Saturday, April 02, 2011

Gary Younge's dishonesty and condescension

This is a guest post by Jogo.

Gary Younge is such an attractive person, so obviously intelligent, and such a good writer, that you don't realize what a dishonest reporter he is.

Take this clip from the Guardian's youtube channel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPYpsDt8zkc

The caption: Gary Younge witnesses a heated confrontation between two people outside a Barack Obama rally in Las Vegas and talks to them about issues that divide US voters: from immigration to the healthcare system.


Call me naive, but I actually thought that's what I was going to see when I unfolded the clip -- Gary taking these two people aside and "talking to them." But that is not what happened -- or, certainly, is not what is shown on the clip.


First, what is it that happened? It looks to me as though we, the viewer, come upon the last seconds of a nasty argument between a young brown girl, and an older white woman. A young brown man wearing an Obama t-shirt attempts to comfort the girl, whose feelings had, clearly, been hurt-- "she's ugly, you're beautiul," he tells the girl as he leads her, protectively, away. How dear/sweet of him. How sexist. How disgusting. What a creep of a young brown man.

The white woman retorts with a bit more lip, deprecating the both of them, and then the brown man explodes: this is not your country, read your history, it belongs to the Indian, go back to Europe, you're a fucking whore.

Well, that's pretty bad. That's about as bad as anything you hear from Jew-hating or immigrant-hating scum. Not only is it bad, it's WRONG. It's against everything Bob From Brockley believes. And you'd think it's against what Gary Younge believes, too. Will Gary "talk to" both of these people -- the young man, the woman -- about what divides them?

No, he won't. He will only talk to one of them -- the white woman. And what a weird bird she is.

She is dressed quite crazily, inappropriate for her age. And she has an out-of-place, strong Boston accent, and this strange facial tic. Yes, she is somewhat ugly. Overall, she is not a pleasant character, even a bit hard to look at. But Gary -- Borat-like -- perserveres. Is she against everything Barack Obama stands for? What about health insurance? Wouldn't that be a good idea? Do you have health insurance? No, she doesn't have health insurance. But she isn't interested in discussing with Gary whether health insurance is a good idea or not ... because ... she is totally obsessed with illegal immigrants. She is so crazed by illegal immigrants that she can't even think about health insurance. She actually admits this to Gary! In other words, this woman is a fucking nut. But Gary tries to reason with her, anyway. He is such a good, kind, dear/sweet earnest young man.


Why has Gary plucked her out of the crowd? Because Gary thinks (and wants us to think) that this woman is probably typical of her ilk; typical of, say, Tea Party -- so it's important that Guardian-readers get a good look at her.


And now ... shall we get an equally good look at the young brown man? Will Gary interrogate him on his deeply racist/supremacist/hateful views? No, the young man has disappeared. We're left with the one impression Gary wants to leave us with -- the nutty, sad, foaming, irrationally immigrant-hating white lady on the sidewalk.


Finally, Gary closes with a liberal platitude (the same sort of platitude Bob noticed oozing from Simon Tisdall): Americans are going to have to learn to talk to one another. Gosh, darn, those excitable, polarized Americans.


Thanks, Gary.

6 comments:

skidmarx said...

So let's have a go at these people and then attack Gary Younge for calling them excitable and polarised. Why does Gary talk to her and not to the other guy who isn't there any more? Because he has an evil liberal agenda or because she was there and he wasn't?
Dishonesty and condescension? It's mirrortime.

skidmarx said...

Maybe he should follow this model of firsthand reporting.

Illiberal radical said...

Great post. Grauniad liberalism has mocking contempt for the Baddies' petty prejudices and oddities, but totally fails to examine the Goodies' petty prejudices and oddities.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Younge is a prize pillock. I still remember his 'Ethical World Cup' column in 2006 as an example of what a complete and utter anus he is.

Anonymous said...

If you're seriously interested in honest and reputable journalism the smartest thing to do before you impugn someone's professional integrity is to go to the source. Gary Younge has no control over who clips his work or what they clip. Had you bothered, and it's not difficult to find (see below), you would see that at the man you so desperately seek appears at 3m 25 seconds, thereby destroying the entire point of your whole post.
So who's really being dishonest here? Or should we just call you naive?


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2010/oct/29/younge-america-great-divide

jogo said...

Engaging "anonymous" risks starting a flame-war, which is not in the spirit of this blog. Let me just say there's a larger point made and a microscopic point made, and I trust most Bob-readers know the difference.