This is just the start and it never fucking ends

After reading this gem in the New York Times, we prevailed on Thomas Friedman to provide us with a part two. And here it is.

Future historians will long puzzle over how I was given an international platform to freely pontificate on the Arab people and be remunerated handsomely for it. It is true that I am not the only person in the world who formulates dubious theories based on scant or no evidence which I then harangue people with. Other people do it. They are called taxi drivers. But they are not as rich as me and haven’t been awarded three Pulitizer Prizes.

Since I’ve been here in Egypt I’ve been putting together a list of “the-absolutely-irrelevant forces” that have captured the captive Arab mind and ignited the simmering coals of the instant garden BBQ that is the Middle East. You might ask why, since I am in Egypt, I don’t ask an Egyptian – possibly two Egyptians – about what inspired them to completely ignore my theories on the Arab peoples and take to the streets. The answer is this: I am Thomas Friedman and I write a column in the New York Times.

I started my last extremely important column with an introduction in which I listed tyranny, rising food prices, youth unemployment and social media as the “big causes”. Rather than just stop there, I did a Google “surprise me” search and chose five of the random results for my special “mix of forces” which inspired the Arab mass revolts. These included Barack Obama, Google Earth and the Beijing Olympics.

But there are other critical factors integral to an understanding of my bollocks theory on the Middle East. Here they are:

MY MOUSTACHE – Americans have never really appreciated what a radical thing I did in growing a moustache, long the symbol of Arab male virility. I’m convinced that when Arab men catch a glimpse of my moustache as they bring me my breakfast in my hotel they are inspired and say to themselves: “Hmmm. Let’s see. He’s middle-aged. I’m middle-aged. He’s slightly tanned. I’m roughly the same colour. His name is Thomas. My name is Hussein. He is a prick. I sometimes act like a prick. He is not president of the United States. I am not president of the United States. Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska. Water boils at 100 degrees centigrade. He has a moustache. I have a moustache. Both our moustaches have no voice in my future”. I’d put that in my special mix of hallucinogenic drugs and ingest it.

HOME SHOPPING NETWORK.com – While Facebook has gotten all the face time in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, don’t forget the Home Shopping Network which has never been particularly relevant to any Arab state but let’s shoehorn it in anyway. A big issue in Bahrain- particularly among nobody at all – has been access to home solutions. On Nov. 27 2006, the Washington Post ran this report from there: “Mahmoud, who lives in a house with his parents, 97 siblings and their uncountable number of children, said he became even more frustrated when he looked up the Home Shopping Network and saw huge numbers of spring cleaning ideas for the home. ‘We are 1798 people crowded into one small house, like many people in the southern district,’ he said. ‘And you see on Home Shopping Network how they have the best solutions for mess and free shipping.’ Bahraini activists have encouraged people to take a look at the crafts section of the website, which has $5 shipping on Cricut machines.

ISRAEL – The Arab TV network Al Jazeera has a big team covering Israel today. They frequently report Israeli incursions on Palestinian towns, illegal settlements on Palestinian land, Israeli killings, torture and illegal detention of Palestinians as well as Israel’s continual transgression of international law. I will ignore this and focus on a few incidents of domestic housekeeping (and include a completely irrelevant reference to Google maps!) in order to prop up my theory and ignore the fact that if Egyptians are in any way inspired by anything that happens in Israel, it is their ability to identify with Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. When you write a column for the New York Times and your name is Thomas Friedman, well, that’s what you do.

THE COOPER’S HILL CHEESE-ROLLING AND WAKE NEAR GLOUCESTER – Gloucester and Egypt both have G in their names. Today Gloucester is the host of this event and Egypt is still living on foreign aid. What do you think Egyptians thought when they watched the dazzling opening ceremony of the 2008 Cheese-Rolling competition? It was another wake-up call – “in a way that America or the West could never be” – telling young Egyptians that something was very wrong with their supermarkets, argues Whata Loadofbollox, who teaches recreational pot pourri mixing.

THE MUBARAK FACTOR – Former Egyptian president Hosny Mubarak introduced a new form of government thirty years ago, something I, and others, have dubbed “enlightened Western-friendly leader” and others call “oppressive, corrupt dictator in bed with the West”. It says: judge me on my foreign policy towards Israel, not how I treat my own people. Every Arab could relate to this. Chinese had to give up freedom but got economic growth and decent government in return. Arabs had to give up freedom and got the Arab-Israeli conflict and my columns and books in return.

Add it all up and what does it say? It says you have a major US newspaper whose editor either has low standards or is taking backhanders so that my stuff gets published. It says that I am a huge, pompous twat. And it says that the difference between a good day a bad day for informed New York Times readers will continue to hinge on whether they open the opinion section and see my face staring out smugly at them.

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225 Responses to This is just the start and it never fucking ends

  1. Ranwa Yehia says:

    Great piece. Thanks Sarah. What an absolute idiot he is

  2. Magii says:

    This is superb. Up there with Taibbi’s take down, for sure.

  3. TheRex says:

    Genius! Best post every written by or about that tw**.

    • Art Victor says:

      Very cute. It is of course par for the coirse for the terminal ‘P.C’ mob to bash Israel at any opportunity. Israel is much more sinned against than sinning, and U know it. Not ‘chic’ though. Send the ‘Palestinians’ POGO, -“We have met the enemy and he is us.” The magic words; ‘We recognize Israel’s right to exist. P.S. -I write as a life-long ‘Leftie’.

  4. Nicely put Sarah. I read Friedman’s article and I have to say that he really outdid himself in the degree of total BS theories that he purports. I feel bad having I wasted a good 15 minutes with him in Tahrir trying to give him some perspective on things.

