Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is under the heat lamp, especially from Jewish critics, for his Alternative Christmas Message that aired on Britain's Channel 4 today, said the BBC. He said that if Jesus returned to Earth, "he would fight against the tyrannical policies of prevailing global economic and political systems." Even if this is a thinly veiled attack on the West, let's remember that Ahmadinejad doesn't accuse the West directly; he simply wished good cheer and condemns society's rejection of religion.
Channel 4 has had controversial guests for its Alternative Christmas Message in the past, said Liz Robbins in The New York Times online: Marge Simpson, Jesse Jackson, and Sharon Osborne, to name a few. But none of these others "has publicly advocated for the destruction of Israel or denied the existence of the Holocaust, as Mr. Ahmadinejad has." This is, in fact, an attack on the West, and we should react accordingly.
Let's just make sure we point our fingers at Ahmadinejad and not Channel 4, said Joanna Sugden in Britain's Times Online. Critics are attacking the channel for airing the words of a man considered by many Westerners as dangerous, prejudiced, and hateful. But the channel defends its choice, since they are attempting to offer "an alternative world view"—in the end, isn't that what journalism is about?
Who's watching anyway? said Mark Sweney in Britain's Guardian. On Christmas night, Ahmadinejad is addressing "a nation more likely to be tuned in to TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Coronation Street." This address isn't a threat or a declaration of war—so why don't we just deny him the attention he's seeking and change the channel?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
Subscribe to the Week