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March 08, 2005


Robert Fisk of The Independent is a favourite target for bloggers all over the Anglosphere. His somewhat, umm, impassioned reporting is the subject of endless parodies. Indeed, his name provides one of the new verbs of the medium, “To Fisk”. That is, to take a piece of journalism and provide a line by line refutation of the facts, opinions and conclusions, in the end showing that the reporter being targeted is a know nothing loon. Here Pootergeek takes the parody route:

The Last Outpost Of Traditional Rule

The ever-temperate front page of The Independent screams, “IS LEBANON WALKING INTO ANOTHER NIGHTMARE?” Without a copy to hand, I think you can imagine the name and the roseate visage that make up the byline beneath the headline. Because the Indie charges for access to the online version of its output I can only quote the opening paragraph of the article that follows:

Lebanon confronts a nightmare today. As the Syrian army begins its withdrawal from the country this morning, after mounting pressure from President George Bush - whose anger at the Syrians has been provoked by the insurgency against American troops in Iraq - there are growing signs that the Syrian retreat is reopening the sectarian divisions of the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war.

This is illustrated with a picture of young, beige, male protestors screaming at the camera. One has a bare chest, a studded leather strap around his wrist. He is acting up with a knife. For the rest of today at least you can see the photo here. Its implication: these people are Savages, who will be lost to Chaos without the Firm Hand of their uniformed Ba’athist overseers.

I might not be able to share with you Robert’s latest, but I can, by the magic of PooterGeek’s Future News feature, bring you the entire text of a yet-to-be-published masterpiece from the prizewinning journalist:

McDonalds and Wal-Mart now stretch from Gulf to Mediterranean. The American Empire smothers the history and pride of an entire region under a film of “democracy”. One country, however, still holds firm. There is no Starbucks in Fiskistan. Only the UN staff flown in to counsel victims at special rape crisis centres own 4×4s—and those centres would not be needed if a decade of American-sponsored sanctions had not driven the men of Fiskistan to sexually assault the largely Kurdish servant population. Here the cinemas show no Jerry Bruckheimer “actioners”; only the plaintive traditional sound of the Fiskistani nose whistle echoes out across night vistas of the rocky desert.

Fiskistan is the forgotten front in the so-called War on Terror. For a few months in the 1950s, members of the First Ambridge Battalion of the Queen’s Infantry seized this tiny country—then divided into a patchwork of statelets dominated by rival warlords—in order to secure a supply line during the Suez campaign. For that short time guerrilla fighters led by Muarbad Fiski made life for the reluctant colonial rulers hell, as they were forced to butcher young Englishmen fresh from the Home Counties to protect their nomadic existence from foreign interference.


March 8, 2005 in Books | Permalink


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