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April 2011
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gwen [userpic]
Interesting Time article... not in U.S. Time...

This article on the Taliban in Pakistan is incredibly interesting, and illuminating for the politics of that region. It tells a story of a Pakistani government that is left helpless in the turmoil of conflicted support domestically and internationally while the Taliban takeover more and more of the country, setting up training camps in the open.

Given the Bush Administration's party lines, you'd think that this was their biggest target; but Cheney's visit apparently only solidified our support with the helpless president. In fact, we're planning to send him $75 million for taking care of the Taliban problem. I am given to wonder how effective this can be, since most of the constituency for this president is more and more controlled by that Taliban (another thing the article elucidates is that the Taliban have very little support, but they do control much of the population through fear.)

Also, I should point out that it sickens me that this article is not in the U.S. version of Time Magazine. While Time: Asia, Time: South Pacific, and Time: Europe are running this article, Time: U.S.A. is running an article on "Why We Should Teach The Bible in Public Schools". We are the very audience who needs to see this information, but it is not being given out to our masses. Why?

I think that question is not very simply answered; consider that the editors of Time are publishing the information, so it's not that they don't want it themselves. Also consider that the Bush Administration is not actually in control of them, so it's not a simple case of "The Bush Administration can't have this information given us." It's more a question rooted in... Why would the publishers of Time consider that the American Public itself does not want to see this article? Because that is the crux of matter, and that's the question I really can't answer.

Thanks to popejeremy for pointing this out, btw.

Current Mood: quixoticquixotic
Current Music: Thou Shalt Not - Dying Boy

I'd say the question may be better framed as "Why do the editors of Time think the American people are more interested in reading about bible study in US schools than in Pakistani politics?". Or at least that's a question that has a much more obvious answer.

That's a leading question, though. How about, "Why would the publishers of Time think the American people are more interested in reading about Education than Terrorism?" Phrasing it that way, then one wonders why we don't have the gun toting guys on our front cover.

How about "Bibles than Muslims"?
Or how about "Topics in Education than The Taliban"?

The way you phrase that question changes, and narrows, the actual problem.

Whichever way you phrase it, I think the answer is the same: an article about a complex political situation is dry and perhaps difficult. Reading it would be boring and/or too challenging for their readership, they probably reckon, whether rightly or not.

We also don't have the same background as their international readership, who have a better grasp of world politics. We tend to be a little more narcissistic, preoccupied with domestic issues. I'm certainly guilty of that-- I pay a premium for The Economist so I can get high-quality news, but still often skip many of the non-USA sections. But I digress...

But the article isn't dry, and it is about the U.S. Specifically, it talks about the U.S. relations with Pakistan, the U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan (and the increased losses there), and the Taliban's efforts at going against the U.S. I don't actually buy that argument in this case. Pretty much, this story is told with a U.S. centered point of view.

If it weren't so U.S. focused in its telling, I would agree with you, but the article really felt like it was written for Americans.

As an example of the U.S. focused nature of this article, I will paste the final sentence:

" And if Musharraf doesn't find a way to re-establish control over Talibanistan, he may find his backers in Washington giving up on him too."

"Blah blah blah, I want to talk about ME and MY KIDS and something I can give an opinion on and feel smart!"

blah blah blah "TERRORISM!!!!!!"



Well, I guess you could write to Time and ask for their rationale...

I suppose I could. I'm just wary that what I'll get is a non-informative form letter, like, "The publishers choose the stories they feel is best suited to the location." :)

But then again, I really should since that would indicate to them that there is a desire for this sort of story in this country.

Oh, that would rule!


Why would their US readership be interested in the politics of the country that created the Taliban (the Taliban are a creation of the Pakistani ISI), which created a state in Afghanistan that eventually resulted in Sept. 11, 2001?

As Gwen points out, context is everything.

So here I am reading this and I happen to have a copy of this very magazine next to me. I turn to page 28 and there is the article. Whoops! Turns out it *is* in the magazine. Its just not on the front cover.

So the question isn't "Why don't the editors want the American public to see this article?" but "Why do the editors feel that an article about literary eductaion (which is what the Bible story is about) is more important?" My answer to that would probably "That cover will probably sell more magazines than an article about the Taliban"

OK, I'm glad to know it's in there somewhere.