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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thomas Friedman, international sage

There is a devastating parody of Friedman's latest column in the New York Times on the blog Inanities, and I recommend that you read it right away. Friedman listed a number of "not-so-obvious forces" he thinks help explain the Egyptian revolution, including the Obama Factor, Google Earth, and the Beijing Olympics. Be sure to read Friedman's column first, and then Inanities' followup version, which starts as follows:


Future historians will long puzzle over how I was given an international platform to freely pontificate on the Arab people and be remunerated handsomely for it. It is true that I am not the only person in the world who formulates dubious theories based on scant or no evidence which I then harangue people with. Other people do it. They are called taxi drivers. But they are not as rich as me and haven’t been awarded three Pulitizer Prizes.
Since I’ve been here in Egypt I’ve been putting together a list of “the-absolutely-irrelevant forces” that have captured the captive Arab mind and ignited the simmering coals of the instant garden BBQ that is the Middle East. You might ask why, since I am in Egypt, I don’t ask an Egyptian – possibly two Egyptians – about what inspired them to completely ignore my theories on the Arab peoples and take to the streets. The answer is this: I am Thomas Friedman and I write a column in the New York Times.
Photo: Josh Haner, New York Times.

PS--In case you are wondering, Inanities is produced by a journalist in Egypt named Sarah Carr.

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