Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times on the Shoe-Lobber: Can You Believe That Some Arabs Celebrated an Act of Violence Against An American?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:52 am

The L.A. Times reports: Iraq shoe thrower elicits mixed reaction among Arabs. They’re so excited about this, they put the article on their front page:

In the few seconds it took Iraqi journalist Muntather Zaidi to wing a pair of shoes at President Bush, the Middle East got its own version of Joe the Plumber.

Just as Joe Wurzelbacher’s gripes to Barack Obama during the U.S. presidential election catapulted him to fame, Zaidi’s burst of rage toward Bush during a Baghdad news conference Sunday has made him a household name across the Middle East.

To many, Zaidi is a hero for engaging in the ultimate Arab world insult to Bush — hurling his shoes at the American leader, who ducked to avoid being slammed in the head. To others, Zaidi is an embarrassment for a society that prides itself on being hospitable to guests, even those who are not much liked. However his act is viewed, there’s no question that Zaidi, like Wurzelbacher, is no longer just another Joe.

I’ll ignore the ridiculous analogy to Joe the Plumber; you guys can tackle that one in the comments. I have another beef: the idea that it merits front-page coverage to report the news that “many” Arabs see Zaidi as a hero.

Marvel at a paper that marvels at the phenomenon that “many” Arabs admire a man who threw a shoe at the President of the United States. It’s as if it’s prima facie evidence of presidential wrongdoing that “many” Arabs support an act of violence against Bush.

That is, until you remember that “many” Arabs celebrated the mass murder of thousands of innocent people on September 11, 2001. As Daniel Pipes wrote on September 14, 2001 in the Jerusalem Post:

“We’re ecstatic,” said a Lebanese. “Bull’s-eye,” commented Egyptian taxi drivers as they watched a rerun of the World Trade Center collapse. “It’s payback time,” said a Cairene. Other Egyptians expressed a wish for George W. Bush to have been buried in the buildings or exulted that this was their happiest moment since the war of 1973.

And so it went around the region. In Lebanon and the West Bank, Palestinians shot guns into the air, a common way of showing delight. In Jordan, Palestinians handed out sweets in another expression of joy.

Seen in that context, it seems somewhat less astounding that “many” Arabs would applaud an attack on our President. Maybe L.A. Times editors need to get it through their heads that “many” Arabs would still have viewed Zaidi as a “hero” even if, instead of throwing shoes, he had been firing bullets or setting off bombs.

And “many” would have felt the same way as long as target was American — whether it was Bush, Obama, L.A. Times editors, or just a few thousand dads and moms at work.

But as long as it’s Bush who’s the target, then it’s good for a cutesy front-page story — one that they’d never do if the target had been Obama.

61 Responses to “L.A. Times on the Shoe-Lobber: Can You Believe That Some Arabs Celebrated an Act of Violence Against An American?”

  1. More truthfully it is BDS incapacitated American Liberal Democrats who are dancing in the streets and in (so-called) Newsrooms, not arabs.

    PCD (7fe637)

  2. Sorry. I see your point, but I don’t think I’d slam them for this one. The fact is, it’s an entertaining story. Non-threatening (since they were only shoes), an easy chuckle. (“Ha, ha! Those crazy Iraqis! You just gotta love ’em.”) They put this story on the front page because it’s a safe sort of human interest thing.

    Of course, it’s always fun to make President Bush look foolish too. That makes it a twofer.

    I’d rather keep after them about Pellicano. THAT is more like malfeasance.

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

  3. I wonder how the LASlimes would take it if Bush winged a Floorsheim into the mouth of their reporter at his next Newsconference?

    PCD (7fe637)

  4. Of course, it’s always fun to make President Bush look foolish too. That makes it a twofer.

    Well, that’s the point. If it were Obama they’d never do this.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  5. They put this story on the front page because it’s a safe sort of human interest thing.

    Huh. Here I thought the front page was for news.

    Of course, it’s always fun to make President Bush look foolish too.

    Weird — I don’t think he looks “foolish” at all. He handled the incident with class and humor, which is more than his political opponents have shown.