  5. Mo says:

    Other trademark Friedmanisms:

    “I call this T.W.A.T which stands for something-painfully-forced-in-my-one-man-quest-to-reclaim-acronyms-for-allegedly-serious-journalism”

    “[Insert cutting edge "green" entrepreneur of the moment] told me ‘Tom, what you don’t understand is…” – first name familiarity with someone quasi-important established, thereby boosting my own importance.

    There’s no doubt he’s a douchebag, but it pays to remember he’s writing for an American audience, whose interests are less about empathy (though NY Times readers like to think they are) and more about self-interest. In other words, he’s a propogandist with a penchant for self-promotion aka douchebag.

    • Nate says:

      Please don’t throw all of us Americans under the bus. A lot of us are well aware that Friedman is an idiot.

      • Robert says:

        On the other hand, a lot of us in America DO know plenty of twats just like the self-congratulating twats you describe. A few of them are from other shores — but I am suspicious they’re here because patience for twats in the old country was running thin.

      • matt russo says:

        Correction. Freidman is not simply our idiot.

        He is our very own Global Village Idiot.

        • Maciano says:

          I love it. Friedmann, the global village idiot.

          Years back, I hadn’t known the guy and I believe ‘The Economist’ gave a thumbs up to his (then) new book. I almost bought, but, for laziness, I didn’t. It would have been very bad money spent.

    • george says:

      Love Nate’s comment. Friedman is a hoax. He is always promoting himself and Nate really gets his template for his columns. This man dismissed Palestinians objection to settlement building for years an dnow says that it is obvious that the settlements are an obstacle to peace.

      • Art Victor says:

        The ‘obstacle to Peace’ has always been the Arab intransegence and refusal to recognize Israel. Yes, RIGHT TO EXIST> What about the word ‘annihilate’ do U not understand? Jude has moral and historical rights too.

  6. Mo says:

    PS Read Nick Kristoff instead

  7. Diane says:

    I’m dying. This is hysterical. Fantastic riff on the ultimate prick.

  8. Annie says:

    Sarah, please send this to Mr. Friedman himself. Please?

  9. Hanne says:

    This was so funny that I was crying and laughing at the same time and had to take a break after the first four paragraphs. I’m at work, supposedly working (and actually not), so I can’t sit and scream with laughter… Thanks for brightening my day Sarah! :)

  10. Amir says:

    THANK YOU SARAH!

    He is the ultimate douche, everything you are saying is completely on point. I was reading his list and slapping myself each time I went on to the next inspiring factor. Israeli justice, google earth, obama. Really??

  11. Hoda Baraka says:

    Brilliant!

  12. Mark says:

    Good take on an absolute crap piece of journalism. As humorous as it is to point out the obviously deficiencies in this “work”, the troubling reality is that he is considered a sought-after expert in policy circles going straight to that same president of the United States with whom all brown people in the Middle East so empathize and relate.

  13. Orly Halpern says:

    Brilliant. The most creative piece of writing I have read in ages – and smart and funny to boot! Bravo Sarah Carr!

  14. badhedgehog says:

    Brilliant parody. Top of the shop!

  15. robin yates says:

    I read your article on this rather dillusional ” journalist ” and was puzzled as to why he thinks he is such a wonderful example of that sorry breed. The guy needs a hard kick up his chuff, many times hopefully. Thank you for making me laugh out loud and keep it up ( the good work ! )

  16. Yousif El Helw says:

    THIS IS BRILLIANT!

  17. Dmitry says:

    You killed it.

  18. Nermeen says:

    This is too funny! Ditto to people being unable to hold their laughter in the office. Thanks for that! Very well written.

  19. Lonnie H. says:

    *stands and applauds slowly*

    well done, Sarah!

  20. Mariam says:

    genius! i choked on my lunch in outrage reading his rubbish, and then choked laughing reading yours.

  21. borto2any says:

    haha, check out that comment on his article :
    ” Tom Friedman somehow forgot the effect of Iraq being the only Arab democracy in the Middle East. Of course, that would mean giving credit to Bush. It’s easier for him to give credit to Obama because of his middle name.” .. much more gems there..
    ahh yany !

  22. Mostafa says:

    Hahaha

    Fucking brilliant post, that.

    Have you sent him a link? Would certainly provide him with some much needed humble pie.

  23. Mathieu says:

    Thanks, very good piece. This Friedman is almost as good as our political analysts here in France, among whom Bernard-Henry Levy ridiculed worldwide by academia but still idolized by mass media, is only the most visible quack!

  24. Dee says:

    Thank you !!!!!

  25. Negmo says:

    Hilarious. Literally LOL

  26. Negmo says:

    Hilarious. Literally LMFAO

  27. Enzo says:

    One of the very few things regarding Friedman that’s worth watching: Greenwash Guerrillas Pie Thomas Friedman.

    http://tinyurl.com/5lsv6l

  28. Keith Glasgow says:

    Excellent – just excellent

  29. gregorylent says:

    the dynamics of this interconnected world are beyond anybody’s intellectual understanding, though mystics have given a good shot at it. this time is as predicted for at least the last thirty years.

  30. Andrew Brehm says:

    Tell me when something happens in the Arab world that wasn’t caused by some antisemitic lies told by someone, the media or a dictator, to the Arab people.

    Until then, I think, between morons like Friedman and antisemitic rants, the Arab world just won’t find its way.

  31. Pingback: Tom Friedman getting high in Egypt — War in Context

  32. Thom Kennon says:

    About 2 years ago I swore i would never read the most bloated pompous ass ever to “write” for a major daily. I saw his headline today on NYTimes.com and – altho tempted to see how far afield he could possibly have roamed -resisted once again. a friend just sent me his piece’s link and this mind-blowingly dead-on hilarious sendup. Superb piece of commentary on one of the great journo fails of all time. keep ‘em coming, i’m your newest fan.

