Thursday, March 31, 2005

Congratulations Arthur!

In reading this AP story on the falling number of "insurgent" attacks in Iraq, I immediately thought of Arthur Chrenkoff and his mammoth efforts to report on the "good news" from Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought of Arthur not for the reason that this was, after all, also "good news", but because the very second sentence of the AP piece reads precisely: "But the news isn’t all good." A news organization devoted to informing its public could be expected first to report some of the details of the "good news" announced in its headline - i.e., before qualifying it, if there was some reason to do so. But the AP's eagerness to find the dark cloud in the silver lining when it comes to Iraq and the repercussions of the American-led intervention was apparently just too great. This struck me as a perfect expression of the twisted genre of reporting against which Arthur has been battling. His blog has provided one of the most outstanding examples of how the blogosphere can serve as what the French would call a "contre-pouvoir" – literally, a "counter-power" - that challenges the power of the traditional media.

Today is the one-year anniversary of Arthur's blog. Arthur has been a good friend of Trans-Int - indeed, I think he was the first ever to link to it – and he has persistently displayed one of the most precious of intellectual and human qualities - one that I'm afraid is too rare even in the blogosphere: namely, an open-mind. He never hesitated to point to reports on Trans-Int even when they went against the current of opinion in our, so to say, “neighborhood” of the sphere and even when I knew that on certain points they were contrary to his own convictions.

So, in short: Thanks Arthur and Congratulations!