zaterdag 29 september 2018

Ian Buruma's Downfall 3

Om Ian Buruma’s simplisme goed te kunnen begrijpen dient men ondermeer het boek Selfie: How the West Became Self-Obsessed (2018) lezen. Daarin citeert de Britse journalist Will Storr de Amerikaanse hoogleraar sociale psychologie, Richard Eugene Nisbett die erop wijst dat de ‘complexiteit van omgevingen dat Oosterlingen kunnen tolereren veel groter [is] dan Westerlingen kunnen.’ Nisbett voegde hieraan toe dat:

the street scene in East Asia is just chaotic to us. And people say, ‘Oh, well, what about Times Square?’ To which my answer is, ‘Yeah, what about Times Square?’ The Confucian versus Aristotelian difference has also been detected in a study of newspaper reports. Researchers deconstructed stories in the New York Times and the Chinese-language World Journal about two mass murderers. They found the American journalists tended to blame flaws in the killers’ characters — they suffered from a ‘very bad temper’ or were ‘mentally unstable.’ The Chinese reporters, meanwhile, emphasized problems in their external lives — one had lost his job, another found himself ‘isolated’ from the Chinese community. These findings were supported by interviews that found the Chinese more likely to blame life pressures for the killer’s actions, with many believing that had his situation been less stressful, he might not have killed at all. The Americans’ black-or-white, good-or-bad perspective, meanwhile, led to a greater conviction that the crime was inevitable. As we’ve discovered, back in our tribal hunter-gatherer days, the thing that all human selves fundamentally want is to get along and get ahead. Everyone has this in common. When we’re born, our brain looks to the environment to tell it who we ought to become in order to best fulfill this deep and primal need. What it’s looking for is the model of the ideal of self that exists in its cultural surroundings.

Alleen door de context te elimineren kan men de schuld bij De Ander leggen. De mainstream-media wijzen dan ook altijd collectief ‘Poetin’ aan als het vlees geworden Kwaad in de wereld, en niet het Russische volk, waarvan driekwart tijdens de laatste presidentsverkiezingen op ‘Poetin’ stemde. Het Kwaad moet voortdurend geïndividualiseerd worden, wil het effectief zijn. De complexe context leidt immers alleen maar af, terwijl het criminaliseren van een héél volk onmogelijk is geworden om westers geweld voor een regime-change te rechtvaardigen. Met andere woorden: het enige 'legitieme' politieke argument moet zijn de bevrijding van het Russische volk, door het verdrijven van deze — in de ogen van de Amerikaanse elite en haar corporate media — ‘tiran.’ Bovendien is de Europese bevolking sinds de Tweede Wereldoorlog huiverig voor het stigmatiseren van een hele bevolking, daarvoor zijn de herinneringen aan het nationaal-socialisme en fascisme nog te levendig. Voor de westerse massamedia blijft niets anders over dan het massaal verspreiden van propaganda. Daarbij is de journalistieke kadaverdiscipline verbijsterend, maar onvermijdelijk. Al in de eerste helft van de negentiende eeuw waarschuwde de Franse aristocraat Alexis De Tocqueville in zijn legendarische beschouwing Over de Democratie in Amerika (2012) voor het feit dat 

[h]oe gelijker de standen worden, hoe minder sterk de mensen individueel zijn, des te gemakkelijker laten zij zich meeslepen door de massa en des te moeilijker houden zij als enigen vast aan een opvatting die door die massa is verlaten. 

Over de ‘koortsachtige’ mateloosheid van de Amerikaanse cultuur merkte hij op: 

In America I saw the freest and most enlightened men placed in the happiest circumstances that the world affords, it seemed to me as if a cloud habitually hung upon their brow, and I thought them serious and almost sad, even in their pleasures. The chief reason for this contrast is that [they are] forever brooding over advantages they do not possess.  It is strange to see with what feverish ardor the Americans pursue their own welfare, and to watch the vague dread that constantly torments them lest they should not have chosen the shortest path which may lead to it.  A native of the United States clings to this world’s goods as if he were certain never to die; and he is so hasty in grasping at all within his reach that one would suppose he was constantly afraid of not living long enough to enjoy them.  He clutches everything, he holds nothing fast, but soon loosens his grasp to pursue fresh gratifications…

