog before these two (although I very much respect and appreciate the blog Jeff did cite).


#1/20/2005 04:54:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Fun Fact:

RiverBend (of Baghdad Burning blog) actually started blogging on Salam Pax's Blog at his invitation.


#1/20/2005 02:05:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Yes I remember River's first post. Scented candles and air-raids. Suitably surreal in concert with shock as WMD's pelted down upon Baghdad and awe as jaws dropped across the rest of the globe in dismay.

#1/24/2005 10:48:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Help me! I can't stop myself --

Oh why did I let you lead me into breaking a vow never to read Jarvis ever again...

Jesus, his Sunday School lessons must be insufferable. And, can you imagine his sermons!

Gadzooks, what a ass. What a prick!

-- there, I feel better now.

(don't really follow The Model Brothers that closely, so won't comment on that)

Re River: someday historians will read her blog (starting with the lavender candles on Salam Pax) as a object lesson in what can go wrong during an occupation. God, we all look forward to the day she can joke of lavender candles again! Dear girl.

#1/25/2005 03:18:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Oh, sorry. Forgot to sign that last rant.

Tilli (Mojave Desert)


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