Friday, May 06, 2011

Aljazeera's political coverage

It has become a joke, really.  I liked and praised Aljazeera Arabic all along.  I always returned their calls and went out of my way to respond to their invitations, even for brief interviews.  But the role of the network in the Arab counter-revolution (alongside Saudi Arabia) is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth.  Early this week, they called me for a phone interview (I am sure on Syria) and I could not even return the calls.  I feel that it has gone too far.  Forget about the politics, it has become so sensational and unreliable relying for their coverage on the likes of "eye-witness Abu Muhammad".  The political agenda is not even masked.  Today, they clearly want to have a day of rage and protests in Syria: so they keep airing the same phone video footage.  They tell viewers that there were massive demonstrations, and then you count like 40 or 50 in the protests.  I am in no way denying or belittling the existence of protests against the repressive regime in Syria: and the Syrian regime media are as offensive if not more.  But you can't learn the news from Aljazeera anymore.  It reverted to a typical regime TV station.  And notice that Yemen is no longer covered ever since Yemeni dictator accepted on principle the GCC lousy initiative.  It is a very disturbing picture of Arab media and may usher in the rise of new media, especially with Egypt charting a new open course, politically.