Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First Paul Krugman and Now Thomas Friedman Gets Something Completely Wrong in His Column

In yesterday's column titled "Daring to Fail", Thomas Friedman lauds Kerry's efforts to bring the Palestinians and Israelis together.  In making a point that Israel really needs to make peace he writes this:
Let’s start with a small item in Britain’s Independent newspaper on July 24, which began: “He once sang, ‘You Gotta Get Outta This Place,’ but now Eric Burdon is not even turning up at all having deciding to withdraw from a planned concert in Israel. ... The Animals frontman, whose hits include ‘House of the Rising Sun,’ and ‘San Franciscan Nights,’ had been due to perform alongside local Israeli bands in Binyamina. ... However, in a statement, Mr. Burdon’s management, said: ‘We’ve been receiving mounting pressure, including numerous threatening e-mails, daily. ...’ Burdon was just the latest of a rising number of artists and intellectuals who have started boycotting Israel over the occupation issue.”
Uhhh, I hate to break it to you but Eric Burdon never cancelled the show and did play in Israel.  Here is what he said, "it was not my decision to cancel the show, it was my manager's, who as a result of lots of threatening emails she received, was genuinely afraid for my life," he said.  "I'm not afraid to perform here and very happy to be back in Israel."  And here is a picture from the show:

Thomas Friedman really had two things wrong.  First, and importantly, the show went on (almost an entire week before he published his column!).  Secondly, even the original story had nothing to do with Eric Burdon or his manager's feelings about the disputed territories.  It was about people threatening his life if he performed there.  There's a pretty big difference. 

Seriously these overpaid New York Times columnists (Paul Krugman got basic math wrong the other day) need better fact-checkers.

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