    Let’s hope we never find out how the left would react if a couple of loafers were thrown at Obama.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  6. I added a final line to the post to make that part more clear.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  7. “one that they’d never do if the target had been Obama.” Key point no doubt. This LA Slimes story is just one episode of many, many thousands of Bush Derrangement Syndrome (“BDS”) episodes we have been witnessing in the Dinosaur Media over the last eight years. What are they going to do once Bush is out and Obama is in? They will probably work very hard on finding ways to continue to blame Bush for Obama’s mistakes.

    The Dinosaur Media is going bankrupt! Thank God, it’s about time they suffered some consequences for their atrocious actions and completely left-wing advocacy in lieu of actually honest reporting. New York Slimes – DEAD! L.A. Slimes – DEAD! Chicago Tribune – DEAD! CNN – DEAD! MSNBC – DEAD! ABC – DEAD! CBS – DEAD! (With clenched knife stabbing table with every “DEAD” a la Rahmbo).

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  8. It’s as if it’s prima facie evidence of presidential wrongdoing that “many” Arabs support an act of violence against Bush.

    Groupists love any indication that “everyone” is a member of their Group – and that in turn also makes their untethered Dogma “right”. With the Progressive Cult, the more infantile the act, the more “powerful” it is – according to the dictates of its Fairy Tale. I’ll bet “The Europeans” loved it, too.

    J."Trashman" Peden (9bc806)

  9. Speaking of fairy tales, I loved the Dog Trainer’s headline today on the Obama “report” re Blagojevich.

    Obama Clears Self and Staff

    I wonder how that works down at the Criminal Courts building when an accused comes in and says “I’ve cleared myself”. I bet Patterico just then has nothing to do but dismiss the case and let the guy walk.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  10. Comment by PCD — 12/16/2008 @ 7:15 am

    If GWB were to do that, would he be giving the LAT reporter a “wing tip”?

    Another Drew (64fe9d)

  11. Joe the Plumber did not attack Obama or his campaign. Obama and his campaign attacked Joe… and their sycophants ‘got in his face’ by breaking the law and using government resources to investigate an innocent man who was playing with his kid.

    The analogy would only make sense if the shoe thrower had asked Bush a question and Bush got so mad about it he shipped the ‘reporter’ off to GITMO. Then we’d have another Joe the Plumber.

    As it is, I have no idea why this man wasn’t shot, and I hope Obama gets better protection than Bush did.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  12. “Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead.” Neidermeyer…..”


    reff (b996d9)

  13. Another indication that the Dog Trainer is speaking to the only group still buying it- liberal BDS sufferers.

    trentk269 (3d3bfe)

  14. I think it might be safe to say that those around the Iraqi PM were not happy with the way his guest was greeted.

    Another Drew (64fe9d)

  15. Obama Clears Self and Staff

    Talk about mental masturbation.

    Horatio (55069c)

  16. Of course none of the the libtard media can make the distinction that if he had done that prior to ’03 his future would have been heading feet first into an industrial shredder.

    Bandit (36701c)

  17. So there are “twofer’s” working at the LA Times. Who knew?

    (and when did they know it?).

    fat tony (70c2ba)

  18. The coward shoe-thrower is connected to Saddam’s Baathist party.

    Yeah, real Joe the Plumber material there.

    Darleen (187edc)

  19. it’s on the front page because it conforms to their world view, just as things that don’t are either relegated to the depths of the paper, or simply not reported at all.

    there are many reasons the times is sinking, and this is just one of them. i listened with great humor at a local gathering this morning when one of my moonbat neighbors was extolling their virtues and bemoaning the fact that Tribune was dragging them down….

    redc1c4 (27fd3e)

  20. If you read the lefty blogs, they are ecstatic about the shoe lobber. The LA Times is a lefty blog-equivalent so there is no surprise here.

    Mike K (ee3203)

  21. Word has it that the shoe-thrower is a stringer for MSNBC’s Olbermann show. Figures.

    John425 (eae6ea)

  22. I had a discussion on this with a co-worker. He said this was proof of how (in his words) “most Arabs” felt about Bush.

    I pointed out that many Arabs had celebrated 9-11 also.

    JayC (3cfe5f)

  23. Good points, Patterico! Your point about many in Arab nations celebrating 9/11 is especially pertinent.

    I caught the crazy analogy b.w the shoe thrower and Joe the Plumber. I thought, “who are they kidding?”

