Idiotic TV Show Overshadows Racism Summit

It was probably inevitable that the World Conference on Racism would devolve into nothing but politics, and evil politics at that. It’ll continue even though the U.S. and Israel have pulled out — for good reasons, at least in the latter’s case — but it won’t carry the weight it should have.

It’s being held not far from here, in Durban. I haven’t heard many people in Johannesburg mention the event, however, apart from journalists.

And it’s even being eclipsed on the front pages of some newspapers by the local version of the grotesque “Big Brother” TV program, which started in Holland and is spreading like a disease around the world. A group of 20-something South Africans lives in a wired house, where every movement and word is recorded on camera, and two get tossed out each week.

One of the participants, it turned out, has a criminal record. The hilarious response of a spokeswoman for the program was, in effect, that the company promoting the show knew about this and that it was perfectly fine. The logic was that having a convicted crook aboard meant a better reflection of society as a whole. What tripe.

But even the stupidity of the TV show is less foolish, less grotesque, than what a slew of non-governmental organizations did when they claimed that Israel was guilty of genocide. This is a slimy charge, and it undermines the credibility of some otherwise worthwhile groups. Israel has been guilty of some outrageous acts, but genocide isn’t even close to truth. I’m glad to say that Amnesty International and other prominent human-rights groups refused to sign this libel.

NOTE: Thanks to the BBC’s Martin Conaghan for correcting me on the country where Big Brother got started. It was Holland, not the U.K.


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