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News ::
Whole Wide World of Empire (english)
28 Apr 2003
Modified: 29 Apr 2003
Why does Christopher Lyden invite such Imperialist ideologues as Niall Ferguson onto the airwaves?
In Response to the Sunday April 27th broadcast of Whole Wide World on WGBH, I have these comments:

Listener's Comment to Christopher Lyden

Whole Wide World - Lyden
Sunday April 27th, 2003

First, I must say the guest Niall Ferguson was the most shameless apologist of Imperialism, past and present, that you could have found. Except for Richard Perle, of course. The fact that he continuously brushed aside ALL responsibility for the depradations of Empire made for really stomach-churning listening. When Moy reported that the great majority of public sentiment in India is completely opposed to the US actions in Iraq, and view them as self-interested and ultimately racist acts in violation of international law, Ferguson slammed her as an effete intellectual out of touch with reality. If EVER there was a more obvious case of an effete intellectual out of touch with reality, it is Niall Ferguson, who hears the outraged voices of billions of conscientious citizens around the world as the chattering of children in a sandbox. Oh Ferguson, so busy with the REAL MEN who will run the destiny of planet earth forever, burying the hopes and aspirations of toiling billions under the blistering munitions of his cronies in the weapons industry...yes Ferguson, there is some news coming your way.

The people of planet earth have had enough. Enough of Empire. Enough of fascism. Enough of the peurile wannabe supporters, and enough of the neo-con murderers.

Chris, since you've provided us with the most lopsided pathetic apology for neo-imperialism, why don't you invite someone to set the record straight. I'm sure you can think of someone.

As for my own opinion, I am much more inclined to agree with the Black Commentator on this issue:
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dialog with Lydon (english)
29 Apr 2003
Here is Chris Lydon's response #1:

We made it a call-in program precisely so that people like you could get off their couches, duffs or computer screens and speak up. Which a lot of people obviously did, starting with Amy Chua, Arundati Roy and callers from a lot of the world. You don't make at all clear what more you wanted: was it a less lopsided, less pathetic apology for neo-imperialism? Tell me more about yourself. And thank for writing.

All the best,

Chris Lydon

my reply #1:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for writing. Basically, I was engaged in some computer programming on Sunday afternoon and was listening to your show in the background. Although Amy Chua repeatedly tried to ask Ferguson if he acknowledged the widespread global opposition to the so-called "neo-imperialism," "hegemony," or "hyperpower" plans of the Bush Administration, Ferguson consistently opined on the virtues of the British Empire and ignored the question. When a Canadian caller said that America is not the best model to put forward either, Ferguson imputed that Canada was a superior model for democracy (although the caller never said so) and then made more claims about the beneficial influences of the British Empire on Canadian insititutions. Ferguson's disparagement of Roy's eyewitness account of affairs in India today was totally uncalled for.

As the moderator of the show, I think you at least have the responsibility to mitigate such arrogance. Instead I came out with the feeling that the Whole Wide World is just buying into the whole Pax Americana Bullshit.

What does my background have to do with anything? I'm not asking you for your bonafides, although I've heard your programs off and on for decades... I think a listener's comment after the show is every bit as valid as a caller's.

Lex Berman


here is Lydon's response #2:

Your commenting on our radio show is something like my commenting on your computer programming. I mean, you weren't listening, were you?

I came out with the feeling that your computer programming was up to its neck in sort of Berman Bullshit, but then I didn't see it, so...


Chris Lydon


my reply #2:


now I know exactly where you are coming from.



I wonder if a third party can comment? I know that I expressed a strong opinion (as do most callers to Lydon's show). However, I also listed details from my recollection of the program, a number of specific details, and yet Lydon simply declares that I wasn't listening. Further he makes personal attacks, whereas I only pointed out that I was left with the impression of Ferguson being left unchecked to disparage all the other guests that Lydon was buying into the "Pax Americana Bullshit."

I still have no personal dislike or problem with Chris Lydon, so I wonder why my comment on the content of his show results in personal attack?

Anybody else have any experience on this?