Update on Arafat nomination

01.06.04

The Tribune has an update on the La Presse nomination of Arafat for “person of the year”:

Eric Clement, who is in charge of the paper’s Web site, Cyberpresse, told JTA that the paper had been deluged with e-mails and letters, “mainly from the Jewish community.”

“We have withdrawn Mr. Arafat’s name,” he said. “In fact, we have stopped the competition altogether.”

“Initially, we wanted to just suggest names among many that people could vote for. We wanted the public to come up with names,” he said. “After all the letters and e-mails, we decided it had not been a good idea. We made a mistake.”

In the words of C.J. Cregg, that’s a pretty good “non-apology apology”, coupled with a pretty standard Jew-blaming. And of course there’s also the fact that La Presse wasn’t big enough to admit it did wrong on its own website. Cyberpresse didn’t print an apology, retraction, or explanation as far as I can tell. It simply removed all the links or any mention of Arafat’s nomination, as though it never happened. As though their journalists never called Arafat a “noble freedom fighter” dedicated to “advancing the cause of peace”.

By the way, I’m still looking for a hard copy or the full text of the Arafat profile that has been so cleanly removed from the website. If anyone has it, let me know.

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