March 14, 2004


Andrew Bolt on Yvonne Ridley, and much else besides:

You may have heard her on Jon Faine's show on ABC 774. She's the British journalist who converted to Islam and worked for the extremist al Jazeera Islamic news service.

What you didn't hear on the show, however, is that Ridley reportedly told a Belfast meeting of the Islamic Students Association in January there was no innocent Israeli when it came to suicide bombings. Not even children.

"There are no innocents in this war," she raged, because children could grow up to be Israeli soldiers. And talk of "suicide bombers" was "insulting":

"Let's call suicide bombers by their proper name, which is martyrs."

Let’s call Yvonne by her proper name, which is .... oh, I’d better not. This is a family site, with high standards. Despite that, I am forced to once again use the dread noun “Pilger”, but only because Bolt himself mentions the toxic fucking communist knob-wipe:

This apologist for terrorists -- this moral pygmy -- is not only welcomed into an ABC studio and promoted by SBS, but is honoured with an exhibition by the Melbourne Museum. All paid for by you.

Read the whole column.

UPDATE. Some pre-war Ridley ridiculousness.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 14, 2004 02:16 AM

is 'pilger' still only a noun? it hasn't earned verb status yet, as 'fisk' has?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at March 14, 2004 at 02:43 AM

Oh, if only Yvonne and Pilger and the rest would ride public transport in Haifa or Spain...

I'm sorry, that was mean-spirited, wasn't it?

Posted by: ushie at March 14, 2004 at 03:03 AM

Well, they're right about one thing. We naive Yankee tourists (and thinking Westerners in general) have been awakened by recent events. So the Yvonne Ridleys and John Pilgers of the world (not to mention our own Michael Moores, et al) had better hold onto their hats. Their comfy world view is about to get a good rattling.

Posted by: Rebecca at March 14, 2004 at 03:25 AM

Oh my god:

"Highlights of the month ahead include a lecture by Yvonne Ridley, the British journalist captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan two years ago"

at the Islam Awareness Month events at the University of Miami, located in my former home town. Oh, the shame. Gee (sarcasm alert), if only I had a car! Then I could drive down there and snatch her head bald see her speak.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 14, 2004 at 03:30 AM

This is one of the most disturbing articles I've read in a long time. It almost makes me think that the West will lose this battle with fundamentalist Islam and other neolithic forms of group-think.

If the West loses, it will be from a rotting from within caused by a media that attempts to validate the views and opinions of enemies to the West.

The start of this media infatuation with the enemies of the West, in my opinion, started just prior to World War 2. The two most notable examples in my mind was the appeasement of Hitler and the proclamation of "Peace in our time". The next best example is Walter Duranty of the New York Times and his sycophantic views of Stalin.

When the media gives voice to the enemies of the West and is called to the carpet for their reporting, the media seems to collectively consider such criticism beyond the pale. They excuse their reporting with the excuses of subjective truth or they were merely being objectivity.

In my opinion, when a person dons clothing infused with explosives in an attempt to kill civilians only, there is an objective truth that needs to be voiced - the ideologies and peoples that empower these killers are enemies of the West and need to be treated as such.

Posted by: Dwayne at March 14, 2004 at 03:35 AM

I wonder if there are any innocent Arabs? That restaurant that got blown up not so long ago was a joint venture; an Arab and Israeli family both ran it. But ah! they were Arab *Christians* if I remember correctly. Perhaps Ms. Ridley needs to cast her net even wider than she already has. I wish her many happy, careless evenings on Israeli public transportation, safe in the knowledge that Allah will protect her.

Posted by: Sonetka at March 14, 2004 at 03:37 AM
I wonder if there are any innocent Arabs?
Arabs are one thing - Arabs are no more monolithic as were Europeans prior to World War 2.

I'll probably suffer the wrath of those, by self appointment, claim moral superiority, but the more I read the more I come to the conclusion that there are very few innocent Muslims. Even those Muslims the deplore these acts, only do so, so that they might place a ',but' in the sentence and then excuse what they just deplored.

