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Preview: Comments on: Prof. Cole, at it again

Comments on: Prof. Cole, at it again

The media pundit's pundit. Written by NYC insider Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine covers news, media, journalism, and politics.

Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2018 14:33:29 +0000


By: Piccadilly Jim

Thu, 11 Aug 2005 18:37:36 +0000

Ed Rusch: "It’s really easy to bash Cole for what he does say" Yes, it is. I don't know how many journalists have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan but believe it to well into double figures and most of them were killed for reporting the facts just as Vincent did, in his case making enemies of the thugs who are trying to take over Basra. There is absolutely no evidence that Vincent was an adulterer, so why does Cole have the gall to repeat that "excuse". I can understand that certain Iraqi male fundamentalists would presume that any female "immodest" enough to work with Westerners must be sexually immoral, but it's not something that a responsible academic should give house room to. First they kill a journalist, then they try to smear his reputation: we can't stop them doing that but we shouldn't help them by giving them publicity either.

By: Ed Rusch

Thu, 11 Aug 2005 11:28:13 +0000

Eileen, settle down. Here's what the original Telegraph article said: > "There is the possibility that this was an attempted 'honour killing', related in some way to the relationship he had with his interpreter. But it does not fit the pattern of honour killings as it is usually the woman who dies," [said the police inspector.] Mr Vincent, 49, a former art critic who turned to journalism after witnessing the September 11 attacks, had been married to his American wife for 13 years. She is understood to have been aware of his plans to marry Ms Weidi for visa purposes.

By: Eileen

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 21:24:30 +0000

Well, Ed, I guess your declaration of victory probably has about as much basis in reality as does Cole's theory. Insert smiley. Question his motivation for positing such a theory in the first place. I'm sure it had absolutely Nothing to do with Vincent's blog words directed at Cole. Aren't you? First Cole states as 'fact' that they were romantically involved. Basis in reality? Oh, rumors? Next he blathers on about Mediterranean machismo regarding protecting women from 'strange men', which has nothing in reality to do with Islamofascist sharia law - as if this is simply a boys will be boys 'regional' cultural norm. Next he mentions 'women sleeping around' - another thinly veiled assumption about that dirty whore Nour. Then he uses these non-facts as support for his 'theory' that this was an (understandable don'tcha know) honor killing because Vincent was uninformed and stupid about such things and thereby 'acted dangerously'. All of which caused Kramer, Jarvis and other logically thinking humans to conclude, as per Kramer: "In other words, Vincent got himself killed, out of ignorance. Implication: his journalism [vis a vis Cole in particular] should be dismissed." How's this for an alternate theory? Islamofascist thugs killed Vincent purely because he was 1. an American journalist and blogger in the area who 2. wrote pro-liberation pieces. And the thugs Attempted to murder Nour because she wasn't a properly burka clad Muslim woman who dared to travel with a man outside the home unaccompanied by her father or a brother, and who Further dared to assist an American in his journalistic efforts. How about it had Nothing to do with Vincent 'acting dangerously' related to some pie-in-the-sky assumptions regarding honor killings, which Cole attempts to suggest are understandable within Islam, for: "Where a woman of the family sleeps around, it brings enormous shame on her father, brothers and cousins, and it is not unknown for them to kill her." Not just 'some' dirty shame, but Enormous Shame on those Islamic menfolk who must, no less, Kill the woman to redeem their honor. It's only natural. And it's a cultural norm that poor Vincent just didn't understand, to his peril. But wait. If it HAD been an honor killing, why murder Vincent to begin with? Muslim WOMEN are killed for "bringing dishonor", not their male cohorts. I'm curious, Ed. Why do you twist yourself into a pretzel in an effort to defend Cole and denigrate Jeff? In my opinion, anyone who acts as an apologist for, or who attempts to justify Islamofascist thugs in any fashion deserves to be outed. That includes Juan Cole. But I Will give you some measure of 'victory', Ed, for acting as an apologist's apologist. What will be your prize?

