Maybe Don’t Take Travel Tips From the New York Times

American flag in Benghazi

The New York Times’ photo accompanying its piece on the most pro-American spot in the Mideast.

I came across a 2011 New York Times piece (5/29/11) by Rod Nordland (written up by Peter Hart at the time–FAIR Blog, 5/31/11) about a place in the Muslim world where Americans feel truly welcome:

Americans and, for that matter, all Westerners are treated hereabouts with a warmth and gratitude rarely seen in any Muslim country–even those with 100,000 American troops–in probably half a century or more. People smile and go out of their way to say hello to them, and are almost shockingly courteous. It is that oddest of oddities, an Arab war zone where foreign joggers are regarded, not with hostility or even that sympathetic puzzlement reserved for the insane, but with a friendly wave or a toot on the horn.

Yes, Nordland found a place where Americans don’t encounter the lack of gratitude they find in countries occupied by US troops. He went on:

In other parts of the Mideast, one refrains from advertising American nationality, if only just in case. This is a part of the world where, other than outside American embassies, the Stars and Stripes are most often spotted ablaze and stomped upon.

Here, crowds of chanting youth fly it proudly.

Where is this place so strikingly free of anti-American sentiment? The dateline is much more familiar today than it was then: Benghazi, Libya.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.