You know, I read this on RawStory early this morning. Then read it again and thought about it and said, huh?
It wasn't until I went here Questions For
collection of Deborah Solomon interviews, and started reading from the top, from Livni's interview on
) that I began to understand what happened here.
I read about 20 interviews in all. (A side note here is that Livni's interview did not have the disclaimer on it saying it was condensed and edited.
Most of the others I read did.)
Now it appears that these interviews are not strictly Q&A. Its seems more like a casual conversation. Like you and I might talk. Sometimes Solomon
asks a question, other times she expounds on a point made by the interviewee. And I could see how, in an informal, conversational style, interview
setting, the comment about an era being romantic might have come about. Solomon always ranges that way. I don't believe for a moment that that in and
of itself this comment was worthy of unleashing a firestorm on this subject.
The interviews all ranged from mild to sometimes a bit caustic. But overall the tone and style remained about the same. Nothing particularly hard
hitting, with the notable exception being the interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, entitled "The Feminist"
). That one stood out with respect to Solomon's tone
I read a few more after that, and it was more or less the same. Another interesting thing I noticed was that Solomon always
mentions or asks a
question about the interviewee's mother or father, about their childhood. It seems to me it's her way of getting chummy...relating. Seems to be her
Okay, so now, the blogger who started all this (here
), Phillip Weiss, who from what he said about her and her paper,
was already keeping and eye on both the New York Times and Solomon, said that Solomon softballed questions to Livni. Maybe it wasn't her hardest
interview, I'll agree, but it's still subjective and speculative.
If I were in his place, I would want to know a few things before leaping to that conclusion. Things such as this:
Where and when did this interview take place? Was it phoned in? Via e-mail? In person? In public? In private? Did they meet face to face?
How long did they have? This interview is among the shortest of all I read. It may have been rushed. Or emailed. And again, didn't have the
condensed-and-edited disclaimer on it. Don't know if that means anything.
What were the parameters for the meeting? Did Livni put anything off limits or off the record?
Was Livni friendly? Cooperative? Rushed? Dismissive? And again, how was the interview done?
Did Solomon take notes by hand or tape record the interview? If she recorded it, who transcribed it? Let's just assume she approved it in it's final
So, finally, the interview appeared in Solomon's column "Questions For," New York Times Magazine
on Sunday, June 20, 2010.
And probably without knowing the answers to any of the questions above, Weiss decides that this interview has been softballed. And, takes a relatively
innocent phrase that related to a rather human and emotional segment of the interview, out of context and turns it into, "...in which she describes
the days of Jewish terrorism as 'romantic,'" What she was describing was the era during which Linvi's parents fell in love.
And then from this point, with clearly preexisting bias, he gives his opinion
about what she should have done in the interview. They he pulls
and excerpt of a 7 year-old interview Solomon did with Noam Chomsky out to illustrate how she is so very biased that she tried to make Chomsky look
I read that interview as well, and it seems of about the same tone and style as all the others. She goes off sometimes in attempts to be hard hitting,
but in my opinion, never really gets there.
An interesting side note here is that Weiss links his reader to Chomksy's page (here
not to where it appears in Solomon's
) archives. Why? Did he want his reader exposed to Chomsky's site? Or did he not want his reader's finding Solomon's? Or both?
He closes with a pithy, inflammatory comment, and we're off. The blog gets picked up and the firestorm is released yet again. Even in this thread,
from the quick glance I took before departing on this endeavor.
In conclusion, just another case of giving the masses a kernel of corn, turning the heat on, and waiting for it to pop. This isn't really "news."
It's opinion and opportunistic propaganda by proxy.
The very thing he accuses her of, eh?
[edit on 27-6-2010 by ~Lucidity]