Egypt Holds Mirror to US

But American press would never admit it
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2011 5:48 PM CST
Political Corruption in Hosni Mubarak's Egypt Should Hold Mirror to US
Egyptian President Hosni Mubark looks on during his meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, unseen, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. Egypt's top two opposition movements pulled out of parliamentary elections after they were all but shut out in a first round of voting, in a surprise...   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Egypt, the media have been breathlessly informing us, is a corrupt state where money buys power and vice versa. Sound familiar? asks Glenn Greenwald of Salon. “How many American politicians with a national platform over the last thirty years have failed to convert their political standing into great personal wealth?” he asks. “Perhaps only those who began their political careers with great wealth.” Privately wealthy citizens, meanwhile, “own America’s government institutions and literally write most of its laws.”

Our media would never make such sweeping criticisms of our own political system, but it’s OK to write about it elsewhere—call it “Look Over There” journalism. It’s a craven trend that “creates the impression that such conditions are found only in those Primitive Foreign Places,” while feeding the media’s need for “clear villains and heroes.” That the villains this time are US allies doesn’t seem to shame us at all. Thanks to Look Over There reporting, we’re too used to "seeing ourselves as the Good Guys," Greenwald concludes—“even when the facts are right in our noses to disprove that.” (More Glenn Greenwald stories.)

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