18 July 2015

Ayatollah Khamenei and New York Times - the art of headlines

Some people don't understand my seeming obsession with newspapers' (and on-line newspapers') headlines. I do believe in the importance of watching this small facet of the media. After all, many of us start their day with a brief scan of the front pages, barely slowing down and clicking through only a selected few of the headlines that look interesting or cause some initial misunderstanding. Thus in many cases headlines inform us, scare us, make us smile etc, slightly adjusting our worldview - all this without any need to go into the article itself, no matter how much the contents of the article differ from the message conveyed by the headline.

Indeed, a man that sees something like "A vaccine for Ebola was developed" might get his positive boost for the day, especially if that man didn't know about tens of thousands that expired of the bug. Or a man that sees the insidious BBC's "Israeli planes attacked in Gaza" gets the message about the bloody Zionists without any need to click through and (possibly) to learn that the bloody Zionists responded to another series of rocket launches from the place. Etc.

So, you can imagine now my feelings after browsing through the headlines dedicated to the latest anti-American, anti-Israeli and generally incendiary speech by Ayatollah Khamenei. The message, very far from what the White House hoped to hear, is clear:

Iran's stance towards the "arrogant" US will not change despite the nuclear deal reached earlier this week, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said.
Or, simply put in a graphic way:

But this was expected, more or less, and while the official White House/State Department will eat the crow silently, Juan Cole and his ilk will re-translate for us the words of the chief cleric in a more palatable manner... something with doves and olive branches in it.

What was less expected is the gutter level the bastion of the progressive media, the New York Times is ready to get down to. Here are the headlines of several (not especially right wing, it has to be said) media outfits:

Deutsche Welle: Khamenei: Nuclear deal 'won't change' Iran's stance on US
AFP: Iran leader says policy against 'arrogant' US 'won't change'
BBC (!): Iran nuclear: Ayatollah Khamenei chastises 'arrogant' US

And now comes the NYT headline about the same speech:

Ayatollah Khamenei, Backing Iran Negotiators, Doesn’t Fault Nuclear Deal

Fuck me sideways - the only thing that came to mind. And before you ask - the article does contain some of the Khamenei "criticism", although in the end part of it and without mention of the arrogance etc.

Nothing left but to remind, the umpteens time, the famous:

And now, for some comic relief, an in-depth review of the Iran nuclear deal. With many thanks to Dick Stanley, the Texas Scribbler.


Stan said...

The video was great.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yes, a good distraction from bad thoughts.

Dick Stanley said...

Thanks for the link. The headlines are interesting, except for the NYTimes which helped create and has sustained Our Little Barry, the fellow who negotiates like a Care Bear. ;-)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Hopefully most American people get informed elsewhere.

Dick Stanley said...

Indeed, Fox News. No. 1 for almost a decade.

Sennacherib said...

A little O/T, but Snoop, what's this I hear that Netanyahu and Herzog are becoming political pals?

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yeah. I only wish they were a bit more... how to say it... subtle and precise.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

There are some intense rumors to that effect indeed. Bibi, as usual, display his politicking skills...

For the moment all agree that only a very limited circle of the two gentlemen and maybe one or two close confidants on both sides are in that game.

Dick Stanley said...

Sorry but that's too much to ask of journalism. The American kind, anyhow.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That true. I still remember that Mark Twain's story How I Edited An Agricultural Paper and a few others that put me straight about journalism.