Egypt Coverage Marred by American Narcissism

American media keep insisting we 'do something'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2011 1:23 PM CST
Egypt Coverage Marred by American Narcissism
A woman carrying a placard referring to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak attends a demonstration by anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 31, 2011.   (Associated Press)

In Egypt, thousands of people are fighting “for their fundamental human rights, a struggle that has very little to do with your opinions on anything,” writes Alex Pareene on Salon. But as far as the American media are concerned, it has everything to do with the US. “Our national narcissism is infecting every corner of the debate, from all sides.” We want President Obama to do something, and while that’s understandable, “demanding a Big Show of Something or Other from America is a recipe for killing the democracy movement in the cradle.”

It's especially easy to mock Fox News' "amusingly schizophrenic" coverage—"a revolution against a dictator is a pretty feel-good story, but the entire channel is terrified of Islam and foreigners." But the truth is, the rest of the media have treated the story nearly the same way. “Unless they can think of this in American terms, our pundits have no clue how to deal with foreign affairs in general, let alone massive civil unrest in an Arab nation that's been ‘stable’ for 30 years,” he concludes. “America doesn't really understand how to respond to a revolution.” Click through for his entire piece.
(More Egypt stories.)

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