Friday, February 25, 2005

Al-Jazeera Besieged

Abu Aardvark links to an article on the Arab satellite media, but I think Matthew Yglesias says the most important thing:
"In other words, when people (including the president of the United States and his subordinates in the administration) shun Al Jazeera, pressure the Qatari government to break off their involvement with it, and try to promote Al Arabiya what they're doing is seeking to promote a situation in which the government of Saudi Arabia has a total monopoly on Arabic-language electronic media. This is, roughly speaking, the reverse of what these people claim to be trying to accomplish -- the promotion of dissent and political reform in the Arab world. Mostly, I think this is genuine confusion -- we're talking about dupes rather than liars -- though obviously someone, somewhere understands that a scam's being run or else it wouldn't work. Frighteningly, the Saudis seem very close to achieving their goal."

It's not really a total monopoly, of course, but the point stands.


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