  33. ambahfaiza says:

    This is what I wrote on the NYT piece’s comments section. I felt compelled to write because everyone else thought it was accurate.

    Mr. Friedman, Your assertion that Israel is a role model for Arabs is ridiculous. That apartheid state is largely viewed in the Arab world as a country that treats its Arabs as second class citizens, when it’s not stealing their land or destroying their homes. I think you should stick to reporting things you know something about.

    • Robert says:

      If Friedman stuck to writing what he knows about he wouldn’t have a career.

    • THP says:

      Ridiculous, how is Friedman ever saying Israel as a whole is a role model. It is exactly this kind of all out dismissal that’s holding off mutual understanding and solutions to the isreal-palestinian/arab problem, on both sides.
      Friedman is not even saying that the factors mentioned in his piece are AS A FACT causing the current revolutionary revolt, rather ‘just’ a “back-of-the-envelope guess list” that merely fed it, he says so within the first(!) paragraph.
      Any reasonable reader should interpret this piece for what it is, not revealing anything grand or secret, just something interesting to occupy the mind.
      I admit, one can legitemately disagree on the value of this piece and level of information it holds, but a lot of what’s claimed in the parody(which I thought was funny) and the critical comments made are just looking like caricatures to me.

    • Art Victor says:

      Ah, the ‘apartheid’ mantra. Israeli Arabs have more rights than those of most Arab (and Iraqui) countries, and you know it. My! What fashionable, ‘chic’ antiSemitism! Yes. It is. Maybe Hitler was right, GO AWAY, Jews! To where?Jude has a RIGHT to live, and yes, in Judea. ‘NO JEWS ALLOWED’ in Jordan and Arabia, and much of the Islamic world.- Will any be allowed to live in any ‘Palestinian’ State?

  34. abomazag says:

    Thank you Sarah, that like our revolution was much needed.

  35. Dahlia says:

    This is brilliant! I didn’t think anything could be funnier than Friedmans actual article, but this is, great job!

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  37. Sahar says:

    You are a genius. Thank you thank you thank you. :)

  38. Moustafa Youssef says:

    Satire of the nth degree. Enjoyed reading.

  39. Deeds E. says:

    Have you read the original article? Whilst not as good a piece of journalism that I would expect from the NY Times – if you read between the lines it – makes some valid points regarding the frustrations faced by the average person growing up in the Middle East; despite the somewhat shallow approach at times.

    Btw, I did enjoy Sarah’s parody and it made me laugh out loud at times so don’t take this as an attack on her or you – you asked for democracy (and I jumped on the bandwagon later I admit) so I get to opine.

  40. Nayrouz says:

    excellent response!

  41. CitizenC says:

    Tom Friedman retires the Pulitzer Prize for Orientalist Fatuity, as judged by Sarah Carr.

  42. ROFL!!! Well done Sara, absolutely marvelous.

  43. Chella says:

    YAY!! :)

  44. Sarah, I’m still laughing after about an hour. I’ve re-read this probably 10 times now, and it’s still just as funny.

  45. sbeam.ox says:

    hilarious, but you really need to get a picture of yourself thoughtfully using both elbows and your interlocked fingers to prop up your overly large yet extremely dense head, with soft, tasteful lighting, and the most serious and pompous expression possible to show off your natural gravitas and sagacity. Of course a large but carefully groomed salt-and-pepper mustache can only help burnish your intellectual cred.

  46. brindismom says:

    Never cared for the guy.
    Nice work!!!

  47. Greg says:

    Sarah – wonderful piece. Had me in stiches.

    Greg
    Arish, North Sinai, Egypt

  48. anup says:

    “THE BEIJING OLYMPICS China and Egypt were both great civilizations subjected to imperialism and were both dirt poor back in the 1950s, with China even poorer than Egypt, Edward Goldberg, who teaches business strategy, wrote in The Globalist.”

    The guy can’t even form a sentence properly. His commas are all over the place. And he won a Pulitizer prize for commentary!?

  49. Mwgdrwg says:

    I am convinced you should have your own satire/comedy show. A great piece. Please keep up the good work. :)

  50. Good post. But his was funnier.

  51. Renfro says:

    Hysterical!
    ‘My head is flat’ vintage Friedman.

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  53. Completely falls in line with the behaviour of the White House which, for example, when the Egyptian unrest began, called in at very short notice a group of Arab/Middle East experts with not an Arab American or Arab amongst them. Add to this political and security experts from various stink tanks pronouncing on events which have caught them totally by surprise, perpetrated by a group of people, the highly intelligent, well educated, extraordinarily sophisticated, frequently unemployed youth of the region, whom they have no knowledge of and no connection with. The latest expression of this utter incomprehension, up until Friedman’s article, was an academic yesterday, from the UK, attempting to squeeze the genie of the widespread call for democracy in the region back into a bottle labeled “New World Order.”

    The Arabist of yesterday lampoons an article written in similar spirit to Friedman’s, albeit with greater humility.

    The perplexed comments from the likes of Hilary Clinton, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen have at least a refreshing air of honesty about them.

    My current favorite pronouncement is from a leading psychiatrist who, when asked by an Australian journalist if Gaddafi is insane, replied, “Yes and no.”

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  55. Kristina Hallez says:

    I began laughing at “simmering coals of the instant BBQ that is the Middle East” and couldn’t stop

  56. TK88 says:

    Hahaha, what an awesome response to one of the worst pieces of journalism I’ve seen in a long time (including the waste of words that make up Fox News Article). Thanks so much!!

