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Deconstructing Thomas Friedman: Book review by IPS


From yesterday’s review of my book by Sandra Siagian for Inter Press Service:

NEW YORK, Dec 6, 2011 (IPS) – A new book on the influential New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman sets out to debunk his hawkish, neoliberal views, accusing him of overt racism, factual errors and skewed judgments on issues ranging from the U.S. invasion of Iraq to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Deconstructing one of the country’s highest-paid journalists, Belen Fernandez’s “The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work” presents a comprehensive overview of the man – and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner – she describes as “characterised by a reduction of complex international phenomena to simplistic rhetoric and theorems that rarely withstand the test of reality”.

Fernandez, 29, admits that prior to 2009 she wasn’t too familiar with the work of the foreign affairs columnist. It wasn’t until that summer she decided to analyse Friedman’s work after reading “a sequence of ridiculous articles”.

Finding it difficult to “cram all of that incompetence into a concise book”, Fernandez divided the content into three issues that “most enraged” her, analysing his work along with a brief examination of the shortcomings of the U.S. media.

“The Imperial Messenger” looks at Friedman’s obsession with U.S. global dominance, his Orientalism vis-à-vis the Arab/Muslim world, and his special relationship with Israel.

It took her just over a year, working as an editor and feature writer at Pulse Media, in which she read every column he had written since 1995 three times. She also read a selection of his articles that were free to access from the New York Times archive, from 1981 to 1995.

The final product, written in a punchy and often sarcastic tone, offers a concise overview that is accessible even for those who aren’t familiar with Friedman’s work.

Click here to read the full review at IPS.


1 Comment

  1. Joe Ortiz says:

    “The New York Times is totally complicit in Friedman’s crimes, just as it was complicit in selling the whole business of the Iraq war. The degenerate state of the mainstream media, which actively sides with corporate profit over human life, is simply a testament to the importance of alternative media outlets.”


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