Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Time magazine and Arab media

"The channel is seen as a prominent voice of moderation in the Middle East, preferring calm analysis to what many see as rival al-Jazeera's more sensational coverage." First, it really amuses me that American correspondents who don't know Arabic--like this dude here--don't feel any hesitation in rendering judgments and making observations about Arab media--media that they can't really watch or read or understand. So basically they ask somebody who ask somebody who was told that by somebody. Secondly, voice of moderation? A station owned by the brother-in-law of King Fahd can't be a voice of moderation unless you call public beheadings, rigid gender segregation, Wahhabi indoctrination, and stoning of lovers as "moderation." Thirdly, the statement is false. Al-Arabiyya is far more sensational and shallow than AlJazeera which takes itself seriously--too seriously at time. Fourthly, AlJazeera does a far better job than Al-Arabiyya in bringing diverse and opposite points of view. Diversity of opinion on Al-Arabiyya TV means you bring representatives of the various Saudi princes. I really feel sorry for American readers who rely on such media for their education on Middle East affairs.