Death at length overtakes him, but it is before he is weary of his bootless chase of that complete felicity which forever escapes him.  At first sight there is something surprising in this strange unrest of so many happy men, restless in the midst of abundance. The spectacle itself, however, is as old as the world; the novelty is to see a whole people furnish an exemplification of it.  Their taste for physical gratifications must be regarded as the original source of that secret disquietude which the actions of the Americans betray and of that inconstancy of which they daily afford fresh examples. He who has set his heart exclusively upon the pursuit of worldly welfare is always in a hurry, for he has but a limited time at his disposal to reach, to grasp, and to enjoy it.  The recollection of the shortness of life is a constant spur to him.  Besides the good things that he possesses, he every instant fancies a thousand others that death will prevent him from trying if he does not try them soon. This thought fills him with anxiety, fear, and regret and keeps him mind in ceaseless trepidation, which leads him perpetually to change his plans and his abode…Men will then be seen continually to change their track for fear of missing the shortest cut to happiness. 

Het gevoel eeuwig psychisch gemobiliseerd te zijn, de bedreiging van zowel binnenuit als van buitenaf, wordt gevoed door begeerde met de daaraan onlosmaakbaar verbonden angst en onzekerheid. De Ander wordt zodoende gezien als concurrent in de jacht op schaarde goederen. Zeker anno 2018, nu ook vrouwen massaal op de arbeidsmarkt zijn verschenen. Dit alles verhindert dat vele Amerikanen, zeker de middenklasse, zich geworteld voelen in een gemeenschap. Het is deze zelfde vervreemding waaronder Ian Buruma gebukt gaat. Net als iedereen is ook hij een kind van zijn tijd, maar dan in het extreme. Als exponent van de IK-generatie is hij obsessief met zichzelf bezig, met zijn positie in de pikorde, met  imago. In zijn boek Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What’s It’s Doing to Us ( 2018) beschrijft de Britse journalist, Will Storr, hoe het mens- en wereldbeeld van westerlingen en oosterlingen wezenlijk verschillen. Hij wijst erop dat:  

In Chinese, there isn’t a word for individualism (the nearest they have translates to ‘selfishness’). The term for ‘human being’ in Japanese and Korean translates as ‘human between’. Most studies show that East Asians have lower self-esteem than Westerners.

Tijdens zijn onderzoek interviewt Storr professor Uichol Kim, a social psychologist at South Korea’s Inha University, omdat

I was hoping to discover not just that East Asian stories are different, but that these differences reflected how their selves are different. If so, this would surely constitute yet more powerful evidence that self and culture really are symbiotic. ‘In the East,’ he told me, ‘stories are different.’ It isn’t so much riches, nor the love of the maiden, nor the bravos of the many that tend to form the structure of their tales. It’s harmony. This is the form many traditional Asian stories take: an incident such as a murder is recounted from the perspectives of several witnesses and then an event or twist takes place which, in some way, makes sense of them all. But don’t expect this sense to be obvious. ‘You’re never given the answer,’ he said. ‘There’s no closure. There’s no happily ever after. You’re left with a question that you have to decide for yourself. That’s the story’s pleasure.’ ‘And there’s no implication by the storyteller as to which character’s perspective was right?’ I asked. ‘They’re all right. And they’re all wrong. Of course!’ Likewise, in an Eastern form of story known as Kishōtenketsu, something happens, then something apparently unconnected takes place which makes us view the first thing in a new way. We’re encouraged to search for the harmony between the incidents. ‘One of the confusing things about stories in the East is there’s no ending,’ said Professor Kim. ‘In life there are not simple, clear answers. You have to find these answers.’ The Asian author often doesn’t impart a simple lesson of wisdom in the telling of a tale. How could they when it’s not possible for one hero, one author, to ever know the truth? ‘How does anyone know the absolute truth? They can only tell what they know. You in the West see human beings as objects. But that is actually wrong. Human beings are subjects. A person is very egotistical. What I feel, what I see, is from my perspective. But someone viewing me can have a different perspective and a third person can have a third perspective. The truth is when all three perspectives are respected and combined. Then I arrive at harmony. But in the West it’s right and wrong. It’s simple.’ This process of learning how to harmonize differing perspectives is what Asian thinkers mean when they talk of ‘cultivation of the self’. ‘It is the path of wisdom.’ Perhaps the most extraordinary and revealing difference in our storytelling comes in that inherently me-focused genre, the autobiography. What could be more obvious than recounting the tale of a hero from real life? And how else could you tell it than by reliving that hero’s life, as if from their eyes, with them at the centre of the action, describing their decisions and views on the action around them? And yet, according to Professor Qi Wang, for nearly two millennia, there was ‘hardly any real autobiography’ in Chinese literature. And most of that which came to exist would be hardly recognizable to us. In China, accounts of an exalted person’s life tend not to include their opinions or subjective facts about them. They are, instead, characterized by ‘a total suppression of a personal voice’. Rather than being in the spotlight of the story, its subject is traditionally presented as a bystander, ‘in the shadows.’ None of this is to suggest, of course, that there aren’t any Eastern stories that centre on a ‘hero’ as we’d recognize them in the West. But according to Professor Kim, the hero’s status is often earned a different way. ‘In the West you fight against evil and the truth prevails and love conquers all,’ he said. ‘In Asia it’s a person who sacrifices who becomes the hero, and takes care of the family and the community and the country.’ What unites the stories of our two cultures is that they’re accounts of change. In the West we seek to bravely conquer the forces of change whilst in the East they seek a way of bringing them into harmony. But all stories serve the basic function of giving us insights into who we need to be in order to cope with the terrifying, ever-shifting world. In the memorable words of Professor Roy Baumeister, ‘Life is change that yearns for stability.’ No matter where we’re from, stories teach us how to gain that stability. They are lessons in control.

