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“Orientalist and Racist”: News Outlets Condemned over War Coverage 

HeadlineMar 01, 2022

Major international news outlets are facing backlash over racist comments made by correspondents comparing the invasion of Ukraine to conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and other regions outside of Europe. Correspondents from Al Jazeera English, The Telegraph, CBS News and others have suggested Ukrainians and their resistance are more worthy of sympathy because they’re “civilized” and white. This is Charlie D’Agata, senior correspondent of CBS News, speaking on air Friday.

Charlie D’Agata: “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, you know, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades. You know, this is a relatively civilized, relatively European — I have to choose those words carefully, too — city where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen.”

The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association condemned such comments as “orientalist and racist.” The group added, “This type of commentary reflects the pervasive mentality in Western journalism of normalizing tragedy in parts of the world such as the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. It dehumanizes and renders their experience with war as somehow normal and expected.”

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