    Rich Bordner (c62a52)

  24. Oh, cut the poor Times staffers some slack. They need a chuckle to keep their spirits up on the way to the unemployment office.

    Person of Choler (8bdd55)

  25. Joe the Plumber did not attack Obama or his campaign.

    That’s the thing, they actually think he did. Ask Obama a question and you’re Public Enemy #1. Throw your shoes at the President of the United States and you’re a folk hero. This is who these people are.

    Jim Treacher (671d28)

  26. It’s amazing because all he (Joe the Plumber) did was ask a very open ended question.

    Obama could have answered it any number of ways, but he fell on his face with a game changing idiotic communism answer. And had the Obama campaign not turned the story around into how eeeevil Joe is, more voters would have been aware that Obama is a dumbass.

    They did a great job, too. The vast majority of stories about the encounter didn’t even bother reporting Obama’s answer to Joe… that was the only relevant part of the story! Even the story linked by this post should note Obama’s answer to Joe. And mention of Joe should… it’s the only relevant aspect of the story!

    But no. They need to demonize. Paula Jones, Linda Tripp, Joe the Plumber, Monica ‘deranged stalker’ Lewinsky, Sarah Palin’s daughter… these people are attacked partly to intimidate anyone who would challenge left wing fascism. And those who would assault, slander, or even merely criticize a Republican are lionized.

    You can’t see it more clearly than in this story, where Joe the Plumber is equivocated with a man who assaulted the president when that president was taking questions from a free press.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  27. Think how funny it would have been if he had thrown shoes at the previous Iraqi ruler, Saddam, instead.

    Tdoc (6c0a8c)

  28. I have a feeling that throwing a shoe at Obama will not be considered the highest form of dissent.

    (It would be fun to see the inaugural parade route littered with thousands of shoes).

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  29. I’m surprised (sorry if I missed it) that no one has pointed out that this jerk probably wouldn’t even be identified as a “journalist” by the U.S. press if he’d hurled shoes at Obama. He’d be someone “identified as a journalist” or “said to work for an Iraqi news outlet.” Something like that to discredit him. A journalist calling him a journalist without any futher qualifier is basically giving him props.

    Journo (faece3)

  30. Geez. NPR was even going on about how good the thrower’s aim was, before going on to make the case for why this fellow would feel justified for this act.

    I give up. Bankruptcy already, please.

    TakeFive (7c6fd5)

  31. Yeah…the LAT had some fun with this…and I will have some fun when it joins the Detroit papers in an early bankruptcy.

    Think I’ll shoot off some guns.

    Increase Mather (3732b9)

  32. So, throwing shoes at Obama is fair game, right?

    Techie (07c8ee)

  33. Not surprising to see this act celebrated by two groups that will not grow up: the perma-juvenile Arabs and the immature staff of the LA Times.

    Pathetic, both of them.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (88bf29)

  34. I wish our media would begin to behave like professional journalists. They’re like punch-drunk fighters, sweating and drooling, blood in their eyes, swinging wildly long after the last round has ended. Bush is going back to Texas; Obama is moving into the White House. They won, and now they should get over it and try reporting straight news for a change.

    Tom Carter (b086c0)

  35. “Let’s hope we never find out how the left would react if a couple of loafers were thrown at Obama.”

    So we’re throwing Senators and Congressman now? When do we start? 🙂

    elephant4life (970fb4)

  36. Of course, it’s always fun to make President Bush look foolish too. That makes it a twofer.

    “Foolish?” Well…To steal from a commenter at HotAir, he looks more like a ninja dodging those shoes. Heck he barely moves for Shoe Deux as he waves off the Secret Service.

    If The One had reacted like Bush did they’d be singing paeans about his level head, sense of humor, supernatural reflexes, etc etc etc.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  37. Next: “Almost 20 million Southern Californians do not read the L.A. Times”

    That’s a lot more than “some.”

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  38. _____________________________

    But as long as it’s Bush who’s the target,

    But it goes beyond just Bush. The variety of idiots throughout the MSM (virtually all of them of the left) would be anything but lighthearted — would, in fact, be rather indignant — if anyone were to make the comment: Well, what do you expect from a large percentage of Iraqis or Middle Easterners in general? Such boorish behavior — if not far worse (eg, cheering when terrorists have bombed children and women in Israel) — is to be expected from the innumerable backwards, self-destructive, thoroughly dysfunctional people of the Third World.