Opmerkelijk is dat Ian Buruma zes jaar lang in Japan verbleef, maar toch zo weinig hiervan heeft geleerd. Zijn werk wordt getypeerd door een kritiekloze verering van het individualisme en het onbegrensde Verlichtingsgeloof dat hieruit is voortgevloeid. Dit geloof verklaart zijn onverschilligheid tegenover slachtoffers van de Amerikaanse terreur, want met grote stelligheid verzekert hij de Engels lezende wereldbevolking dat

even if the end of Pax Americana does not result in military invasions or world wars, we should ready ourselves for a time when we might recall the American empire with fond nostalgia.

Vanuit zijn individualistische overtuiging zijn deze ‘we’ niet de wereldgemeenschap, die mede door de Amerikaanse terreur in disharmonie leeft, maar ‘de west Europeanen’ en ‘Japan.’  Deze mening verraadt niet alleen een grote mate van onwetendheid, maar tevens een blindheid voor de werkelijkheid. Hij weigert te beseffen hoe diep de continuïteit van het Westers c.q. Amerikaans geweld verankerd is in het bewustzijn van de witte man. Over de mateloosheid, voortkomend uit vervreemding, en het onvermogen diep te wortelen in Amerikaanse bodem en dus te demobiliseren, schreef de prominente Amerikaanse cultuurcriticus Wendell Berry in zijn essaybundel The Unsettling of America (1977) over hoe: 

the continent was finally laid open in an orgy of gold seeking in the middle of the last century. Once the unknown of geography was mapped, the industrial marketplace became the new frontier, and we continued, with largely the same motives and with increasing haste and anxiety, to displace ourselves — no longer with unity of direction, like a migrant flock, but like the refugees from a broken anthill. In our time we have invaded foreign lands and the moon with the high-toned patriotism of the conquistadors, and with the same mixture of fantasy and avarice (hebzucht. svh).

In aansluiting hierop stelde Berry: 

The Indians did, of course, experience movements of population, but in general their relation to place was based upon old usage and association, upon inherited memory, tradition, veneration (verering. svh). The land was their homeland. The first and greatest American revolution, which has never been superseded, was the coming of people who did not look upon the land as a homeland. But there were always those among the newcomers who saw that they had come to a good place and who saw its domestic possibilities. Very early, for instance, there were men who wished to establish agricultural settlements rather than quest (een zoektocht. svh) for gold or exploit the Indian trade. Later, we know that every advance of the frontier left behind families and communities who intended to remain and prosper where they were. But we know also that these intentions have been almost systematically overthrown. 

Generation after generation, those who intended to remain and prosper where they were have been dispossessed and driven out, or subverted and exploited where they were, by those who were carrying out some version of the search for El Dorado. Time after time, in place after place, these conquerors have fragmented and demolished traditional communities, the beginnings of domestic cultures. They have always said that what they destroyed was outdated, provincial, and contemptible. And with alarming frequency they have been believed and trusted by their victims, especially when their victims were other white people. 