Posted by: Dwayne at March 14, 2004 at 03:57 AM

Dwayne - I just meant that in the estimation of people like this woman (and much of the press) "Arab" and "Muslim" are usually synonymous terms. I'm just curious to see how the equation slowly morphs (as it probably will) from "All Israelis" to "Everyone in the world except the more vicious of my co-religionists." All in all, I'd say Ms. Ridley is living up to that old verse about the British journalist far too well. I've seen it attributed to several people, including Belloc and Baring; not sure who actually wrote it:

You cannot hope to bribe or twist
Thank God! the British journalist
But seeing what the man will do
Unbribed, there's no occasion to.

Posted by: Sonetka at March 14, 2004 at 04:10 AM

Sorry, I missed the Pilger home address, could you post it again? Ridleys also; she won't mind.

Posted by: papertiger at March 14, 2004 at 04:20 AM

"Let’s call Yvonne by her proper name, which is ...."

I believe it's "See You, Aunty!"

Posted by: Angus Jung at March 14, 2004 at 04:23 AM

Sonetka - I understood - I just saw your entry as a way to segue to my opinion that the Islamic religion is filled to the brim with apologists for terrorism.

Posted by: Dwayne at March 14, 2004 at 04:25 AM

Ironically Ridley works for the Express which is owned by a jewish proprietor. Last month I saw someone in a blog argueing that the Express is part of the 'ZogMedia'. At the time I doubted it, however only a cunning Joo would think of giving a voice to an anti-zionist as stupid as Ridley in order to undermine the moderate voice of hamas.

Or something like that.

Posted by: Ross at March 14, 2004 at 04:26 AM

BTW- What happened when she was in the custody of the Taliban? Did they come to the conclusion that she was a bit too extreme?

Posted by: Ross at March 14, 2004 at 04:29 AM

And Pilger is a visiting professor at Cornell University. My, that gives me a warm feeling. Around the gorge part.

Posted by: Bruce at March 14, 2004 at 04:31 AM

Yes there are fisk equivalents,
Pilgery,as in committing pilgery.

Pilgerer,one who commits pilgery.

Pilgering,the act of pilgery.

I can't remember who coined it.

Posted by: Peter UK at March 14, 2004 at 05:52 AM

If you were going to use the word "fucking" in the post, you should have called her exactly what she is, "a no-good scumbag bitch."

Posted by: Brian at March 14, 2004 at 06:37 AM

"I saw a baby torn to bits," said one survivor, Ana Maria Mayor, her voice cracking.

JOHN PILGER: "Well yes, they're legitimate targets."

YVONNE RIDLEY: "Let's call suicide bombers by their proper name, which is martyrs."

At what point are we supposed to stop tolerating these bastards?

Posted by: Arty at March 14, 2004 at 07:20 AM

This Ridley idiot obviously has a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Posted by: Dog at March 14, 2004 at 07:51 AM

To be fair, Jon Faine is pretty sensibly moderate and he got quite stuck into this islamist moron. She got quite flustered and started accusing them of being brainwashed by "American propaganda".

It was nothing like what she deserved, in my opinion a bullet to the head, but it wasn't a free ride. Give Jon some cred.

Posted by: Amos at March 14, 2004 at 08:36 AM

It was nothing like what she deserved, in my opinion a bullet to the head, but it wasn't a free ride. Give Jon some cred.

I'll do better than that. I pity the poor man for having to sit there and listen to her.

Posted by: Quentin George at March 14, 2004 at 09:07 AM

"Pilger: to exaggerate a given fact in order to support a particular ideology"

This definition - or something quite similar - has been used at Quadrant magazine for some time.

Posted by: TimT at March 14, 2004 at 09:55 AM

The verb to pilger was coined by auberon waugh. The process of pilgering is neatly illustrated here.

