Manufactured Crises

George Packer writing in the New Yorker:
A Florida preacher with a congregation barely twice the number of the September 11th hijackers can rivet the world—will he do it, or won’t he? Where will the first post-Koran-burning terror attack happen, and how many people will die? The media senses a big story and makes him an international figure, with the tautological self-defense that he had become a big story. Halfway around the globe, in Jalalabad, Afghans riot, someone is killed, and Obama is burned in effigy—Obama, whom twenty per cent of Americans believe to be a Muslim, who has used whatever moral authority he has to stop the Florida nut from doing it. One man in Gainesville who represents next to nobody triggers thousands of men around the globe who know next to nothing about it to turn violent, which triggers more violence, which Fox and Al Jazeera air relentlessly, which makes people in front of TVs around the world go crazy.
He has some other stuff in their about everyone being unreasonable, and we are, but it's a bit too condescending for my taste.

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