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  58. HTA says:

    Salam Sarah,

    Boy, you write in such a way, i can’t help but smile from the deepest of my heart. What a talent. Like wild flowers growing in nature. I Love it. What a refreshing mind too. I used to live in Egypt, and am proud that there are minds like you there now. You need to come refresh the USA a bit. Or maybe we need to create a Virtual Island where people who think like you do, outside set norms and approved cliches, can go have a cup of coffee together.
    Please keep the way you are!

    HTA

  59. Amin says:

    how can i share this?

  60. Anonymous says:

    This is great. The guy has irked me since 9/11

  61. Mika says:

    pissing myself

  62. Congratulations. I saw Friedman on the Charley Rose Showe (aka Zionists on Parade) and was apalled that this know-nothing zionist was pontificating on things he knew absolutely nothing about. Another reason, as if we needed any, to avoid the main stream media.

    • Art Victor says:

      ‘Zionist’ is NOT a dirty word. I wonder why the Kurds for instance, do not compell such rightious support, as do the ‘Palestinians’?? As Golda said; ‘Israelis are ‘Palestinians’ too.” And @ 80% of Mandate Palestine was ceded to brand-new ‘Trans-Jordan’, – pulled from a hat. When Jordan occupied Jerusalem, they kicked out Jewish inhabitants, killed many. How bigoted many of you anti-Israel fashionistas are!

  63. Wonderful job at calling this out for what it is, and with a great sense of humor. It does confound belief that, as commenter Mark says, he is a sought-after policy expert, in addition to being able to command an incredible sum for lectures.

  64. Lanie says:

    Thank You, Sarah!
    Hysterically funny and soooo true.

  65. Very funny. I laughed and laughed. But you might be saddened if you read the comments attached to the infamous Tom Friedman screed itself. The vast majority call it ‘brilliant analysis’!

  66. Noora says:

    I was feeling down earlier today after reading his article…thank you for your very entertaining parody XD
    I laughed so hard my sister thought I looked comical hahaha

  67. Jessica says:

    OMG this is funny. Dead on.

  68. Tamer Ibrahim says:

    LOVE IT!!! I thought I was the only one who wondered how this guy got published.

  69. jen marlowe says:

    this is brilliant. hilarious!

  70. Maddy says:

    I feel that you should recieve three pulitzer prizes for this article. Which clearly has much more research in it then anything tom friedman has ever written!

    • Art Victor says:

      Funny, all the comments congratulating Sarah Carr for her ‘satire’. Me, I find her quite adolescent in her ‘humor’ and views.

  71. Inès says:

    Sarah, you’re brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

  72. Hala says:

    Brilliant! Hit the nail right on the head!

  73. A M Farouk says:

    Bravo

  74. H. Mikail says:

    Just what I needed to help me sleep with a smile and smirk on my face….love it…thx S!

  75. Jessamy says:

    Friedman’s column does a pretty decent job of parodying itself, but I like your version best!

  76. nahummer says:

    Perfect! I’m so glad I read this as a tonic for the indigestion that reading Friedman’s piece left me with this morning. He really did sink to a new low in ridiculousness, and that’s saying a lot for a fool of his caliber.

  77. teun says:

    absolutely hilarious….

  78. emilya says:

    An Israeli here!
    I wanted to mention–the article left me scratching my head (Google Earth? Beijing Olympics? Soehow our good friend AL Jazeera (sarcasm) Im sure covers the tirals of Ehud Barak…)

    lol.

  79. JM says:

    Hilarious!
    you might think Google Maps pays his bills.

  80. Amber says:

    I love that I had scroll so far down in order to add my kudos. Absolutely brilliant!

  81. LalehK says:

    This is inspired – I say as I sit here weeping with laughter…

  82. Alicie says:

    @mathieu – 14:34

    agree, from another in France. But what about the present ‘frenzy’ of channels inviting Tariq Ramadan ? He has gone from favorite to banned, now favorite again. I’m sick of both of them.

    One thing among many that I’ve learned from following the ME, is their humour, they (especially Egyptians it seems) have been taking the piss out of their dictators forever.

    @Malcolm – 18:21

    amazing about the non arab in the gvt calling of experts, reminds of Iraq ?

    As for Gaddafi being insane or what, this is something else that many western medias and journalists know nothing about. Christiane amanpour (sp ?), showed this, shows total ignorance of muslim culture, because they are lying, as his son (who is not delusional at all). For christians lying is not a value, for muslims it is, if for their cause. They are brilliant at it, and do it all the time. Gadaffi is therefore, yes and no, correct.

  83. dalia says:

    Thank you so much Sara for your brilliant writing that is brightening a rather bleak day, with a stupid Egyptian prime minister, that needs to come under your sharp pen.
    Humor is healing.
    I can breathe better now after laughing out loud so much.
    May you enjoy as much fun as you added to your reader lives.

  84. Joey says:

    I can’t possibly outdo these comments.I now feel good knowing I’m not alone in despising this Turd!
    What a brilliant piece.Kudos!!
    Keep on,keepin’ on!

  85. TweetMags says:

    I still have nightmares about the ‘golden straight-jacket’ paternalism in Friedman’s Lexus and the Olive Tree. This is a great response to his latest offering. Thanks.

  86. Fela says:

    This was brilliant. I would suggest you write a letter to the NY times…it’s such awful journalism. That guy should not be allowed to make such reckless assumptions!

  87. John says:

    Really great satire — very well done.

  88. Rebekah says:

    I like to assign Friedman articles to my students as shining examples of the WORST kind of political analysis. Today’s “This Is Just the Start” took it’s place atop the pile. Your spoof will sit immediately underneath.

  89. X says:

    Amazing! I have really had enough of Friedman… This article made me feel so good. Please make sure he gets the article :)

  90. Toni says:

    Friedman an idiot?
    For a response I am torn between, “He’d require a total brain transplant to move up to idiot,” and, “How dare you insult actual idtiots by comparing him to them!”

