Gray Journalism About Yellow Vests: In Paragraph 18, The Anti-Semite Turns Out Be A Guy In A Keffiyeh
February 20, 2019, 03:42 PM
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Gray Journalism is the opposite of Yellow Journalism: it’s covering up unpalatable realities by burying the interesting facts until long after most people have stopped reading. The Gray Lady, the NYT, is the leading practitioner of Gray Journalism. For example, articles in the New York Times about anti-Semitic incidents often take just about forever to get around to mentioning who the anti-Semite perps actually are:

Anti-Semitic Taunts by Yellow Vests Prompt French Soul-Searching

By Adam Nossiter, Feb. 18, 2019

PARIS — He was one of France’s few public intellectuals to express support for the Yellow Vest movement at the beginning, but last week he said the protesters “devastate without regard for anything or anybody.”

Over the weekend, they turned their ire on him.

As Alain Finkielkraut, one of France’s leading essayists and critics from the right, walked by a Yellow Vest demonstration, protesters at its edge shouted insults widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

“Fascist!” they yelled.“Palestine!” “Go home to Israel!” “Tel Aviv, back to Tel Aviv!”

By Monday, the affair had snowballed into another episode of anguished national soul-searching over the problem of persistent anti-Semitism in France, and the evolution of the Yellow Vest movement from gas-tax protest to violent street revolt with hints of menace and hooliganism.

Okay, so I’ll just excerpt the beginning of each subsequent paragraph up until the Times gets to dropping another clue …

Some politicians and intellectuals accused others of not condemning the insults to Mr. Finkielkraut firmly …

The march, the accusations and counteraccusations, …

The extreme sensitivity of the issue …

The affair crystallizes a number of dark elements …

Mr. Finkielkraut, the son of an Auschwitz survivor …

Apart from displaying his erudition …

Some of the virulence directed at him Saturday …

The movement has been fueled by economic …

Muttering about the “Rothschild bank” …

Mr. Macron was a banker at Rothschild …

Mr. Finkielkraut was in the cross hairs …

Citizen videos, which have run continually …

Finally, in the 18th paragraph, the NYT unveils a second clue as to the identity of the anti-Semites:

One man was particularly virulent: Tugging at a sort of kaffiyeh scarf, he yelled: “France belongs to us! Damn racist! You are a hatemonger. You are going to die. You are going to hell. God will punish you. The people will punish you. Damn Zionist!”

Okay, from Wikipedia:

The keffiyeh or kufiya (Arabic: كُوفِيَّة‎ kūfiyyah, meaning “from the city of Kufa” (الْكُوفَة); plural كُوفِيَّات kūfiyyāt), also known as a ghutrah (غُترَة), shemagh (شُمَاغ šumāġ), ḥaṭṭah (حَطَّة), mashadah (مَشَدَة), chafiye, dastmal yazdi (Kurdish: دستمال یزدی‎) or cemedanî (Kurdish: جه مه داني‎), is a traditional Middle Eastern, headdress worn in the Middle East, with origins from the Fertile Crescent (Iraq and the Levant) fashioned from a square scarf, usually made of cotton.[1]

In other words, at least one of the men who insulted the rightist Jewish intellectual is a Middle Easterner or North African. Judging by them calling M. Finkielkraut a “fascist,” they are likely leftists.

As Scott McConnell explains, one problem with the Yellow Vests as a movement is that everybody’s got one (literally: car owners are required to have them in their trunk in case their car breaks down by the side of the road):

Much of the initial appeal of the Gilets Jaunes was based in their “everyman” quality—that of middle-class French who weren’t especially engaged in politics but had had enough. But the other side of this lack of experience and foundational structure was that anyone could put on the yellow vest that French drivers are required to carry and present themselves as representatives of the most important social movement France had seen in years.

This, of course, gave a huge opportunity for entryism, especially to the far Left. Soon, demonstrations began to attract casseurs, the professionals of leftist street violence.

iSteve commenter A Newsreader points out that Mencius Moldbug may have originated the Yellow Journalism vs. Gray Journalism distinction:

Interestingly, Mencius Moldbug independently came up with the term Gray Journalism back in 2007, and his definition fits nicely with Space Ghost’s:

One fact that every American learns in high school is that there used to be something called yellow journalism. If yellow journalism is with us today, it only exists in the sort of papers which no one of any quality reads, like the New York Post, or the Daily Mail, or Juggs.

Clearly the New York Times would stand out in this list, so clearly it is not yellow journalism. It would certainly dispute the characterization, and I certainly agree. But in order to compare the two, we need a parallel terminology. So I humbly propose gray journalism for the latter.

What is the difference between yellow journalism and gray journalism? Who invented gray journalism, when, and why? And is gray journalism—which its practitioners call responsible journalism, objective journalism, and so on—best defined as official journalism?

One interesting possibility is that the transition from yellow to gray journalism is identical to the transition from ochlocracy to mediocracy. Under this theory, the grayification of journalism is a sort of Gleichschaltung , a coordination or alignment. Yellow journalism, such as that practiced by Hearst, Pulitzer, etc., used its political power to serve a variety of divergent private interests which did not always coincide with the interests of the State. Gray journalism has learned its Hegelian manners, and invariably serves and upholds the State.

 [Comment at Unz.com]