By: Ed Rusch

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 19:31:43 +0000

Piccadilly "Straw Man" Jim -- you're being absurd and irrelevent here. (Kinda like Jeffo, come to think about it.) For starters, you're arguing a falsehood; secondly, we're not talking about US states. We're talking about a different culture, one that apparently you know nothing about. All Cole did was to posit a theory (and he's not the only one; Jeffo failed to point out he was just amplifying a theory posited elsewhere, an amazing oversight on Jeffo's part). Are the killers right for killing? Absolutely not. Did Vincent ask for it? Absolutely not. Could possibly his perceived relationship been a contributory factor in the murder? Sounds like it could be. Explaining how and why something happened isn't the same as endorsing it. Does a doctor performing an autopsy and recording the cause of death endorse the cause of death? Of course not. It's really easy to bash Cole for what he does say. You lose credibility when you bash him for something he clearly didn't say. Jeffo's just got a big hardon for Cole and will bash him at every opportunity. By the way, I am still waiting for someone to specifically point out where Cole said Vincent was "asking for it." Given your silence on the point and Jeffo's unwillingness to answer, I declare victory. So there. ;)

By: Ryan

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 17:30:30 +0000

Eric Jaffa - how about you stop pimping your shit at another's place. Picadilly Jim summed it up best, I think.

By: Piccadilly Jim

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 17:00:34 +0000

I've been told that it's outside the "cultural norm" in some US States for white women to have black partners - would that make murder there in some way understandable?

By: Eric Jaffa

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 15:58:51 +0000

kat - Firstly, I'm the Editor of "Move Left." Secondly, it's a blog, not a business. Thirdly, the article I posted a link to is relevant to this discussion.

By: kat

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 15:55:45 +0000

A whore for moveleft spamming for business???

By: Eric Jaffa

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 14:47:28 +0000

George W. Bush has a lot to do with the situation in Iraq. Analysis of Bush's mistakes by Al Franken and Paul Krugman is at:

By: Ed Rusch

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:56:08 +0000

Jane, it doesn't matter if the two of them were having an affair. The important point is that others perceived them to be having one, and that this perception possibly led to a murder. Plus, you're looking at things through a Western lens. There ARE cultural differences. Kat: I didn't see Cole argue he "deserved it." Perhaps you could point out the exact phrase where he said directly or indirectly that Vincent deserved to be murdered. You're also buying into Jeffo's irrational hatred of Cole; Jeffo's been pretty outspoken about his feelings for the professor as an anti-war blogger, and this hatred makes him irrational. (Always walk away from an argument that includes the phrase "in other words.") I'm also guessing Jeffo's lack of growth in the blogosphere (5,000 visitors a day, Jeff? That's smaller than the traffic of the Web site of a small daily newspaper!) and Cole's traffic numbers dwarfing those of Buzzkill make him crazy.

By: File Closer

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:25:29 +0000

PS: James also wrote: "cole mentioned in a matter of fact way the uneducated rural society works over there." I've been checking out Cole's "Informed Comment" for about a year now, and I've never seen him mention anything in a "matter of fact way." One can almost hear him hyperventilating when reading his stuff.

By: File Closer

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:22:03 +0000

James wrote: "Jeez , you right wingers are so thin skinned." Jeff Jarvis is a right-winger? I really do learn something every day. Thanks.

By: Jane

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 12:44:58 +0000

Steven's wife, Lisa, does not believe he was romantically involved with his translator, Nour. She understood Steven was attempting to get Nour into the US. Marrying her could get her that visa. Steven was very much aware of the risks his translator faced by associating with him. Nour had previously been beaten and had her arm broken when she became engaged to a man who did not meet her family's approval. When I was 27 I went to work for a man who was 6 years older than I. (I still work for him.) For years, people assumed we were having an affair. We never did. Men are entirely capable of mentoring young women without taking them on as lovers. I can well imagine that Steven and Nour were under tremendous pressure. Their working relationship must have exuded intensity. Yet, I do believe his wife and her understanding of Steven and Nour's working relationship. Steven may have loved Nour but not necessarily in the romantic sense. He may have sought to save this young, brilliant, courageous woman from a culture, which would not only repress her but ultimately try to kill her. I understand Steven's remarkable wife Lisa is still attempting to procure a visa for Nour. I hope that when this young woman's wounds are healed that she learns to live by the motto - the best revenge is a life well lived - and I hope she takes up writing with a vengeance.

By: james

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 04:19:13 +0000

Jeff, there has got to be a history between you two, because your take on his post sure does reveal some deep meaning I sure didn't get from it, of course I didn't read the other posts criticizing coles post. cole mentioned in a matter of fact way the uneducated rural society works over there. It's a fact of life there. Jeez , you right wingers are so thin skinned.

By: vnjagvet

Wed, 10 Aug 2005 04:06:26 +0000

Comparing Juan Cole to the likes of Thomas Sowell, Walter Washington, John Leo, Michael Barone, Diana West, Suzanne Fields, and even David Limbaugh all of whom regularly write rational and non-polemical articles on is a stretch at best.