  91. M G says:

    I think Thomas Friedman got the virus of Muamar Gaddafi, he is delusional and as they say in Arabic he talks like someone who is high on drugs “HADITH HASHASH”
    Thank you Sarah a great piece.

  92. Rob W says:

    Awesome satire. But I can’t tell which is funnier, your skewer or Friedman’s original piece. He is a true comic genius who, cracking me up, cracks no smile or smirk. How does he do it? The man mocks himself without mercy.

  93. Kyra says:

    You rock lady. I just hope this makes it’s way to Friedman’s inbox, and even better to the editors of the NY Times, and somebody fires this charlatan.

  94. :D says:

    LOVE IT! thanks so much for this!!

  95. Jailan says:

    effin brilliant

  96. suzanne-juliette says:

    brilliant. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. It also seems to have cured my urge to throttle Friedman, for the moment.

  97. Pingback: On Thomas Friedman, or the funniest thing I’ve read in a month. « Political Crumbs

  98. Rasmus says:

    Made me cry of joy. Wonderful!

  99. Andree says:

    Hilarious and to the point. Beautifully done.

  100. AMeshiea says:

    This is a very good piece.

    Along the same lines and a bit dated but piss-yourself funny as well is Taibbi’s piece on Friedman: http://www.nypress.com/article-11419-flathead.html

    Friedman is the Liberal class version of Glenn Beck (may be insulting Beck here).

  101. Ray says:

    You pontificate better than he does.

  102. Joanna D says:

    BRILLIANT

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  104. yara says:

    I was enraged after reading the Friedman coloumn, especially at the adulation in the comments section. Then I find this brilliant satire, and am reminded the proper response is hysterical laughter. Thanks for putting things in perspective!

  105. ghurab_gharib says:

    No surprise I am sure to those more familiar with this man’s incompetence: there is literally nothing in the column which belies – or even vaguely suggests – its having been written “since being in Egypt”…

    garbage…

    Definitely worth it though, now that someone has made something out of it :D

  106. Anonymous says:

    Should have said something about the flat earth. Maybe I missed it, but the flat earth has been his obsession for the past few years. He is a Zionist propagandist of the most dangerous kind. Unlike other unabashed fanatical Zionists who might come across as being comical, Friedman and his kind are much more dangerous. They tray to hide behind a facade of sophisticated global theories, but what they stand for is Zionist supremacy. He will not tell you that they supreme because God said so. He will tell you they are supreme because of their money and technology. I remember reading an article that he wrote once during the Lebanon war on 2006. He stated that Israel was right because it has a lot of companies listed with Nasdaq. He did not say this bluntly, but in an article about war that was killing civilians, he actually mentioned the number of Israeli companies listed with Nasdaq. Subtle propagandists are the most dangerous kind.

    • ellen says:

      Spot on. He is absolutely toxic on any topic regarding MENA, Israel or Islam. Brava, Sarah! Global acclaim for your brilliant, long-needed take down! Flat Earth rising up now to bite him in the butt.

  107. Mike says:

    Should have said something about the flat earth. Maybe I missed it, but the flat earth has been his obsession for the past few years. He is a Zionist propagandist of the most dangerous kind. Unlike other unabashed fanatical Zionists who might come across as being comical, Friedman and his kind are much more dangerous. They tray to hide behind a facade of sophisticated global theories, but what they stand for is Zionist supremacy. He will not tell you that they supreme because God said so. He will tell you they are supreme because of their money and technology. I remember reading an article that he wrote once during the Lebanon war on 2006. He stated that Israel was right because it has a lot of companies listed with Nasdaq. He did not say this bluntly, but in an article about war that was killing civilians, he actually mentioned the number of Israeli companies listed with Nasdaq. Subtle propagandists are the most dangerous kind.

  108. Jeff says:

    tremendous.

  109. Th. says:

    I am at an office in Athens, Greece and i cant stop laughing!

    This must be the funniest thing i have read for a long long time!

    Thank u.

  110. Tony says:

    Excellent. My reaction to that column exactly.

    But did you forget another fundamental cause of youthful Arab alienation? They drink bottled water produced by The Coca-Cola Company.

    It’s in the water ! ! !

  111. wadoud says:

    Sarah you are brilliant, and I suggest you take Friedman’s job… just grow a moustache!

  112. Can someone please post this article in the comments of the original NYT article? i wasn’t able to do it. I’m astounded by how many NYT readers posted their gratitude for Friedman’s “insight”!!!! Edward Said once called him “insufferable” … i wish he were still with us to expose this fraud masquerading as an intellectual. This is really one of the dumbest articles I have read in a long time. The fact that the NYT ran it is just further proof of how mainstream US media is detached from reality to the point of delusion.

  113. Stellaa says:

    And still people find the fool relevant. Thanks for the laugh.

  114. Congratulations – you’ve won the Fire Tom Friedman prize for best Friedman takedown of 2011. Previous winners include Matt Taibbi and the students from Brown who pied him. So well done.

  115. Susannah says:

    So, I know at least one person who has sent this to Toby at NYT Letters-to-Editor, in the hopes they’ll publish your article. Doubt it, but I wish they would. Also, apparently, we’re not the only one who are fed up with TF. So is this guy at TNR: http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/84059/tom-friedmans-volcano-wakeup-call

    Bravo, Sarah!

  116. Ameera says:

    GENIUS!

  117. tipu says:

    Hey Sarah!Greetings from India for skewering this jackass!He pontificates on India as well,cosying upto indians who have need for his reach thru the NYT.Wish somebody could squash his pretensions here as marvellously as you have for your part of the planet!

