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Posts Tagged ‘Joshua Hersh’

Fishbowl Five: HuffPo’s Josh Hersh in Syria

Joshua Hersh, The Huffington Post’s Middle East correspondent based in Beirut, has been in Damascus since Saturday. As one of the few American journos on the ground there, he has a front row seat to a tragic piece of history in the making. FishbowlDC was lucky enough to have Josh answer a few questions for us about what it’s like to report from a war zone and what’s he’s learned about the devastating conflict developing in Syria.

Without further ado, The Fishbowl Five with Josh Hersh:

You previously covered foreign affairs out of HuffPo’s DC bureau, now you’re based in Lebanon. What parts of an international story, especially a war story, do reporters miss by not being on the front lines?

The hardest part to recognize is how inconsequential we often are. That’s not totally true of course — decisions made in Washington and New York play a major role in the course of events all over the world. But even though the people of the Middle East may talk about us a lot over coffee and a cigarette, they don’t really care about us all that much — and they certainly don’t care about the same things we do. There’s a tendency in political discourse in the west — especially on TV, or the halls of Congress — to think what we do and say matters more than it really does. Learning to disentangle our political debates about foreign policy (should Obama intervene in Syria, should there be a total troop draw-down in Afghanistan, etc) from the substantive questions of what’s really going on out in those countries is both instructive and liberating.

It’s also useful to recognize how little people in the world fully comprehend about our politics. Things we see as key distinctions — even something as broad as the fact that the president makes foreign policy, and congress mainly just pontificates about it; or that one party is in control of the White House and the other is not — are often lost on other countries. (And it’s not about intelligence: Next time you read a quote from a political leader in Iran about bombing Israel, for instance, think about whether you really know whether he’s in the part of Iran’s government that actually controls nuclear policy, or just the part that complains about it.)

Much more with Josh Hersh after the jump.

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All A-Twitter: Benghazi is The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Journos from across the political spectrum are taking to Twitter (again) to air their grievances with /sing the praises of David Kirkpatrick‘s NYT piece on what really happened in Benghazi on Sept 11, 2012.

 

 

 

More after the jump…

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In Case You Missed It: Central Bankers Aren’t Really That Funny

In Case You Missed It HeaderGood reads from across the web that you might have missed:

Bank of England governor makes a Twitter joke. (SPOILER: It’s not very funny.) by Joe Deaux at TheStreet.com.

Tragically, the opening of the David M. Rubenstein Gallery at the National Archives has been delayed -by one day. by J. Freedom du Lac at WaPo.

Mayor Gray gets schooled at an education forum. by Sarah Anne Hughes at DCist.

It’s an (Orthodox) Christmas miracle! Pussy Riot will be freed. at VoiceProject.org.

WMATA is considering some pretty amazing safety jingles. at UnSuckDCMetro.

A reporter for El Mundo, and a freelance photographer who has worked for WaPo have been kidnapped in Syria. by Joshua Hersh at HuffPo.

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t like the NSA gathering personal information -that’s his job! by Hilary Lewis at THR.

 

Morning Chatter

A WORD ON BORING STORIES… “One tiny problem I’ve noticed with telling journalists ‘don’t be boring’ is that none of them think you’re talking about their stories.” — WaPo‘s Hank Stuever.

Seasonal observer

“Autumn is simply just the best. No other season engages the senses like fall. I feel a love letter coming on.” — Deputy News Editor for Marine Corps Times Hope Hodge Seck.

Some random fish news…

“The Hawaiian state fish is the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a — can you imagine what that sounds like with my accent? #AlohaHuffPost” — HuffPost-AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington. (Hawaiian fish pictured here.)

The height of multitasking: Eating at the urinal?

“Dear random press guy in the bathroom: I know we’re all busy and stuff at TIFF, but let’s draw the line at eating at the urinal. #TIFF13″ — Will Perkins, Yahoo! Movies blogger.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 8:17 a.m.

And the depths of online filth…

“Free porn-movie title ideas: Free Syrian Amy, Regime Chains, Boobs on the Ground” — Fusion Editor Adam Weinstein, who formerly worked in Washington for Mother Jones.

Travel Bitches

“My flight from Beirut to Cairo is being delayed so someone can collect a pack of cigarettes they left at the gate.” — Joshua Hersh, HuffPost Middle East Correspondent.