What if I told you that President Bush gave the keynote address in Prague on Tuesday June 5th, at a major symposium, the "Conference on Democracy and Security?" Suppose I told you that the conference was organized by, among others, former Soviet prisoner of conscience, and later Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan Sharanksy? What if I claimed that the attendees included such champions of freedom as former Czech dissident and President Vaclav Havel, former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Anzar, and former world chess champion, and current critic of the Russian authoritarian regime, Garri Kasporov? What if I told you that the President's address was entusiastically received by those attending the conference, including an international group of political dissidents, who filled the first five rows of the auditorium for the President's speech?
Perhaps you would say, "That could not have happened, or I would have read something about it in the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times! It would have been covered on the network nightly news!"
Wrong. It did happen. And I would not know about it were it not for the blogosphere, and for my friend, Professor Allan Levine, who forwarded to me an e-mail from Si Frumkin, which appears below. For the full text of the President's address, go here
. The speech was not ignored by The Weekly Standard, which discussed it here
. For the best coverage I have found on the conference, go to Gateway Pundit, including this post
and this one
For a fitting commentary on the priorities of the American mainstream media, here is the text of an e-mail circulated by Si Frumkin, a hero of the movement for freedom for Soviet Jewry:
FROM TIME TO TIME I SEND OUT COPIES OF LETTERS THAT THE LA TIMES WILL NOT PRINT. THIS EMAIL IS DIFFERENT. IT IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN COVERED BY THE MASS MEDIA BUT WASN'T.
YESTERDAY, JUNE 4, A CONFERENCE WAS CONVENED IN PRAGUE. IT WAS ATTENDED BY A NUMBER OF PROMINENT POLITICIANS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS FROM THE ENTIRE WORLD. IT WAS PRIMARILY ORGANIZED BY NATAN SHARANSKY AND ITS FOCUS WAS ON DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS. IT IS ATTENDED BY A NUMBER OF DISSIDENTS FROM COUNTRIES THAT WOULD HAVE THEM MURDERED IF THEY RETURNED THERE - THERE ARE REPRESENTATIVES FROM SYRIA, IRAN, EGYPT, LEBANON, CHINA, ETC.
PRESIDENT BUSH SPOKE AT THE CONFERENCE TODAY - ELOQUENTLY AND AT SOME LENGTH. HE WAS GREETED WITH ENTHUSIASM BY THE ATTENDEES.
ALL IN ALL AN IMPORTANT AND UNUSUAL EVENT THAT SHOULD BE NOTICED AND REPORTED, RIGHT?
WELL, NO. THE NEW YORK TIMES DIDN'T MENTION IT AT ALL EVEN THOUGH A STORY WAS FILED BY ITS CORRESPONDENT IN PRAGUE ON BUSH'S FUTURE VISITS TO OTHER CITIES. THE L.A. TIMES MENTIONED BUSH BEING IN PRAGUE BUT NOTHING ON THE CONFERENCE.
AND SO, ANOTHER EVENT THAT THE L.A. TIMES WILL NOT COVER. ON THE OTHER HAND THERE WERE SEVERAL STORIES, WITH PICTURES, ON PARIS HILTON IN PRISON AND SIMILAR C--P.
I WONDER WHY?
I don't. The event demonstrated the continuing leadership of President George W. Bush on the critical issues of freedom facing the world today. For the American mainstream media, that was reason enough to ignore the event.