Monday, November 21, 2005

This is the difference between a stupid media (the Washington Post), and intelligent media (the Economist, the best magazine there is). Both are talking about Jordan's king Abdullah. Post says: "The king, who was educated in the West, promotes democracy and has championed Muslims to stand together against extremism." Economist says: "For all the talk of modernisation and political pluralism, Jordan is still a politely authoritarian state run by a king whose near-absolute power is underpinned by a ruthless and watchful security service. His reforms are being imposed from the top down. The press, though it breathes a bit more freely, is co-opted and still occasionally muzzled. A recent poll by the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan found that 77% of respondents felt they could not “criticise the government without fearing punishment”, against only 16% who thought they could."