    • Rukmini says:

      You said it, Tipu. Thanks Sarah, from one more Indian who might self-combust the next time she sees that moustache.

  118. Tom Friedpan says:

    Thank you Sarah, brilliant !!
    More appalling than the actual article he wrote, are the huge amount of praising comments he gets after.

  119. بن says:

    هئهئهئه
    هايل

  120. JKH says:

    Brilliant, hilarious and oh so true. I can’t think of a better delivery than this. I just wish the world really was flat, so someone could push Tom off the edge.

  121. irene says:

    I was crying– this is f’ing perfect. thank you for your sober insights.

  122. Joe Orton (Mrs) says:

    Sarah—Is the Friedman site a fake thing, a hacker’s trick to both deceive and fire up those of us who already hate the New York Times and its staff of twits and twats and the twaddle they drip? Can he/that posting be real? If it is, Well! I’m speechless; except for pleasant library laughter while I read you. Is Friedman the same sissy who’s forever talking about a “tough neighborhood” when he means, maybe, Pakistan? For map guidance I think Friedman and his editor (if he has one) should listen to that Goon Show segment where Peter Sellers sings the maps, the brown and blue bits. You be comic genius girl.

  123. KGC says:

    I never laughed so hard reading anything in my whole life.

  124. tony myegypt says:

    its a good job some folks can write, or you lot would have nothing to read apart from bullshit ,
    me all I want to do is get my story out there on past corruption that happened to me! no story just the truth and why I dropped an attempted murder charge, http://www.westbankhotel.blogspot.com/

  125. Justin says:

    haha fantastic. Jesus.. I’d never read Thomas Friedman and after reading the article you’re satirizing, I never will.

  126. mamoul says:

    after i read that thing in the timz, i got acid reflux or something. that guy makes me think almost strictly negative thoughts, so i never read him. a weak moment of hope. but your article really helped my digestion. YOU ARE A HEALER OF PHENOMENAL POWERS!!

  127. han says:

    Inspiring…
    Great !!!!

  128. Edward G Nilges says:

    [One actual comment on Friedman's column, beyond parody: "Brilliant analysis! Even if it's only half true, it should give us all hope that some good might come out of those people's struggle."]

    Brilliant analysis. Even though it’s bullshit, it is cool bullshit. I love your hopey changey thing.

  129. Manu says:

    wonder if NYT would publish this

  130. af6170 says:

    Magnificent! But that other maven of media meritocracy, Jonah Goldberg, is still stupider, and nothing Friedman writes can equal Goldberg’s explanation for why he did not enlist in the war he flogged so enthusiastically for (which is very nearly “uh … I don’t know,” and I’m not adding the “uh”).

  131. Anonymous says:

    Money gets to say pretty much what it wants in the News Papers in the states. Thomas Friedman wrote an opinion piece and got paid by the Times to do so. Not much to say about that, but what one thinks about his opinion, which is well stated as humorous satire in this link. Thanks.

  132. Moab says:

    I thought I had laughed enough until I continued on with the comments …. my sides ache …. looking forward to the next Sarah saga … who knows, with your phenomenal powers of healing laughter, we might actually achieve something ..

  133. Thank you Sarah and for the good laughs!

  134. Mandy says:

    kudos, Sarah. well done.

  135. Liz says:

    I didn’t think I could laugh harder than I did at Friedman’s actual article! But I’m dying laughing over here! Thanks.

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  137. Nqa Duoba says:

    I’m sorry: where is the parody part?!

    :)

  138. Potjernik says:

    Thank you for this. Thank you. I hope that putz Friedman will once be recognized as one.

  139. Evan says:

    Thank you! This is a phenomenal rejoinder!

  140. Maria says:

    “It is true that I am not the only person in the world who formulates dubious theories based on scant or no evidence which I then harangue people with.”
    Yes, I do and my name is Malcom Gladwell and I sell tons of best-selling books and I’m very very rich.

  141. Emily says:

    Hil-arious. And smart. Come over anytime and drink wine and rant with me.

  142. Not Thomas Friedman says:

    Comedy gold! Thank you!!!!

  143. Zafar Malik says:

    Sarah – you’re just brilliant. I had stopped reading his twaddle long ago but in order to read your piece I suffered his. Thank you for such an enjoyable read. It also made me think deeply about America today and it saddens me no end. Where are we heading if this is what the premier paper has to offer? Thank you for making me laugh hard but also helping me reflect.

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  145. Jacqueline says:

    Absolutely hillarious. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. Thank you.

  146. Faysal says:

    Hilarious! Very well written!

  147. Hiero says:

    Everyone loves Thomas Friedman. I knew this. I watched him on TV & read his column. I thought I must be on crazy pills. I saw him aw-shucks-argue points which six months earlier he aw-shucks-argued against. When you’re correct less often than a coin toss you are, statistically speaking, not correct. Is it just me, or with Sec. State Clinton’s comments yesterday, is the culture finally turning the page on uninformed helicopter analysts? Because it still feels like crazy pills.

  148. Sarah Carr says:

    Thank you lovely people for the comments.

    For those who asked: I attempted to post a link this blog post on Friedman’s article with the comment: “This is a load of cobblers”. They didn’t publish the comment. Bastards.

    • DANNY BLOOME says:

      They did publish your comment, Sarah. It takes 24 hours or more for most comments to make it on his board, and if you are too late, comments get closed after a day or two when they read 600 or more. So before you accuse the Times of censoring you, go look first and find out if comments were already closed. It happens to me alot there too. But put yar paranoi away, dear!

  149. Justin says:

    Suck on that, Friedman.

  150. Mark says:

    I have just glimpsed at these coments. What is wrong with you people? Are you as miserable and jealous as you sound? Wow.

