Feb 3, 2011

On Mubarak and Objectivity

Anyone who has read my blog over the past 9 days may have noticed my words becoming increasingly critical of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, while at the same time becoming more and more supportive of the protesters in Cairo and elsewhere.

As you may know, I have aspirations to become a journalist and journalists must be objective. This means that typically we are not to take a particular side in a story, but report empirical facts and represent multiple interpretations of what those facts mean.

I can tell you that it is 28.5 degrees farenheit outside in Lexington, Kentucky right now. I can't tell you whether that is hot or cold to you, because your opinions on what temperature is cold and what temperature is hot differ from mine. I feel like 28.5 degrees is pretty comfortable - not a good temperature for a swim, but much better than the teens or the single digits.

In Egypt, on the other hand, the empirical data that is easier to parse, if more difficult to understand. Protesters are being intimidated. Journalists, Egyptian, Arab, European and American are being jailed, their cameras and recording equipment confiscated. Molitov cocktails are being thrown into crowds. Supporters of President Mubarak and hired thugs are attacking crouds with whips, machetes and clubs. The regime is cracking down and committing atrocities against innocent people.

And President Mubarak has the audacity to claim that chaos and violence would erupt after he steps down - when he is causing the chaos and violence erupting before our very eyes.

For the second day in a row clashes between mostly peaceful anti-regime protesters and the supporters of Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship rage across Egypt.

As a journalist, I do not have to give equal time to someone who commits atrocity. I would not give time to Hitler were he perpetrating the holocaust today. I would not give equal time for Fred Phelps to preach his homophobic bigotry across my blog. And I will no longer give time to a regime that systematically silences its people at best through shutting off the internet and stealing cameras, and at worst through kidnapping, imprisonment, abuse, torture and murder.

That also means that I should be more critical of my own government's lukewarm stance towards the demonstrations in Egypt, even as the Mubarak government cracks down.

Free Egypt.

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Keep it civil and pg-13, please.