Posted by: jenni at March 14, 2004 at 10:58 AM

what a beeaaaccchhhhhhhh

Posted by: someothertime at March 14, 2004 at 11:39 AM

O no I have pilgered my pants again! woe is me

Posted by: doey at March 14, 2004 at 12:27 PM

As Jenni points out, it was the late Auberon Waugh who invented the verb “to pilger”, as explained by Paddy McGuinness in an affectionate article in the Sydney Morning Herald of 3 February 2001. Unfortunately, this article can no longer be accessed on the web, but here’s part of it:

It was Waugh of course who popularised, and may even have coined, the term "chattering classes", which has the dual merit of being both highly evocative and infuriating to the people thus depicted. It is such a useful phrase, since it conveys the essentially trivial nature of much political prejudice amongst the middle-class elitists, who adore sitting around at dinner parties singing part-songs of hatred for "Little Johnny Howard", or wallowing in white guilt as they guzzle their wines and play footsy with each other's spouses under the table.

He also invented the wonderful verb "to pilger", from which can be formed the noun "pilgerism", which so neatly sums up the nature of much of the earnest, well-meaning and smugly self-basting writing beloved of lefty journalists all over the world. The great charm of pilgerism is that it saves a hell of a lot of research, as well as any thought. The real mystery of this kind of thing is how there seems to be a kind of telepathic transmission of orthodoxy, such that all pilgerising journalists appear to think much the same thing and to wheel and stampede like a mob of sheep without apparent prompting but all in the same direction. The precise definition of pilgerism does not matter, and anyhow, given the litigious nature of Mr Pilger, is impossible. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary does not even try, contenting itself with the obscure metallurgical use of the word.

The origin of Waugh's coinage of "to pilger" dates back to a piece Pilger wrote in which, in his habitual lugubrious and accusatory style, he recounted the theft from her parents and selling into prostitution of a young Thai girl in Bangkok. Waugh, who used to delight in shocking his primmer readers with his boasts of his prowess with Thai prostitutes (he was in fact notoriously faithful to his wife of many years) smelt a rat, and, with the help of friends from the Far Eastern Economic Review and others, dug around and soon discovered that poor Pilger had been deceived by a Thai con man, and that the transaction had never taken place. Pilger could only counter, lamely, that there are lots of young prostitutes in Bangkok. But everybody knew that already. It hardly needed a field trip and large sums belonging to his employer paid to a con man to discover it.

Posted by: Antony at March 14, 2004 at 01:00 PM

What absolute hypocrisy, can you imagine the outcry if an Israeli or Jewish person made the same or a similar statement about little Palestinian boys and girls being legitimate targets because they too will grow up to be suicide murderers, hijackers and terrorists.

The Israel army does not deliberately target civilians although it is a sad fact of war that civilians do get caught in cross fire (look at Iraq). This is always a tragedy and it is something that most Israelis would declare is a tragedy.

The unlikely alliance of the loathe Israel and America left with the fundamentalist rantings and bigotry of mullahs and imams continues to stun me.

