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Hamas…North Korea…Article Placement? June 26, 2009

Posted by Afflatus in World Affairs.
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In today’s New York Times two important articles are tucked away in the very back of the International section. The first (that caught my eye) was Hamas Leader Hails Obama For New Tack. A short article written by the Associated Press from Damascus that highlights a recent speech by Khaled Meshal, Hamas’ leader who is currently based in Damascus.

The whole news story is that Meshal welcomed what he called “new language” by President Obama toward Hamas. The AP said the remarks were part of a tentative outreach to the United States by Hamas in recent weeks. I remind you that Obama directly addressed Hamas in his Cairo address to the ‘Muslim World’. Anyways, can someone explain this sentence to me?

Analysts have speculated that Hamas may want to try to reach out to the Obama administration in the hope of breaking out of its international isolation and easing the Isreali blockade of Gaza, which Hamas controls.

To me the sentence comes off as awkward, strange, and possibly biased.

The second small article on the last page of the International section was about an anti-American rally of 100,000 people in North Korea (the article says 100,000, but who knows?). It also quoted the government threatening a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” against the United States and South Korea.

The rally was a celebration of the anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. And it has been celebrated in an anti-American fashion before, the article says. “The crowd brimmed with anti-American slogans and speeches, denouncing the international sanctions the UN recently imposed on the North after its May 25th nuclear test.” The crowd and the government are worried of an American plot to invade their country. I had heard that the population was brainwashed, and this article made that fact brazenly clear, especially with the photo.

Why the inconspicuous article placement?

I asked this of myself and after mulling it over I’m still unsure. The first assumption many make is that its the Editor signaling that these are less important stories because they are last, not headliners. To me this is true in part, but there are also a variety of reasons why these two articles are placed so far back. It could be that the NYT simply does not have reporters in Damascus on the one hand; or that determining facts in North Korea is very difficult, on the other. I’m also not opposed to ruling out the idea that the Obama administration does not want these two articles to be headline stories. (The New York Times has been accused by some of following past administration’s PR strategies). And it would make some sense given the content of these two articles.

Any thoughts on why these articles are here and not there, wherever ‘there’ is?

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Comments»

1. ahrcanum - June 27, 2009

I am surprised it made the news at all.

You’ve got millions of North Korean men, pi$$ed off because they have no one to mate with after aborting the female babies and they have guns. The Hail Hitler thing is bothersome too.

North Korea has been shooting at Alaska for quite awhile and profess a missile test toward Hawaii around 4th of July.

I wonder what the sign says in English and note the buildings in the background resemble WTC.

North Korea’s propaganda is to hate America, the NY Times like most MSM’s propaganda is to bury the anti-American sentiment in the back pages.

Once they bury Michael Jackson maybe folks will start paying attention.


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