If there is any law that has been consistently operative in American history, it is that the members of any established people or group or community sooner or later become 'redskins' — that is, they become the designated victims of an utterly ruthless, officially sanctioned and subsidized exploitation. The colonists who drove off the Indians came to be intolerably exploited by their imperial governments. And that alien imperialism was thrown off only to be succeed by a domestic version of the same thing; the class of independent small farmers who fought the war of independence has been exploited by, and recruited into, the industrial society until by now it is almost extinct.

Het grote en wezenlijke probleem in de geschiedenis van de Amerikanen is het ontbreken van het gevoel bij een gemeenschap te horen. ‘Roots, to belong’ zijn hierbij sleutelbegrippen. De Amerikanen zijn altijd ‘on the road’:

Belongingness is the human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, or a sports team, humans tend to have an 'inherent' desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves. This implies a relationship that is greater than simple acquaintance or familiarity. The need to belong is the need to give, and receive attention to, and from, others.

Belonging is a strong and inevitable feeling that exists in human nature. To belong or not to belong can occur due to choices of one's self, or the choices of others. Not everyone has the same life and interests, hence not everyone belongs to the same thing or person. Without belonging, one cannot identify themselves as clearly, thus having difficulties communicating with and relating to their surroundings.

Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary argue that belongingness is such a fundamental human motivation that we feel severe consequences of not belonging. If it wasn’t so fundamental, then lack of belonging wouldn’t have such dire consequences on us. This desire is so universal that the need to belong is found across all cultures and different types of people.

Ieder mens met een beetje sociale intelligentie realiseert zich dat het het gevoel nergens bij te horen ‘verschrikkelijke consequenties’ veroorzaken, aangezien het ‘zo’n fundamentele menselijke drijfveer’ is onderdeel te zijn van een groter geheel. Dit is de voornaamste reden van Ian Buruma’s pogingen ergens bij te horen, of dit nu een groep Japanse theaterspelers was dan wel de corrupte joods-Amerikaanse elite. Het zal duidelijk zijn hoe traumatisch hij zijn verstoting uit de groep ervaart. Zeker wanneer daarmee ook zijn mens- en wereldbeeld ernstig wordt beschadigd. In The Unsettling of America beschrijft Berry de continuïteit van de Amerikaanse roofbouw en daarmee de vervreemding en vernietiging van het gemeenschapsgevoel aan de hand van het lot van onder andere de Amerikaanse boeren, de binnenlandse slachtoffers van het expansionistische beleid van Washington en Wall Street:

As so often before, these are designated victims — people without official sanction, often without official friends, who are struggling to preserve their places, their values, and their lives as they know them and prefer to live them against the agencies of their own government, which are using their own tax money against them.

The only escape from this destiny of victimization has been to 'succeed' — that is, to 'make it' into the class of exploiters, and then to remain so specialized and so 'mobile' as to be unconscious of the effects of one's life or livelihood. This escape is, of course, illusory, for one man's producer is another's consumer, and even the richest and most mobile will soon find it hard to escape the noxious effluents and fumes of their various public services.

Nu het individualisme is geëindigd in het totale egoïsme, waardoor het individu letterlijk zowel als figuurlijk alleen nog zichzelf kan zien, terwijl tegelijkertijd het onderhuids verlangen naar gemeenschapszin almaar groeit, zien we in feite het failliet van de westerse cultuur, zoals die zich sinds de Renaissance heeft ontwikkeld. Het individualisme heeft ondermeer geleid tot de huidige stand van zaken, waarbij enerzijds slechts 64 schatrijke individuen evenveel bezitten als de helft van de hele mensheid tezamen, en anderzijds de wereldbevolking bedreigd wordt door alles vernietigende oorlogen en de desastreuze gevolgen van de klimaatverandering, de snelle uitputting van grondstoffen. Storr komt tot de volgende samenvatting:

Perhaps the greatest difference between the Aristotelian and the Confucian is in their tendency to be acutely conscious of being a part of a greater whole. The Asian self melts, at the edges, into the selves that surround it, whereas the Western self tends to feel more independent and in control of its own behavior and destiny. Studies suggest, not only that Asians don’t feel as in control of their lives as Westerners, but that they don’t feel the need to be. Change is the function of the group, rather than the individual, their priority harmony rather than freedom. These deep substrata of thought can lead to startling differences above the surface.

