Salon.com writer Ted Mcclelland very likely knows the difference between nuclear technology and nuclear warheads…except, it seems, when it comes to Iran. Recently an Iranian.com sports piece brought a “double standards” charge against the German referee who disqualified Iranian boxer Ali Mazaheri. The IC article suggests that double standards extend to how Western nations assess Iran’s nuclear program. Ironically, Mr. Mcclelland has quoted the IC article with the same double standard that the IC article laments.
In an engaing slideshow essay highlighting the most embarrassing moments of the 2012 Olympics, Mr. Mcclelland lists boxer Ali Mazaheri’s disqualification fiasco as an example of poor sportsmanship. So far Mr. Mcclelland is spot on; there was no excuse for Mazaheri’s disrespectful behavior towards an Olympic referee even if the referee had been so unfair as to be later suspended by the officials. It was not for Mazaheri to show disapproval of the referee’s calls. And if Mazaheri had not acted in such a hot-headed fashion he may have had a second chance on appeal. Mazaheri’s boxing fouls were quite minor, but he certainly fouled big time with his unsportsmanlike conduct while squandering his nation’s chance for another medal. Yet Mr. Mcclelland himself delivers an unsportsmanlike below-the-belt when he brings up the IC article with a quote:
Columnist Ari Siletz blamed the German referee’s decision on the same
Western Iranophobia that prevents the country from building nuclear
“Whenever there’s a regulation against an accepted tradition there’s
room for double standards,“ Siletz wrote. “The ref can be lenient to
some referring to tradition and he can disqualify others by referring to
regulations. Yet Mazaheri also had a part in this tragedy. He should
have been careful not to give excuses to the ref to disqualify him. He
failed to take into account the fact that on the international scene
Iran is usually on the punishment side of the double standard. Whether
the regulations deal with boxing or with nuclear technology.”
Importantly, the IC article says, “nuclear technology;” it does not say “nuclear warheads!”
Why is it that Fukushima is regarded as technology, but the Bushehr reactor is defined as “warheads” in the lexicon of the normally progressive Salon.com? This is exactly the double standard that the IC article decries.
Putting words into another writer’s mouth is not a minor journalistic offense, yet in the interest of sportsmanship we hope the editors of Salon.com are more lenient than the Olympic officials who suspended the German referee.