Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Iranian president to deliver Channel 4's alternative Christmas message

Guardian

In a rather bold move Channel 4's now traditional 'alternative' Xmas message this year will be delivered by Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. For this they'll catch a lot of flack and heads may roll too. Personally I think it's a good idea: we need to understand Iran better (understanding does not imply condoning or supporting). Perhaps he'll spout a lot of complete baloney, perhaps not, perhaps both. But the 'talk to the hand strategy' the West has adopted with respect to Islamic countries it has a beef with hasn't worked, predictably in my opinion. Diplomacy is more than worth a shot. If I'm not watching it, I'll definitely be recording it. And will he be dressed up as Father Christmas, that's another pressing question...

And if it doesn't lead to anything then I'd like at least to be a fly on the wall when Melanie Phillips blows a gasket or two while watching Mr A. (she will watch the program, she can't help herself).


Channel 4 has opted to end the year on a controversial note by inviting the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to give the broadcaster's alternative Christmas message tomorrow.

But the channel has shied away from scheduling the president's address against the Queen's Christmas speech at 3pm. Unlike most years, it is not airing its alternative Christmas message at the same time as the Queen, but is instead scheduling Ahmadinejad's message at 7.15pm.

Channel 4 has said that the Muslim president, who has a hostile relationship with many western countries, will deliver a spiritual address that will feature a message of seasonal goodwill.

It will be preceded by a short introduction designed to place his speech in context, the broadcaster added.

Read on...

4 Comments:

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

If this really could promote understanding between Iran and its rivals/enemies or promote diplomacy in some way, I'd consider supporting it. The problem is it won't do those things. Ahmedinijad will just spew a load of crap.

Ahmedinijad has not shown in any way that he is a messenger of peace. If anything, he has demonstrated the exact opposite. Channel 4 is rewarding defiance of international law and the IAEA.

How would you feel about them picking the head of the West Bank settler movement to deliver the alternate Christmas message?

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Emm:

"If this really could promote understanding between Iran and its rivals/enemies or promote diplomacy in some way, I'd consider supporting it. The problem is it won't do those things. Ahmedinijad will just spew a load of crap."

A priori dismissing what Ahmedinejad has to say is similar to the 'talk-to-the-hand' strategy. If we finally sit down with the regime will we simply dismiss everything they have to say as 'lies' too? Might as well not bother then...

Diplomacy has to start somewhere, this wouldn't be such a bad starting point.

As regards the head of the settler movement, it wouldn't be such bad idea to listen to him as well: among common gardners in Europe, knowledge of what is going on in the WB is rather scant.

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

As it turns out, what he had to say had nothing to do with Iran. It was a religious sermon from one of the world's worst religious fundies.

This did nothing to promote understantding between Iran and the UK/rest of the world, but it may have presented Ahmedinijad as a good, Christ-following Muslim, to those viewers who are "common gardners", as you put it.

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Yes, by and large it was nothing more than a long Christmas card.

 

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