Meer hierover en over mijn oude vriend Ian Buruma later.

Ian Buruma Capsized a New York Literary Institution

How one article capsized a New York literary institution

A controversial piece by Jian Ghomeshi in the New York Review of Books cost editor Ian Buruma his job and sparked a debate about free speech
Ian Buruma
 Ian Buruma, a Dutch writer and former editor of the New York Review of Books. Photograph: Christopher Lane for the Observer
For decades, the New York Review of Books has enjoyed a reputation as the most important intellectual publication in the US, a home for complex and challenging ideas.
This week, the stately magazine has been capsized after choosing to publish a highly contentious piece by the former broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, who has been accused of sexual assault by more than 20 women.
Ghomeshi’s article will not be printed until 11 October but it has already cost editor Ian Buruma his job, prompted a detailed apology from the NYRB’s publisher, divided the staff at its West Village office and generated a storm of criticism which has drawn in some of the biggest names in the literary world.
One of the women who accused Ghomeshi of attacking her told the Guardian she was distressed by the article in which, she said, her alleged attacker tried to elicit sympathy and gave a false account of the legal process.
“This is so self-absorbed that I don’t know how this could be published and not cause an outrage,” Linda Redgrave said.
Ghomeshi was fired from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2014 after multiple complaints of harassment, which included allegations of hitting, biting and choking during sex. He was acquitted in one criminal trialand a second criminal case did not proceed after he signed a “peace bond” and gave one woman a public apology.
In his article for the NYRB, Ghomeshi attempts to “inject nuance” into his story and says “there has indeed been enough humiliation for a lifetime” before ending his account with a “reformed character” anecdote about meeting a woman on a train. He apparently claims ethical credit by describing how he did not try to seduce her.
Redgrave, who waived her right to anonymity after the first criminal trial, said of Ghomeshi’s article: “I had not seen this coming. I suspected that he wasn’t going to go away disgracefully, but it caught me off stride and I was really upset by it. There really wasn’t any apologising, it was trying to just evoke sympathy for something he doesn’t deserve.”
New York Review of Books
 The offending issue. Photograph: New York review of books
After reading the piece online, she contacted Buruma and demanded to write a rebuttal. He agreed and she filed her account the day before he left the NYRB. She has since been assured that her rebuttal will be published in the 25 October edition as part of a pledge by the magazine to devote “substantial space” to responses to the Ghomeshi article.
Asked if she thought Buruma should have lost his job, Redgrave said: “Yes I do. There is an ethical line you don’t cross. I think he crossed the line. This was something he did knowing that it was going to have this result. He knew that this was wrong, he did it anyway, he deserved to be fired.”

‘Free exploration of ideas’

The article, published online earlier this month, has attracted little conspicuous public support. But the “enforced resignation” of Buruma has divided observers. The affair has also illuminated some of the most difficult questions of the moment:
This week, a letter with 109 signatories, including authors Colm Tóibín, Joyce Carol Oates and Ian McEwan, was sent to the NYRB. It said: “We find it very troubling that the public reaction to a single article, ‘Reflections from a Hashtag’ – repellent though some of us may have found this article – should have been the occasion for Ian Buruma’s forced resignation.
“Given the principles of open intellectual debate on which the NYRB was founded, his dismissal in these circumstances strikes us as an abandonment of the central mission of the Review, which is the free exploration of ideas.”
The letter was coordinated by writer and academic John Ryle and drafted and edited by a core group of 15 contributors. A source with knowledge of how the letter was brought together said it was first distributed via email last Sunday and more than 100 prestigious contributors to the NYRB were given 24 hours to sign or decline.
A second source with knowledge of the letter, who also declined to be named, said: “There was an intense process of revision. I do not know how many of the signatories think that publishing the piece was an error of judgment. The phrasing of the letter embraces those who do think this and those who do not.
“It affirms that, either way, the signatories do not think that there was a justification for summary dismissal … this is a difficult situation, with strong feelings on all sides. But it is clear to me that an injustice has been done to Ian Buruma.”
Buruma, 66 and described to the Guardian by one supporter as “a terrific public intellectual”, claimed in an interview with the Dutch magazine VN he had been “convicted on Twitter, without any due process”. He said be felt compelled to resign, after just over a year in post.

