Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Oriana Fallaci

Famed, or rather, infamous, Italian journalist and author Oriana Fallaci died September 16. This obituary in the International Guardian gives a good sense of the radical and even bigoted side of the feisty Fallaci. There has been very little in the news here about her even though she was a fascinating and to many, an infuriating, figure in political journalism. This article in The Jerusalem Post describes her as a "small, but fearless Italian journalist and author. " Going on to say, "The image of her with dark sunglasses on, cigarette in hand, churning out endless smoke and declaiming true and politically incorrect words would defy time and be with us forever." Her recent books, the Rage and the Pride and it's follow-up, the Force of Reason, were extreme in their criticism of Islam which brought her death threats and more notoriety. Jon Friedman of MarketWatch reviews her life in his article today. On the theory that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Fallaci's works are interesting most of the time, rarely dull, and as for "right", that's up to you. Here is an excerpt from the Guardian article which quotes her interview with Henry Kissinger in 1972, "when she described him thus: "This too famous, too important, too lucky man, whom they call Superman, Superstar, Superkraut ... this incredible, inexplicable, unbearable personage." He later called the interview, where he characterised himself as a lone cowboy riding on a horse into town, "the most disastrous I ever had with any member of the press".

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