Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Christopher Hitchens on the real extent of anti-Rushdie protests ...

Christopher Hitchens doesn't always get things right. Heck, who does? (apart from, say, God.)

Here's what he had to say in a recent column for Slate ...

I have actually seen some of these demonstrations, most recently in Islamabad, and all I would do if I were a news editor is ask my camera team to take several steps back from the shot. We could then see a few dozen gesticulating men (very few women for some reason), their mustaches writhing as they scatter lighter fluid on a book or a flag or a hastily made effigy. Around them, a two-deep encirclement of camera crews. When the lights are turned off, the little gang disperses. And you may have noticed that the camera is always steady and in close-up on the flames, which it wouldn't be if there was a big, surging mob involved.

Don't expect this paragraph to make it to Tom Switzer's "Cut and Paste" on The Oz's Opinion Page.

(Thanks to SJH for the tip-off!)

© Irfan Yusuf 2007