Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A reader writes...

The original comment is here at 09:06:

Why do journalists think their right to do whatever they want defines democracy? There isn't a democracy in the world that doesn't have some form of censorship.

And guess what? Dubai doesn't say it is a democracy, or has any aspirations to be one. All the so called great democracies are full of corruption and sleaze and sex slaves and poverty and exploitation and self interest and everything that's bad about humanity. But you can say what you want in the local rag newspaper so everything's OK.

Journalists suck. You're all so smug and sure that what you do is so important.


Anyone feel like responding?

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

First, journalists are smug. It comes with the territory of knowing a lot about certain subjects from years of covering them, and then being helpless and impotent when it comes to covering the same. It is not part of our better nature. It stems from an ultimate lack of any power.

The main issue that divides the UAE, or really, Arabs in general, and western expats, not only journalists, is a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of democracy on the part of Arabs. Arabs, in my experience have no concept of the laissez faire society. This is why you can land in jail for a rude gesture. They believe, rightly or wrongly, there is some value in restricting expression; that it is dangerous to be too frank. They haven’t been exposed to the marketplace of ideas in the same way westerners have. If you grow up in the UK or Oz or the US, you are exposed, from an early age, to a whole range of fuckups, misfits, nutters, religious zealots, etc., etc. You learn as a child there is purpose in letting people stand on the corner and scream about things, if for no other than reason than to provide a release for emotions. It acts as a safety valve for society. We scream and bitch at each other precisely so we don’t resort to killing each other. And in that you also learn to find the people who have similar ideas and ways of thinking (Also, you learn that ignoring the crazies works better. The natural tendency is to shun a person who stands on the street corner and screams obscenities). Arabs, on the other hand, have a hive mind. For good or ill, they tend to be vertically integrated when it comes to the thought processes.

So, when expat western journos get on a blog and rant at each other, at the system, at their paymasters, at the colossal cock-up that is the world, we recognize that it is mostly hyperbole, exaggeration and steam. We realise that you need these releases to prevent problems, where the Arab tends to think that these forums are the cause of the problem.

Yes, it is true that all the great democracies got there on the backs of others. There is no denying that. The difference is that all these great democracies, to become great democracies, had to, at some point, start allowing a certain level of expression. These societies realised the way to shed the indignity of their former sins was to start having frank and open expression. You can see this in the Truth and Reconciliation Committees of South Africa, and in similar tribunals in Rawanda.

It is true that all the democracies of the world have at least the residuum of censorship. But, the moving average as societies become more powerful, more influential and more respected is towards a more open and expressive society. That the very act of having people express themselves provides a solution in and of itself is something still lost on the Arab. Yes, journos want to write all kinds of things. The idea is that however hurtful our words, we will not be shunned if there is some truth to our words. If we begin to write things that are both hurtful and untrue, we will be shunned. That is the way the marketplace of ideas works. People gravitate towards the good ones.

The ultimate tragedy of Dubai isn’t that they lost a bunch of money for some banks in London. What is really sad is the Emiratis have learned nothing from having so many people of so many diverse backgrounds come to the UAE. That when we all leave, when Dubai isn’t so shiny and nobody wants to buy an overpriced villa on a sinking, man-made island surrounded by beaches with sewage effluent washing up on shore the people of Dubai will go back to their cloistered, welfare society having learned nothing of what makes a robust community. They will go back to screwing their first cousins and complaining about the indecency of the western world while pining for the very material trappings of our indecent cultures.

Anonymous said...

at the end of your rant you forgot to mention "wiping their arses with their hand and stealing their neighbours goats"

and actually dubai will never be abandonded when the veneer rubs off, it's an overflow for mumbai.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that all the great democracies have been allowed to develop these mechanisms over time but we expect others to land on the ground fully formed and doing it just like we do it? That's just more bully imperialism telling newly formed and developing societies that we know best so just do what we say.

This first response makes some good points. It's worth remembering that western liberal democracies began to form after some major societal uphevals and revolutions which gave rise to the notion of the rights of the individual. Individualism and laissez faire economics were fundamental to the formation of modern democratic and capitalist states. In many other parts of the world the community good trumps individualism and this includes Asia and many Middle Eastern cultures. You can't just tell people that's not the way we do it where we come from so change now.

People, and journalists, should understand this and stop shrieking about how crap the media is here. In reality the UAE has made great strides in establishing a basis for media development here and the truth is that the people who are here working in the media and come from those "advanced" media markets have a lot to contribute if they could get past the pseudo-affront to their profession that not being allowed to mock leaders seems to be to them. Get off your high horses and do your job and effect change through your actions.