 Jian Ghomeshi’s article Reflections from a Hashtag brought swift consequences for the New York Review of Books. Photograph: Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images
The letter from authors and writers in support of him was made public the day after a detailed statement was released by the NYRB’s publisher, Rea Hederman, rejecting the allegation that public outcry alone was responsible for Buruma’s departure.
“We acknowledge our failures in the presentation and editing of his story,” Hederman said, citing editorial lapses including a failure to bring female members of staff into the editing process. “We surely had a duty to acknowledge the point of view of the women who complained of Mr Ghomeshi’s behaviour.”
The publisher’s statement said many of the editorial staff objected to Buruma’s claim in two interviews that staff came together after initial objections to the piece.
“Finally, it is inaccurate that Ian Buruma’s departure was the result of a ‘Twitter mob’,” the statement said. “In fact before his departure, the mob mostly had moved on.”

‘I believe the women’

The Guardian contacted a number of the signatories to the supportive letter. Joyce Carol Oates said by email she totally agreed with critics of Ghomeshi’s essay, but said: “I thought that terminating Mr Buruma’s contract so abruptly was not a good, or necessary decision. Mr Buruma (whom I don’t know) is a distinguished critic, writer, editor who is certainly to be defined by far more than a single misstep. We would all wish to be given a second chance.”
Fintan O’Toole, literary editor of the Irish Times, who signed the letter, said the published piece was very poor and Buruma should not have said that the truth of the allegations was not his concern.
“So the issue for me isn’t whether he was right or wrong – to me he was clearly wrong. It’s whether one bad incident justifies the sacking of an editor who is very widely agreed to have been doing a very fine job. If editors are sacked the first time they make a mistake, we’ll end up with nobody in charge of vitally important publications except ultra-cautious hacks.”
The rights and wrongs of the piece and Buruma’s fate split other commentators.
Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things To Me, said: “There are two things that are really outrageous. The first is to give a platform to somebody who appears to have so violated the rights of others and the rights, the dignity, the safety of the bodies of other human beings.
“And the second is to violate all normal editorial standards not only to publish a piece that’s profoundly dishonest and misleading about what happened but to also, according to reports, deny the longtime women editors the rights to have a look at it.”
She added: “I believe the women who made allegations against Ghomeshi and to lose their voices out of the story and let him tell the stories in ways that contradict what they told us: it treats what he has to say as important and true and treats what they have to say as unimportant and irrelevant.”
Gerald Howard, an executive editor at publisher Doubleday, said the NYRB was “immensely important to American intellectual life, which always feels on the edge of disappearing”, but publishing the article was an editorial misfire.
“It was not adequate to the case. I can see exactly why people are upset about it, I don’t think he [Ghomeshi] remotely came to terms with what he did and why he found himself in the situation that he did. It’s substandard without any question.”
But Howard said of the enforced resignation of Buruma: “I really disapprove. I feel that he was taken down by a mob and did not deserve it.
“The thing that especially upsets me is that apparently there was all this pressure from university presses who said they were going to withdraw their ads from the Review because of publishing this piece, which just makes steam come out of my ears.”
Jay Rosen, who teaches journalism at NYU and writes the blog PressThink, said: “A piece that was that provocative and was going to be looked at very closely, because it’s unusual for the New York Review to do something like that, it just needed to be more solid than it was.”
He said it would be a tragedy if the NYRB was to begin shying away from publishing controversial subjects, “but it is not clear that’s what happened. It’s a valid concern about ideas being shouted down on social media and publishers not wanting the cost of that. I’m not saying it’s relevant to this piece but it is something to worry about – it’s good that writers are worried about that.”
Speaking on background because they were not authorised to comment publicly, a member of NYRB staff said most co-workers were relieved the editor had gone, having been concerned about some of his decisions.
In an editorial meeting, objections were raised about the Ghomeshi piece: about its tone and style, about its lack of insight and about the way it misrepresented the allegations against him. After publication, the source said, some staff expressed longstanding concerns to the publisher.
It was distressing Buruma’s departure had become a free-speech issue, the source added, saying it was really about managerial and editorial shortcomings.

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