I constantly read that Islam is a "religion of peace", so please please, can someone tell me where are the Moslem men and women condemning suicide murderers, where are the Moslem men and women marching against the atrocities committed against non-Moslem minorities in the Arab and broader Moslem world? Where are the Moslem men and women marching in the streets against September 11, Bali, Istanbul and Madrid etc. etc? Well, I don't see them speaking up. Is it because of fear? There seems to be no adequate self-reflection in the Arab world. All I read is that a Moslem cleric says one thing here in Australia and then says another thing whilst speaking in Lebanon that seemingly justifies violence and murder. And then he claims that he is misquoted and that what he says is allegorical! These people are making a mockery of our democracy, of our religious traditions and of our culture. I know that the intention of Al Queda and other Moslem jihadists are to annihilate us here in the West but does this have to happen with the quiet acceptance, passivity and downright complicity and collaboration of the left and its institutions - from the ABC to SBS? I remember a few years ago, about four and a half years ago I think, when a rabbi in Israel made remarks equating Palestinians with snakes and claiming that the holocaust was divine judgment or some such thing. His comments provoked outrage both in Israel and elsewhere. Well I remember that this was a leading news item on ABC News, SBC and I remember it as the leading headline of AM. What the rabbi said was disgusting and worthy of absolute condemnation. But I don't see the same standards applied to Yvonne Ridley, Hillaly or any of the other apologists for Islamic violence. All we are told or read is that somehow people in the West deserve murder and death, as Ridley implies that Israeli children deserve death because they will grown up to be Israeli soldiers. I rarely read in the Sydney Morning Herald or watch on the ABC critical insights into the shortcomings of Islam or of Moslem societies in general from their repression of women to their persecution of religious minorities. In December 2002 the Sydney Morning Herald published another one of its typical Israel bashing articles. The article was about how in Israel it is difficult for people to convert from Judaism to another religion – particularly to Islam. Jews in Israel can become Moslems, Christians, Samaritans, Khairites etc etc. if they want. And they are not murdered for doing so. The article implied that there was no religious freedom in Israel. This article was a total load of codswallop as Israel is the only Middle Eastern country which allows missionaries of other religions to proselytise and Israelis in the past have become Moslems, Mormons, Scientologists. So, in the interests of objectivity, I wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald asking them to publish an article on how easy it would be for an Iranian, Saudi Arabian or Jordanian Moslem to try and become a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Scientologist etc. The truth is, that if an Iranian, Saudi Arabian or Jordanian Moslem man or women attempted to change his or her religion, then the punishment is quite severe. The punishment for apostasy in Arab countries, and it this is enshrined in Islamic Sharia Law, is death. I am still yet to read an in depth profile of religious freedom in Arab countries in The Sydney Morning Herald. I wait patiently.

So what is going on? Well, I smell a conspiracy and sorry to disappoint everyone, it is actually not the pseudo Jewish/Zionist plot of Machiavellian proportions so beloved of the left and the Moslem world but the conspiracy I smell is a leftist/Islamofascist plot which is set out to destroy the social fabric and cohesiveness of Christian/Judaic western civilisation as we know it. And they are quite blatant about it and rejoice in it. And we stand by. I think that our complacency is killing us. Well, this Jew is not going to turn the other cheek and this Jew is going to speak up.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 14, 2004 at 01:09 PM

I've been looking for the original text of Yvonne Ridley's "no innocents" remarks, but I can't find them. The best I can find is a comment on littlegreenfootballs which quotes an article in The Times. -- see comment number 44 for selected quotes, and number 56 for the full Times article.

I'd really like to know what she actually said, since the worst parts are given as paraphrases rather than as direct quotes, both by Bolt and the Times.

Posted by: Jorge at March 14, 2004 at 02:03 PM

Ridley is a fool,if there no innocents she too is a legitimate target.It never seems to enter these imbeciles heads that they are justifying total war and if they bring down that they will lose.

Posted by: Peter UK at March 14, 2004 at 03:11 PM

You are actually referring to an Andrew Bolt article? Ok then.. good luck with that!

Posted by: Incredulous at March 14, 2004 at 04:59 PM

Yvonne Ridley is merely the latest in a never-ending cavacade of idiots featured every day on ABC-774 in Melbourne. At least this one was mildly challenged. Whether it's regular commentators-of-a-feather like Scott Burchill, Jill Singer, Terry Lane, and Gideon Haigh, or every barking mad, synapse-free agitator like Ridley, it's lefty heaven here.

The station was a write-off during the Adelaide Festival of Idiots last year - every day it was a different moron flogging their latest craptapular book and conspiracy theory.

I like Jon Faine, he is amazingly scrupulous about being seen not to preach his personal beliefs and is a genuine professional, but his commentator & guest selection is AWFUL. It was great when Andrew Bolt (hard to believe, no?) was a regular commentator, but that got the bullet when Bolt started doing spots on other stations. A huge pity, if only for the fact that his prescence made interesting radio. Real debates happened, not the Sybil-esque "Oh, I know!" one-sided blatherings we get now.

