Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Daily Mail: so desperate for news they invent an "incident" at the Paralympics

Take a look at this report from the Daily Mail. It's headlined Iranian Paralympic athlete refuses to shake Duchess of Cambridge's hand 'for cultural reasons because she's a woman' at medal ceremony. It continues:

An Iranian athlete refused to shake the Duchess of Cambridge's hand after she presented him with his discus silver medal on Sunday.

The Royal was warmly received on the podium by Paralympic GB's gold medal winner Aled Davies and Chinese bronze medallist Lezheng Wang.

But when it was Mehrdad Karam Zadeh's turn to step up, the 40-year-old failed to offer a hand to the Duchess, clutching them close to his chest.

His decision not to shake hands with the Duchess was likely to have been a result of Iranian cultural convention which bans such contact between unrelated men and women.

The incident threatened to overshadow a glittering night for Paralympics GB, which enjoyed its most successful day of the Games so far with seven gold medals.

Now I omitted a sentence from that report. Can you guess what it said? It read:

The Duchess appeared to have been briefed on the situation, because she did not offer her hand either.

So what we have is this (and you can watch it on video in the Daily Mail report). When presenting the silver medal at a Paralympic medal ceremony, the Duchess of Cambridge, as advised beforehand (as we learn later in the report) by St James's Palace, doesn't offer her hand to the Iranian medallist as it would be considered impolite (and she is, after all, a polite royal Duchess). After accepting his medal, the Iranian clasps his hands over his heart and bows. Nobody complains, nobody is offended. And this, for the Daily Mail, is an "incident" which threatens to overshadow the fact that the gold medallist was British.

How pathetic that instead of actually doing their job and reporting the news from the Paralympics, the Mail is reduced to making up "incidents" and playing to stereotypes of wicked Muslims insulting women.

Still, in case they missed the archery while inventing outrages, it's a fair bet that the silver medallist in the Men's Open Compound didn't shake anyone's hand after receiving his medal either. Matt Stutzmann of the USA, you see, has no arms.


At 05 September, 2012 18:37, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Matt was in an American Express commercial about the Olympics, I'd neve seen stories on him before, very impressive attitude.
But I can see the headlines - "American archer refuses to shake hands with . . ."
leaving out the fact that he has no hands.

At 06 September, 2012 13:04, Blogger Rob said...

Yeah, great guy. Bad luck that in the final he came up against someone not just as technically brilliant as himself but just as determined to win.


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