Since Africa has been a topic of some discussion lately, I thought it might be interesting to contrast two newspaper views of Jacob Zuma, the man likely to be South Africa's next president; that is, if he can survive corruption charges.
First, we have the New York Time's Survivor is Poised to Lead South Africa. Although by no means entirely flattering, it casts Mr. Zuma in a mostly favorable light, neglecting to mention, among other things, Mr. Zuma's rousing campaign anthem, "Bring Me My Machine Gun."
For another portrait of Mr. Zuma (including "Bring Me My Machine Gun") one naturally turns to The Daily Mail, whose profile of Mr. Zuma bears the spirited title, Machine Gun Man Takes Over The ANC - God Help the Rainbow Nation. Not the sort of title ever likely to be encountered in the Times.
The Daily Mail does cast a more critical eye on Mr. Zuma's "short-skirt" rape defense, his advocacy of post-coital showers as a prophylactic to HIV transmission, and his intent to "Africanise" the country.
If nothing else, these two articles do serve to illustrate that much of what matters in journalism is related simply to the selection process: what to include, and what to omit. I am not asserting that either version is more accurate than the other; let's just say they both reflect the journalistic temperament of their respective publications.
I'm off with the family for a few days in the mountains, watching the rain fall. Well, it's a a change of scenery. As the charming couple in the photograph above might so colloquially put it, Merry fookin' Christmas!