    Mark (411533)

  39. hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead and millions of refugees.
    And Bush says “I don’t know what his beef is.”

    Brilliance all around

    sleepy (6b0755)

  40. Say, snoozie…
    Have you totaled up how many Saddam killed in his prisons and rape rooms lately?
    They there are the matter of the millions killed in the Iran-Iraq wars.
    And the Kurdish villages gassed.
    And the Marsh Arab genocide.
    But, what the Hell, he was good to his kids (excepting his sons-in-law), and never cheated on his wives.


    Another Drew (64fe9d)

  41. […] Patterico has a more cogently framed argument against the shoe hubbub. Makes sense. He is a lawyer. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Globe and Mail got […]

    The shoe heard ’round the world « Wellsy’s World (661794)

  42. Sarah Palin has a tanning bed in her home!!!

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  43. […] The Iraqi Shoe Thrower: Exceptional Journalism This makes me twitch… […]

    The Iraqi Shoe Thrower: Exceptional Journalism « The Pugnacious Irishman (2dc949)

  44. “They there are the matter of the millions killed in the Iran-Iraq wars.”

    The backed him in that war.
    Here: throw a shoe.
    Join the rest of the world

    sleepy (6b0755)

  45. I believe it was Kissinger that put it thusly: “It is a shame that they both can’t lose”.

    The rest of the world apparently stood with Saddam.

    Techie (07c8ee)

  46. Comment by Techie — 12/17/2008 @ 8:11 am

    And, it seems, we attempted to make sure that that event happened, by selectively supporting both sides in back-channel deals when it appeared that one side or the other was gaining an advantage.
    Realpolitik at its’ finest.

    Another Drew (bc69ec)

  47. Quoting Kissinger, the war criminal (read up on Indonesia and Chile as well as Vietnam)
    You wouldn’t give a rats ass about Iraq if Hussein hadn’t invaded Kuwait, Kuwait which isn’t exactly a democracy either. Remember the war when the Kuwaiti government sent out hit squads to assassinate leaders arguing for reform? I don’t think so. You’re only offering a knee-jerk defense of US actions. We helped to overthrow a democratic government in Iran, and we helped suppress reform in Saudi. We support dictators or murderous insurgents depending, and then claim moral rights. We didn’t become the most power nation in the world by behaving like Norway or Sweden,bearing in mind that Gustavus Adolphus died a long time ago.
    Power corrupts, even in this country. We’re only human. You don’t know you’re history, but you do know your resentment.
    Muntadhar al-Zeidi is a hero to many people. And he’s been beaten while in custody.

    Here’s more information on the Bush administration’s brilliant reconstruction efforts Any of you more interested in policy than posturing should read the whole report.

    sleepy (6b0755)

  48. this sleepy thing has been around before. Plenty of vitriol and hot air, to be sure. And another apologist for Saddam’s rape rooms, torture, and ordinary everyday murder.

    JD (7f8e8c)

  49. Muntadhar al-Zeidi is a hero to many people. And he’s been beaten while in custody.
    Comment by sleepy — 12/17/2008 @ 10:17 am

    Well, he must not be a hero to the Iraqi Government, whose custody he was in.
    Might have something to do with embarrassing the Prime Minister in front of foreign guests?

    And, nobody cares what happened in Iran in the early 50’s; but just in case they do, could you expound on the suppression of freedom in East Germany in 1953?
    Oh, but of course, that was an operation not connected to the CIA.

    Another Drew (bc69ec)

  50. Comment by JD — 12/17/2008 @ 10:26 am
    Snoozie is caught in a Cold-War time-warp, and is still battling the CIA at the behest of the Cheka/MKVD/KGB.

    Another Drew (bc69ec)

  51. “Sleepy” sure sounds like “parsnip”.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  52. Rob – Sleepy is a similar, yet different variation on the same theme. Parsnip/sniffles/alphie never types more than a couple inane sentences, while sleepy can rant …

    JD (7f8e8c)

  53. I thought it was hilarious that sleepy actually realized how silly his reference to Norway and Sweden was, given their history, but didn’t bother to pull another country to reference instead.

