Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

What's with this "alleges" shit? (Follow-up)

By John Ballard

 Mona Al Tahawy is one of my heroines. No one who has followed the Arab Spring can be unaware of her powerful journalism. This AP headline is over-the-top stupid. Is there some suspicion she may instead have been enjoying afternoon tea?

9a784a30eff94cbfa8d7e588d88f7176_mn[1]US-Egyptian Writer Alleges Sexual Abuse by Police

"Alleges"? Does someone think she made it up?
Mona Altahawy was badly abused before being released and given cab money when they put her on the street. 

The caption under this photo reads thus...

In this photo provided by activist Mona Eltahawy, Mona Eltahawy, 44, from New York City, is seen with both arms in casts after being released by Egyptian security forces in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011. A prominent Egyptian-born U.S. columnist said uniformed police sexually assaulted, beat and blindfolded her after she was detained Thursday near Tahrir Square during clashes, leaving her left arm and right hand broken and in casts. Eltahawy arrived in Egypt Wednesday evening and went straight to Tahrir Square, getting close to the front lines of clashes between protesters and the police at the nearby Interior Ministry. She was detained outside the ministry in the early morning hours of Thursday and released about 12 hours later.(AP Photo/Courtesy Mona Eltahawy)

For a fuller account of what happened go here.

There is a more flattering photo that makes me think she was wearing backward for this picture a Pillsbury Doughboy shirt which Sandmonkey says was his.  

They messed with the wrong journalist this time. 


  1. What? You expected AP to have their brains anywhere else but around the oligarchs' dick?
    Plus, conservatives don't believe women have the capacity to tell the truth, unless they're speaking the corporate line.

  2. ""Alleges"? Does someone think she made it up?"
    I'm not a lawyer, but if AP left off the hedge and merely said that someone specifically did commit a wrong, they would predjudice the person in court and the person could not be convicted of the wrong. That would not actually apply in this case, of course, but as a matter of principle, journalists are correct not to convict "ex judice" by making statements of guilt when people have not been convicted by a proper process of law. That's the legalistic argument.
    But, too, in all fairness we cannot have it both ways. We are horrified that Al Alwaki was assasinated without trial because "everyone knew he was a terrorist" and despite the fact that he had never been charged, let alone convicted in due process of law, and now we are critical of the media not being willing to say, without proper conviction by due process, that someone committed a crime.
    If someone accuses you of theft, do you want your local paper to say that you committed a theft, or do you want them to say merely that it is alledged that you committed theft until such time as you have a chance to confront your accuser in a court of law?

  3. Yeah, Bill, I understand all that. You're right, of course. In principle. But in this case questioning Mona Altahawy's veracity is akin to suggesting the Egyptian Interior Ministry or SCAF were innocent of her charges. What might they do? After all the Committee to Protect Journalists has raft of similar reports and has advised media NOT to send women reporters to Egypt.
    (One of the great satisfactions of blogging is being free of professional constraints I find onerous.)

  4. You miss the point. They are not questioning her veracity, they are obeying principles of journalistic integrity. There will always be cases of "journalists" saying the someone should be convicted because "it is obvious he did it" and not only do we not want people convicted for that reason, we do not want journalists saying that before convictions have been obtained.
    You are free to say whatever you want because you are a blogger and are not constrained by requirements such as journalistic integrity if you choose not to be so constrained, but we (or at least I) do not want our mass media to be defined in that manner.
    I must confess that I have a higher level of respect for writers of any description who maintain professionalism and integrity whether it is "onerous" or not.