Thursday, January 28, 2010

Al-Hayat newsroom: what Khalid Bin Sultan can do for you

I spoke to a former writer/editor of Al-Hayat (the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan--the most brilliant mind since Haniba`l). He was explaining to me the forms of censorship in the paper. He said that there are five different layers of censorship. The last layer, is performed by a religious Egyptian fellow, who reads the entire paper and makes sure that every word conforms to the doctrine of Wahhabi Islam, or else. He said that the culture of the paper is so polluted, that the layer of Lebanese right-wing editors who implement Saudi wishes sometimes goes beyond what is expected because they are so scared of the Saudi censors. Some people get dismissed without knowing why and how. So to be careful, the Lebanese editors go beyond the call of propaganda duty, and it shows. He said that the newsroom is always filled with awe about Jihad Al-Khazin: they all talk how "Prince Khalid bin Sultan personally purchased a house for him in Kensington. That could be me." This is the culture of an Arabic newsroom. Get me the puke bucket, please. The sick bag would do, but I need three of them.