The only right-of-lunar-left political guest I can remember is Paul Sheehan, probably more because he was a local author rather than any attempt to be even. Faine really needs to even up the guest list. Interested Tim, or do you have a collegue in Melbourne who could fill the bill?

Posted by: Craig Mc at March 14, 2004 at 06:09 PM

That's right, a conservative voice in a mainstream paper. You're going to be hearing more of that in the coming years, so good luck with that, fuckwit.

Posted by: Amos at March 14, 2004 at 06:14 PM

I don't have a problem with conservative "voices" in mainstream media, haven't in the past and I can't see anything changing. I'm just not a fan of the idiotic tripe served up by Bolt. Anyway, I enjoyed your melodramatic post, thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: Incredulous at March 14, 2004 at 06:49 PM

You keep laughing, we'll keep kicking your ass out of every parlament and presidential palace in the west. If Latham gets in here in Australia, he'll do it be being more right-wing than Howard.

Maybe you should move to Greece where they have a nice, socialist governm- oops.

Things not looking to good for you guys. Maybe you should tell your little Islamist friends to tone things back, they don't seem to be helping the cause, comrade.

Posted by: Amos at March 14, 2004 at 09:30 PM

Craig Mc,

I used to appear on Faine's show every week, back when I worked at Time (it was part of a "what's in the magazines?" roundup).

Then Media Watch ran a piece criticising Faine for giving ABC airtime to commercial media. His producer's strange response was to halve the segment's length, and to make things more adversarial. So you'd hear exchanges like this:

Faine: "Tim Blair is on the line from Time in Sydney. Tim, what's your cover story this week?"

Tim: "Well, Jon, we've got a story on Egyptian ruins and the latest studies of ...

Jon: "Ruins? Why?"

Tim: "Umm ... because we wanted to."

Jon: "Kind of an old issue, isn't it? Nothing more important to cover?"

That lasted for a couple of weeks, and then I quit the segment.

Posted by: tim at March 14, 2004 at 09:54 PM

Sorry to hear about your experience, your example above may be more Faine's lame attempt at cheeky wit than malice. I can understand that you'd tire of that quickly. To be fair, Faine often tweeks the supercilious Lane's beard too, but in-studio where other conversational cues are obvious to the victim. It's not something a sensible person would try over the phone to a slight acquaintance.

They seem to have brought this segment back lately. However, I was thinking more of a seat in the studio during "the conversation hour" where you'd get to interact with other guests. Not that any of us has control over Faine's production of course, which is probably directed straight from Stalin's tomb.

Posted by: Craig Mc at March 15, 2004 at 01:03 AM

Time for Yvonne to start acting like a good muslim woman and wear a burqua. Walk the walk Yvonne.

Posted by: Reid of America at March 15, 2004 at 01:04 AM

Those who do a google on Yvonne will be rewarded by many WTF? moments and comedic potential.

I wrote about her just over a year ago. Sadly, the link to the Independent doesn't work anymore, so you can not read about her daughter Daisy (seems to me that her father was some sort of terrorist, subsequently iced by the Israelis, unless I'm remembering wrong).

Ridley is a character straight from fiction, a terror slut who gads about the world associating herself with "romantic" causes not because she believes in them, but because she's on an adventure. Better than joining the Marines, in her view, I suppose.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at March 15, 2004 at 05:14 AM

It may be of interest that Pilger is an owner of quite a bit of property in the London area, which he rents out. Pilger is extremely rich & so of course this makes him, like Mad Moore in the USA, our very own Phat Adams here in Australia, a lying, hypocrite, millionaire socialist.

Posted by: Michael Casey at March 15, 2004 at 12:46 PM

I only found out the Ridley creature was a muslim the other week. When she was in Afghanistan before the American attack her mum appeared in the British media begging Blair&Bush to postpone the attack until her Yvonne was safe. Once she was out of there she talked up a storm but at no time was her religious affiliation mentioned - can't help feeling it is significant.

Posted by: Matt at March 15, 2004 at 02:33 PM