Can’t She Be a Little Nicer, Though?

On Sunday (12/13/09), the New York Times Book Review offered a brief take on Malalai Joya’s A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice. Times reviewer Marc Tracy seemed to like the book OK, with a few notable caveats: Joya’s arguments, we’re told, “have earned the plaudits of people like Noam Chomsky, [and] are sometimes extreme, simplistic and misguided, but they are rarely without a grain of truth.” It’s hard to tell what the “grain of truth” might be, but throwing Chomsky’s name into the mix seems to be a sign to a certain audience that the person being discussed is not to be taken seriously.

Tracy goes on to express frustration at Joya’s “tendency to choose rageful denunciation over calm observation is immensely frustrating.” This is someone who has faced off against the Taliban and various warlords in her home country. Is someone really going to chide her for choosing”rageful denunciation over calm observation”?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.