Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ms Guardian & Mr Spectator

The Guardian specialises in the burning issues of the day, such as:

"I was happily exchanging messages with someone through an on online dating app recently. He looked attractive enough in his picture, and the conversation was interesting, he seemed engaged and eloquent. And he hadn't propositioned me three messages in. It was time to go to the next level.

"'What do you do for a living?'

"'I have my own business - what about you?'

"'I'm a journalist at the Guardian. Are you a newspaper kinda guy?'

"Then, there it was: 'More of a Spectator reader than the Guardian.'

"Gulp!" (How politics is ruining dating - or should I date a Spectator reader? Alexandra Spring,, 21/7/17)

Donning my agony aunt hat, could I say, Alexandra, that I think your dilemma is more apparent than real. I actually think that the Guardian and the Spectator have much more in common than you think.

I mean, take the Guardian's coverage of "escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions in Jerusalem." (Six dead as Israeli-Palestinian tensions boil over, 22/7/17) No nasty references to OCCUPIED ARAB EAST JERUSALEM whatever. How could Mr Spectator possibly object?

Reading your Middle East correspondent, Peter Beaumont, the reader comes away with the impression that this is just another of those mysterious disputes over "a highly sensitive holy site" caused by those excessively prickly folk living in "Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem," who are forever "clashing" with the poor, put-upon Israeli police. I'm sure Mr Spectator would feel quite at home with this perspective.

And the suggestion that "the compound is considered the third holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who call it Temple Mount," could only compel him to conclude that, in all fairness, it should go to the Jews and that's that.

I can guarantee, Alexandra, there's nothing at all in Beaumont's report to scare off Mr Spectator.

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