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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Oh, by the way, Gaddafi tried to rape a female reporter

A vignette in a Benny Morris article:

Which reminds me of a story a fine, young journalist once told me about her experiences in Tripoli. It was in the 1980s, I think. She had come to interview Qaddafi. She was ushered into the famous tent. Qaddafi sent his aides away and the two of them shared lunch. And then Qaddafi tried to caress her. Flustered, she got up to leave. He then chased her around the table, bent on rape. She was brave and apparently fit; she outran him, at least long enough for his aides to rush in at the sound of her screams. Rape averted.
And then he makes this astute observation:
It is a shame journalists did not usually publish their impressions of and experiences with Qaddafi. This no doubt facilitated Western and Arab acceptance of cooperation with this almost unique, base specimen of humanity.
Unfortunately, this is still happening today. Only after the people start revolting does the Western media wake up and say, "Oh, I knew about how evil that despot was for years!"

Of course, they never reported it at the time.

And usually they still refuse to. It is an insidious game where the reporters know much more than they are willing to report, because they want to push certain narratives more than they want to contradict them.

(h/t Silke)