Monday, February 14, 2011

Time For You To Subscribe To The "Times," Hosni

I agree with my Facebook and Andover buddy and Phillipian better David Schwartz that, as first drafts of history go, this New York Times analysis of the Egyptian revolution is one of the best. If the so-called new media have produced anything in the last two weeks to match this exercise in careful reporting by trained professionals, I haven't seen it.

Until they do, long live the old media. If you're not subscribing, whether in print or digitally, to the Times or some other newspaper that is still committed to this kind of journalism, you might want to get on that. I think I read on a blog somewhere that Thomas Paine said it best: A free people will be a well-informed people only so long as they pay for content.

As for the lavish White House spin embedded in the article, extolling President Obama's Lincolnian vision over the horizon, we have no reason to doubt it:
[Obama] made the point early on, a senior official said, that “this was a trend” that could spread to other authoritarian governments in the region, including in Iran. By the end of the 18-day uprising, by a White House count, there were 38 meetings with the president about Egypt. Mr. Obama said that this was a chance to create an alternative to “the Al Qaeda narrative” of Western interference.

American officials had seen no evidence of overtly anti-American or anti-Western sentiment. “When we saw people bringing their children to Tahrir Square, wanting to see history being made, we knew this was something different,” one official said....

By Feb. 1, when Mr. Mubarak broadcast a speech pledging that he would not run again and that elections would be held in September, Mr. Obama concluded that the Egyptian president still had not gotten the message.

Within an hour, Mr. Obama called Mr. Mubarak again in the toughest, and last, of their conversations. “He said if this transition process drags out for months, the protests will, too,” one of Mr. Obama’s aides said.

Mr. Mubarak told Mr. Obama that the protests would be over in a few days.

Mr. Obama ended the call, the official said, with these words: “I respect my elders. And you have been in politics for a very long time, Mr. President. But there are moments in history when just because things were the same way in the past doesn’t mean they will be that way in the future.”

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