Why American Arabs and Muslims need their own news blog
By Ray Hanania
The Huffington Post is one of the internet’s top ranked news blogs. And yet when you read through the HuffPo’s postings today, you notice that while the rest of the world is focused on the Israeli siege of Gaza and the massacre of civilians there, HuffPo is AWOL from the coverage.
The Huffington Post is a blog news site where bloggers express their opinions. Although it is described as “liberal” and is constantly battling with the rightwing neo-cons, HuffingtonPost is really very conservative when it comes to the issue of Palestinian rights.
In fact, when it comes to Palestinian rights, Huffington Post suddenly transforms from a liberal defender of civil rights, to a propaganda machine for Israel.
How can that be when they do have some American Arab writers? Well, they censor the stories. They manage the postings. They allow certain writers to write who they know will downplay the criticism of Israel to softballs and lobs, rather than hardhitting slams that Israel’s government deserves.
Ironically, the Huffington Post slams the right so powerfully and without any restrictions, but when it comes to Israel, the restrictions kick in as if they are making up for their slanted hammering of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and the darling of the rightwing fools, Sarah Palin.
Of course, I am not saying Bush, Cheney and Plain don’t deserve close scrutiny and harsh criticism. They do and so do many of the rightwing nutjobs whose columns libel civil rights, ethical journalism and international law. These rightwing idiots celebrate hypocrisy as if it were their real political party. So reading Huffington Post as they slam the rightwing conservatives is definitely fun.
But, what’s not fun is watching the very subtle but clearly intentionally tempering of anything that overly criticizes Israel.
There is a generic story about the most recent bombing of the Gaza Strip that took place today despite the so-called ceasefire.
It did run a pretty generic and “balanced” news story about the Israeli attack on a UN school that killed 15 children written by Arab and Jewish reporters for Reuters News Service, one of the more dependable and journalistically professional news organizations out there. But that’s exactly the problem. If this had been Cheney attacking Obama, it wouldn’t just be a balanced news story. It would be diatribe against Cheney. It might even be clever. But it would be brutal because defending good politics is what Huffington Post claims to be all about.
But when it comes to defending international law and legal rights of civilians, the Huffington Post has to walk on eggshells like every other major news outlet in the United States.
And they are careful about who blogs and what they blog. If they don’t like something, they have a built in system to screw you. Unless they showcase you, your blog post is dead to the world, buried in the HuffPo’s belly of 55,000 bloggers. Individual bloggers who are not showcased have to promote their own blog posts themselves to their own networks. You are not even always indexed by Google. Just selected bloggers. That is controllable.
Do you want to know why it ranks number 1 on the Internet? Because 55,000 bloggers are posting content that drives up the traffic. If you have 5 bloggers, HuffPo would be invisible.
So HuffPo can afford to showcase the celebrity bloggers, the owner bloggers, and the blogs it loves. And, it can bury the blogs it does not love. Huffington Post is much like Google’s blogging system called Blogspot.com. Anyone can blog.
But if you want to showcase your views. If you want people to be able to hear the justified criticism of Israel’s government. If you want the world to know that Palestinians are being massacred by the extremist government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, you are going to have to do it someplace else, like here, at the Arab Daily News online news blog.
Here at the Arab Daily News, there is a benefit for you. The benefit of empowerment that comes from lie-minded people sharing the true facts about a story that is bludgeoned into twisted exaggerations and denials all to defend Israel.
I wrote for the Huffington Post one time. I wrote for a lot of media at one time, too. But I realized that everything I wrote for the biased mainstream news media only helped them oppress me even more. And one day when the Huffington Post editors emailed me to say that I was being “too critical” of Benjamin Netanyahu and they wanted me to edit my post before they would approve it, I decided they could go to hell. I’ll blog for myself. That led to the formation of the Arab Daily News online news blog, a site that this month will hit 700,000 reader visits and we only have 24 bloggers. Not 55,000 like the Huffington Post. Just 24 bloggers. Imagine if we had 55,000 bloggers. I am sure the U.S. Congress would pass a law that would outlaw our website
We don’t want haters here at the Arab Daily News. We don’t want anti-Semites. But we do want bloggers who want to point out the bias of the mainstream news media. We do want bloggers who want to write about the conflicted policies of the Arab World governments. We do want bloggers who are going to present the true facts about Israel’s brutality against the Palestinians and how Israel’s PR Machine distorts the facts and manipulates American politicians like lapdogs in a circus freak show.
We do want bloggers who want to showcase the events and activities of the American Arab and American Muslim community, a topic that the mainstream news media (and Huffington Post is a part of the mainstream news media) refuses to cover. We want bloggers who are going to write the stories that the biased mainstream news media refuses to publish and refuses to cover. What is the Arab community doing in America? That SHOULD BE front page news!
We want bloggers who recognize that there is a need to provide accurate and persuasively reasoned information to the American people to educate them and to allow them to make up their minds. Because when the Palestinian cause is given a chance to be presented fairly next to the Israeli cause, the Palestinian cause will always win. That’s why israelis fight so hard to undermine the Palestinian cause and why media like the Huffington Post apply subtle but effective censorship on accurate American Arab viewpoints.
American Arabs and American Muslims are powerful. We have influence. We have strength in numbers. We don’t have to scrounge around for the bread crumbs and table scraps left for us by American society. We can tell our own story. We don’t even need the New York Times newspaper to tell it because we can tell it better.
The mainstream news media is biased. They don’t want to cover the American Arab and American Muslim community. They want to bury us in lies and distortions and prejudice. And, they are doing a good job of it, a good job that reflects the inaction of American Arabs and American Muslims to make change. Change the system. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Build your own vehicle. If the media is biased, create your own media and get the word out.
And there is no more effective way to get the word out then in an environment that is Arab Friendly and Muslim Friendly, right here at the Arab Daily News online news blog.
We want your blogs.
Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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