Saturday, April 10, 2010

The 'Redoubtable' Balkissoon

Michael Coren isn't too impressed by the journalistic prowess of Denise Balkissoon. She's the self-described "culturally savvy" Toronto Star gal reporter who had trouble interpreting the semiotics of a recent Palestine House kerfuffle:
...The protesters chanted mildly that they liked Palestinians but hated terror and called for an end to jihad, but not the young men who had assembled outside Palestine House to support the speaker. They screamed that the world needs “another Holocaust”, shouted that, “We love jihad, we love killing you”, they threw pennies on the ground — all Jews are cheap moneygrabbers you see — and gave us, “We love killing dogs... your bitches with you. What do your women taste like?”
But all is OK because the media was present. Welcome to young Denise Balkissoon, covering the event for the Toronto Star. She’ll get to the truth of it all and expose the bigots. “Each group accused the other of hate, shouting go home”, she wrote in the Star. “JDL (Jewish Defence League) members hurled overt racist slurs, while Palestine House men threw pennies on the ground, calling the JDL thieves.”

Jarring discrepancy

Then on her Twitter account the ace reporter opined, “Finally, after a day covering a storey of petty racism, made it to The Runaways.” Yes, she did spell “story” as “storey”. Apart from the dreadful spelling and insulting sense of priorities, there is a jarring discrepancy between what is to be seen on footage of the protest and what the Star described as two groups of people acting with equal nastiness.

Is she being balanced, is she informed? In an unintentionally hilarious interview with the leader of the Jewish protest, Ms. Balkissoon asks the yarmulke-wearing man why he is there on a Friday and not a Saturday. As if helping out a child, the man explains that he is Jewish and the Jews have a Sabbath and, well, you know the rest. This, by the way, from a woman who describes herself as, “culturally savvy”. Mind you, in the same biography she boasts of being a good editor!...
Hey, I can boast of being a good plumber. We're all entitled to nurse our little delusions. (Coren's line "Is she being balanced, is she informed?" reminded me of the closing couplet of W.H. Auden's The Unknown Citizen: "Was he free? Was he happy? The question is abusurd:/Had anything been wrong we should certainly have heard." I would amend is for Ms. Balkissoon thus: Was she balanced? Was she informed? The question is bizarre:/Had the woman had a clue she'd not be working at the Star.)

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