    SPQR (72771e)

  54. But, why are they to a “man” unable to deal with compound words?

    Another Drew (bc69ec)

  55. AD – They are still trying to figure out what a mission is, and how it can be accomplished. Compound words are waaaaaaaaaay above their pay grade.

    JD (7f8e8c)

  56. If they come here to CA we can show them mission after mission,
    each approx. one-days’ travel apart utilizing 1800 transportation methods.
    If they stayed at each one, and absorbed the meaning of those missions,
    perhaps they might develop some sense of what they should attempt to accomplish.

    Another Drew (bc69ec)

  57. “And, nobody cares what happened in Iran in the early 50’s”
    Iranians do.
    “..could you expound on the suppression of freedom in East Germany in 1953?”
    US action bears little direct relation to that but you can’t say the same for Iran. I could talk about the Stasi. Can you expound on the history of Savak?
    This chitchat is absurd. You don’t know enough to even begin to argue a point.

    sleepy (6b0755)

  58. Actually, if you gave the Iranians the choice today of the Pahlavi regime, or the Mad Mullahs, I have a strong hunch they would pick the Shaw. At least he didn’t get them involved in endless warfare with his neighbors.
    And, I happened to live through the Mossadegh times, and there was a lot more involved than just overthrowing a democratically elected government just for the Hell of it.
    It was intricately intertwined with the East-West struggle that was lovingly referred to as the Cold-War (some became colder than others).
    The professional Left will never forgive this country for its’ defeat of the Soviet Union and its’ actions in places such as Guatemala, Iran, Greece, Italy, Korea, VietNam, & Chile, actions that may offend the sensibilities of the cloistered intelligentsia, but that were vital to the defeat of a world-wide Marxist threat.
    But, the fact that we don’t pledge fealty to a “glorious leader” every day, and that we can engage in serious discussions of the pluses and minuses of Western Democracy, would never have happened without the efforts of countless thousands, nee, millions of men and women in service to the People of the United States in a multi-generational struggle against an existential threat to this country, and Western Democracy.
    Today, we are engaged in another existential battle, one whose foundation can be laid at the feet of the Mullahs in Tehran, and one which not only threatens democracy, but the very foundations of the Judeo-Christian society that allows us to thrive and prosper, with greater accommodation to the least amongst us than in any other civilization throughout known history.
    You may wish to disengage from this world, but that will be a very lonely, fruitless endeavor unless you actually enjoy living in a shack in the wilds of Montana.

    Another Drew (bc69ec)

  59. no one you know wrote:

    If The One had reacted like Bush did they’d be singing paeans about his level head, sense of humor, supernatural reflexes, etc etc etc.

    First they’d say this was an indication of how badly Bush damaged the reputation of the USA. And, although I’m reluctant to contradict our host, I’m convinced it’d be front page.

    Jim C. (9e7cc9)

  60. Back for a sec.
    wow. just wow.
    It seems clear to me that I’ve been to more countries than you have states. And I have friends in those countries who are as close to me as any I have here. And none of us, I repeat: none of us, are as loyal to our places of birth as we are to the principles of democracy and the rule of law. We’ve fought for that freedom, in our various ways. I’ve had friends who’ve risked their lives, or died for it. You accuse me of defending murderers while you reserve the right to defend, and for the US to support and arm other murderers. But whatever you may claim, I haven’t defended murderers, so we have a bit of an imbalance. I suppose your self-righteousness is based on your sense of moral and intellectual superiority, but you don’t know your history. And your ignorance makes you a blustering coward.

    These are the people who voted for Sarah Palin more than John McCain, for leader of the most powerful country on earth.
    That’s is just bizarre. Bizarre and tragic.

    sleepy (6b0755)

  61. sleepy – We cannot miss you if you do not stay gone.

    I’ve been to more countries

    Standard Leftist claim of superiority, as though having Mums and Dads pay for a vacation to Europe gives them any particular insight. Standard vapid fare.

    And your ignorance makes you a blustering coward.

    Typed without nary a moment of self-reflection, nor a hint of irony.

    That’s is just bizarre. Bizarre and tragic.

    You mean the election of Barcky?

    JD (7f8e8c)

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