James Zogby and the Politics of Perception

Linked with James Zogby – USA, and with The Arab American Institute AAI.

Published on worldpress.org, by Remi Kanazi, November 26, 2008.

James Zogby isn’t just an Arab American with an opinion. He is the president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a well known writer, and an esteemed leader within the Arab American community. Many non-Arab Americans highly regard his analysis and look to his articles as a resource to understand the Middle East.

This is precisely why his latest article, “Rahm Emanuel and Arab Perceptions” is so disturbing. In the piece, Zogby tries to calm the fears of Arab Americans about Barack Obama’s first appointment, Rahm Emanuel, to White House Chief of Staff. Zogby expressed shock and dismay that his constituency, once euphoric over the election of Obama, was now sending him angry and cynical letters. Zogby described the emails and calls to his office as “troubled and troubling—because much of the reaction was based on misinformation and because of what the entire episode reveals about the larger political dynamic” … (full text).

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