November 27, 2012 by soniauwimana
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time the New York Times’ Jeffrey Gettleman got a front page covering the Great Lakes region, it took the form of the most ridiculous fabrication in living memory: the absurd “exclusive” that presented the Iwawa youth rehabilitation center as some kind of secret island prison. It was among the most disgraceful pieces of “journalism” on Rwanda I have ever seen and, boy, that is saying something.
So, Gettleman is no friend of Rwanda — but he is, for whatever reason, the gold standard when it comes to Africa-based foreign correspondents (a good reason to oppose a return to the gold standard).
Josh Kron, Tristan McConnell, Jonny “Handful” Hogg all want to be Jeffrey Gettleman when they grow up. Tragically for these boy scouts and others like them, by that time that happens, the idea of 24-year old white lads telling the world what to think of Africa will seem as comically outdated as using dots and dashes to communicate long-distance, or treating the plague with leeches.
But Gettleman got a front page today on the DRC conflict that, intriguingly, failed to mention Steve Hege’s Group of (so-called) Experts report even once. In fact, his obligatory dissing of Rwanda came down to a general assertion that people think Kigali is involved in M23, Kigali denies it, I don’t have any specific proof otherwise, but, hey, come on, who believes Kigali?
This article signals the end of Hege’s utility as a political battering ram for Rwanda’s enemies in the media and elsewhere. His mendacious effort had long lost its luster among diplomats and political decision-makers but when Gettleman — of all people — declines to even refer to it in a front-page NYT piece, you can put a fork in it: it’s done.