Sunday, March 02, 2014

Roger Cohen pretends to be a columnist, Argentina version

This has to be one of the dopiest columns I've ever read, including ones that weren't even pretending to be Serious Journalism: Roger Cohen, Cry for Me, Argentina New York Times 02/27/2014.

After this, there's no point in pretending that Roger Cohen in anything but a complete hack. Of course, it's world-class hackery to work cluelessness into every sentence, so we should give him some credit, I guess.

This piece makes it sound like most of what he thinks he knows about Argentina came from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Evita.

Here's part of his tourist report - he says he came ashore, making him one of what Argentine tourist guides call the Boat People: "the first thing I saw was a sign saying that the 'Malvinas' islands were under illegal occupation by the United Kingdom since 1833." He evidently thinks this is absurd.

The United Nations lists the Malvinas/Falklands as one of 17 "non-self-governing territories," i.e., places whose formal status as colonies remain unresolved. Ten of the 17 have Britain as the colonial power, including the Malvinas. The US government offered to mediate the Argentine-British dispute over the island in 2010, and the UN took up the question in 2012. Also, there are some serious oil rights at stake, so the dispute is likely to be around for a while. But that wasn't in any of the song lyrics in Evita, so Cohen evidently remains innocent of all that.

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