    By the way, writers who choose to write about other people’s columns are the epitome of having nothing to say…

  151. Vieille says:

    Wonderful! Now if Sarah would take on Malcolm Glad-to-be-me, whose brilliant rehash of critical mass has made him a small fortune from fools eager to lionize him, her work would be complete. Are we so fearful of real ideas that we hasten to clutter the conversation with the likes of these buffoons posing as intellectuals? Yikes!

  152. Moss says:

    The Word is Fat Head

  153. Publius says:

    I hate to spoil a nice groupthink session, which sure makes life comfortable, but re Friedman’s point that Israel prosecutes its corrupt politicians – – remind me again where this happens in the Arab world? I’m experiencing a little cognitive dissonance here, so please help me find my way back to the comfort zone you are all in…. Just askin’.

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  155. BDS says:

    Clever piece of satire, but lacking substantive critique of TF’s ideas, and therefore not especially persuasive. Of course entertaining to people who already agree with you. Your readers certainly love you, but if you want to get your message across to the readers of the nytimes, then you need to go beyond ad hominem attacks and ridicule.

  156. Peter B says:

    I am shaving off my moustache as we ‘speak’!

  157. Rufino says:

    Thomas Friedman is SO BIG that he befriends whole nations. See NY Times article “When Firends Fall Out,” June 1, 2010:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/opinion/02friedman.html?hp

    Opening paragraph:

    “As a friend of both Turkey and Israel, it has been agonizing to watch the disastrous clash between Israeli naval commandos and a flotilla of “humanitarian” activists seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Personally, I think both Israel and Turkey have gotten out of balance lately, and it is America’s job to help both get back to the center — urgently. ”

    What an asshole.

  158. Anna Sussman says:

    Sarah, finally got a chance to read this. You really knocked it out of the park.

  159. Camin O'alHades says:

    Great parode of the nonsense bullshit neocon stablishment “intellectuals” (in their dreams) such as Thomas L. Fried(brain)man, Timothy Garton Ash-ole, Francis Fuck-u-yama, Samuel Who-ntington, and other conspicuous members of retarded think-tanks issue non stop.

  160. DANNY BLOOME says:

    I read the Friedman piece first and i liked it. He makes sense. Then i read Sarah’s sophormoic attempt at parody, not really very good, but funny in some parts, and then i read the 176+ comments, many of which are hateful and contain an undercurrent of American antisemitism, and i feel sad for America when people have so much hate in their hearts. Tom is trying to make sense of the world. So we don’t all agree with him all the time. Why mock him? Why call him names? Sad commentary on America, not on Tom Friedman. Know what I mean? Then read this:

    Goodbye to all that! — An American Jew’s life in non-Christian Asia

    by danny bloom in 2011

    In a recent magazine article, well around 1996 or so, a British expatriate by the name of John
    Derbyshire wrote from New York that a lingering form of antisemitism
    is alive and well in the United States — and always will be. Nothing
    new there, but his words were startling. ______ Derbyshire, who is not
    Jewish, wrote in an earlier piece, about a year ago, when Joseph
    Lieberman was named as Al Gore’s running mate: “My own impression …
    is that Jews are widely, though very mildly, disliked in America. It
    may indeed be kosher to joke about the powerful; but it is all too
    human to resent them. In the circles I move in — working- and
    middle-class Americans — antisemitic comments are quite common
    between intimates, though everybody understands they are de trop in
    any less restricted circles.” _____ Derbyshire comments about Jews
    being “widely, though mildly disliked in America” struck a personal
    note with me, because I have been living in Asia for the last 10 years
    and have found life here — in both Japan and Taiwan — to be
    completely free of the ugly elements of public antisemitism. In fact,
    it so enjoyable to live in non-Western, non-Christian societies that
    are free of antisemitism that I plan to live in Asia for the rest of
    my life and never return to the US. Goodbye to all that. _____
    Recently, a small epidemic of “Jew-dislike” seems to have made the
    rounds of the US, spawned by several controversies, both in print and
    on the Internet. First, there was cartoonist Johnny Hart’s mildy
    offensive — to Jews and many Christians — Easter cartoon “B. C.,”
    that caused a major sensation when it was published, and in some cases
    not published, in April. Then there was Washington-based conservative
    Paul Weyrich’s Easter commentary online that repeated the old canard
    about the Jews being responsible for the death of Jesus. Then there
    was the New York Times Magazine story that related the anti-Jewish
    remarks of two NBA basketball players. ______ Derbyshire had noted in
    another NRO essay: “A cold-eyed view of human nature is always wisest,
    and my own cold eye tells me that antisemitism will be with us for as
    long as the Jews themselves.” He may be speaking the truth, at least
    as far as life in the Western [read "Christianized"] world goes.
    ______ Of course, Jews have never had it so good in America, as the
    pundits like to say, and there is little overt antisemitism anywhere
    in North America. But to be honest, Jews are widely disliked — though
    “very mildly,” as Derbyshire put it — in America and always will be.
    It will never change. ______ A hundred years from now, 500 years from
    now, Jews will remain “widely … though mildly” disliked in America.
    Why? For a host of complex reasons that define the very essence of
    Western Christendom, but which boil down to one thing: the Christian
    Gospels are in their very theological essence anti-Jewish. Sorry, but
    that’s the truth! _____ Living in non-Western, non-Christian cultures
    as I have for the last 10 years here in Asia, I have found that social
    antisemitism simply does not exist in places like Japan, Thailand,
    Taiwan or South Korea. Asian cartoonists do not draw Easter cartoons
    that show a menorah morphing into a cross. Asian writers do not
    publish online commentaries about so-called “Jewish cabals” in
    Hollywood or on Wall Street. Asian parents do not teach their children
    ancient myths about Jewish “Christ killers,” and they don’t speak at
    the dinner table in undertones of polite dislike for “those Jews.”
    _______ In Asia, Jews are an enigma, yes, an historical enigma, but
    they are not the object of theological scorn. It is so refreshing to
    live here. I have never been told by a Japanese or a Chinese that I
    will go to “hell” because of who I am — or that my Jewish beliefs are
    wrong. Asians do not “think” this way. ______ It’s amazing — to me, a
    true 52-year-old innocent abroad — that when one moves to a land
    where the old Christian myths and hatreds and prejudices do not exist,
    and where neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament are taken at
    face value by the populace, how quickly quirky antisemitism and its
    ugly ramifications — for both Christians and Jews — disappears,
    ghost-like, lost in the mists of ancient and modern European and
    Middle Eastern history. _______ It is so refreshing to live here in
    Asia. As a Jew, as a human being, as an American. It’s the way life
    was meant to be. ________

    [danny , a 1971 Tufts graduate, has lived in Japan and Taiwan for the
    last 20 years. You may email him at danbloom in the gmail office with polite comments
    or feedback even if you disagree, sure]

    • Sarah Carr says:

      Find me one comment which contains an “element of American antisemitism”. Just one.

      • Sarah Carr says:

        Sorry undercurrent* not element.

        • LP Mitchell says:

          Thank you! I get so sick of people reading columns and then writing another article in response that has nothing to do with the original column (it’s something like reading book reviews on Amazon.com). I didn’t read anything Anti-Semitic in that article. Not by the furthest stretch of the imagination.

          As it happens, I’ve read your article (Ms. Carr’s) article about a dozen times.

          I enjoyed it very much.

  161. DANNY BLOOME says:

    AND BDS said it well on March 8, 2011 at 03:16 above:

    ”Clever piece of [satire], but lacking substantive critique of TF’s ideas, and therefore not especially [persuasive]. Of course [entertaining] to people who [already] agree with you. Your readers certainly love you, but if you want to get your message across to the readers of the nytimes, then you need to go [beyond ad hominem attacks] and [ridicule].”

    Yup. Easy to throw darts, Sarah.

    • LP Mitchell says:

      Do you get out much, Danny? I live in China, too (yes, Taiwan is part of China), but live in the Mainland. And the comments that they have about Jews are not all that nice. One person that they really like is Adolf Hitler here. (It is not because of what he did to Jews, but because they just like him for some reason.)

      It is outside the scope of this blog, but I think that a lot of people disliking Jews has nothing to do with Christianity.

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  163. Katy says:

    Had to read up on my “load of cobblers” slang; that’s good. What is Friedman, or whoever his site’s gatekeeper is, so dimly darkly afraid of. I don’t get it, I really don’t. I guess they’re afraid of the natives is what it amounts to, those who know/see/say/witness/write more than they do; those whom the fortunate angle of light has given a rather clear and truthful picture. Cobblers—I think shoemakers, the track, Willie Shoemaker, winning jockey, oh what a winner, American desserts, peach or apple, shoes, illustrations of shoes, paintings of shoes, the recent New Yorker Hockney cover, etc etc. But I don’t think it at all; it speeds by/flashes at the speed of light, and to write the stream belabors it. Sarah, Mrs. Orton (whoever the cobbler she is, one of your above correspondents) is right. You be comic genius, lady.

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  165. fuckthearmy says:

    oh my gosh! although I hardly ever read this prick’s articles but this has to be one the funniest and most brilliant articles I’ve read in years. Thank you

    MASTERPIECE

  166. fuckthearmy says:

    reading the comments, I can see you have your share of GIYUS/Hasbara admirers too! hehe

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  168. sam varghese says:

    Wonderful stuff! Even better than the demolition job Matt Taibbi did on him.

  169. it is a pleasure for me visit your blog.

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  171. nusrat says:

    while i am no fan of friedman, it’s a stretch to allege that he does not scold the israeli government for their excesses.

  172. I think 1 of your adverts triggered my browser to resize, you probably want to put that on your blacklist. This is just the start and it never fucking ends | Inanities is a cool name for a blog BTW ;)

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  174. K P Moseley says:

    But his recent book, “Hot, Flat and Crowded” — on the mounting ecological crisis — is nonetheless very good!

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  176. Ashwin Kelkar says:

    Brilliant piece, great way to start my day ;-)

  177. Ivan says:

    To read the Egyptian press is to be transported back to Nazi Germany. It is filled with the most vile attacks on Jews. The truth is the Egyptians could learn much from Israel, like how to live in an open and transparent democracy. Egypt is now a military dictatorship as it was formally a civilian dictatorship. Egypt is fast sinking into an abyss from which it will never recover.

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  181. del canvassa says:

    what a stupid slapdash post. dudette, you’ve got a lot of bile (over)flowing. hard to take serial exaggerations and character assassination seriously as a form of criticism. but keep playing to your amen corner. it obviously tickles them to the point of organism

  182. Rafael says:

    I love to read the all bile the Jews are spitting. What, it’s only been 65 years since WW2, and you are already unaccostumed to having your conduct exposed unapologetically?

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  186. Joss says:

    The writer is right and the comment would never end lol.

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  189. L.A.H says:

    Hold up what is right, journalist. Do not push down what is wrong. The sentiments that uphold the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — bitterness, anger, hostility, entitlement — are the same sentiments I see amongst this argument. Jews, Muslims, Christians — they’re all just people following essentially the same message delivered through different prophets. Love your enemy. You cannot quell anger with anger. You cannot quell hate with hate. You must show the world’s suffering, and be prepare to die like a soldier doing so; but angry zeal is time wasted.

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