Today in Dubai I read the papers and I got plenty of dire news about the situation here, both from local news and others like FT. I watch CNN, BBC, ABC, NBC, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CNBC etc. and they're all saying whatever they want. Stories of censorship in the UAE are greatly exaggerated. Which is not say it doesn't exist, by the state and the individual.

And all of these idiots who get on this blog and hate Dubai just miss the point and so what? (There's actually only a couple from what I can tell.) They're back at home in their London flats wallowing in their own misery and telling us all how it ought to be, so good for them. They can read their lofty press all day long and sleep well at night knowing they got the whole story, no bias, no agenda, no censorship, just the whole truth sent to them by their sainted journalistic brothers.

Anonymous said...

No democracy has ever been perfect nor is it ever likely to be.

However, history has shown time and time again that as an aspiration it is something worth struggling for.

We only need to look at the 20th Century and the rise of totalitarianism to see where an absence of human rights and democracy can lead.

Furthermore the notion that democracy and human rights are a purely western construct is just total bullshit.

These ideas are widespread because the answer the needs of the majority of the planet - the poor.

In fact the west has done plenty to hold back democracy in the Arab world despite the aspirations of Arab people.

Journalists and writers have historically been at the forefront of such struggles from the imprisonment in the Soviet gulags through to the UK's Chartist pamphleteers.

I also shouldn't have to add that Dubai is presently in the hole that it is precisely because it had no thorough, complete open process of accountability.

For that you need democratic rights absolutely enshrined.

The struggle to attain those is one certainly worth fighting for.

Unless, of course, you're just another braindead Dubai ex-pat cunt.

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore the notion that democracy and human rights are a purely western construct is just total bullshit."

Democracy is. Nobody claimed human rights were.

"These ideas are widespread because they answer the needs of the majority of the planet - the poor."

Yes, the best thing about democracies is the absence of poverty.

"also shouldn't have to add that Dubai is presently in the hole that it is precisely because it had no thorough, complete open process of accountability."

What about that thing called the global economic crisis? Didn't that come directly from democratic societies with thorough, complete open processes of accountability. Same hole.

"We only need to look at the 20th Century and the rise of totalitarianism to see where an absence of human rights and democracy can lead."

Hitler was a democratically elected leader.

"Journalists and writers have historically been at the forefront of such struggles from the imprisonment in the Soviet gulags through to the UK's Chartist pamphleteers."

More of the journalist-as-hero bullshit that proves the original point that they suck.

Anonymous said...

the pen is mightier than the sword and oil is mightier than the pen.

Anonymous said...

@1518

Democracy is not just a Western construct (parliamentary democracy is - other democratic forms and structures are not). It has roots all over the world.

I never said democracies don't have poverty. I correctly pointed out they tend to be popular because they give a voice to the poor and dispossessed.

So you're saying because Hitler was democratically elected it undoes the democratic ideal? That's probably the stupidest argument against democracy on the planet.

I would agree that the dominant parts of the Western media failed in holding the world of finance to account. However there have been plenty of people warning of such a collapse for years. Their voices just got drowned out. In Dubai they'd have gone to jail.

You're assuming that I stated democracy is perfect in the West - it isn't and I didn't claim it was. There is still as big a struggle going on for democracy in the West as anywhere else.

My point is that you either believe in it and strive for it or you don't. Plenty of Arabs do and plenty don't.

Ultimately you have to chose a side and stop being a sissy assed moral relativist (you might need to look that up).

And yes, among many other groups, some journalists have played an important role in a struggle for democracy.

Some of the best journalists are quiet, unassuming non-macho types who do all that painstaking research that uncovers the big stories. Most of them are nerds rather than heroes.

I think you seem to be caught up in the fact you're an amoral scumbag who has lived off the backs of slaves for the last few years and the chickens are coming home to roost.

And now half the planet's journalists are laughing at you.

I am also laughing.

I also noticed the one thing you didn't refute - that you're a braindead Dubai ex-pat cunt.

(there's an opening in London for you - cleaning my flat - minimum wage hur hur hur).

Anonymous said...

In the US, the free press chose not show mutilated bodies of 9/11 victims. Is that censorship?

In the 'free world', your papers think freedom of expression means publishing pics of britney spears' stained underwear.

I would not fault anyone for trying to create a responsible media.

Dubai is new. Westerners don't know their asses from their elbows when it comes cultural sensitivity. They also, even after 10 years in the UAE, write for a readership based in their country.

Arab, Asian and Western expats cannot seem to work together in any harmony because their understanding of what is important is different. Unless you create a community that interacts and does not shop in nation-specific supermarkets, you cannot create a media that reflects one reality.

Which is why the Arabic media is not only more free but more real.

Anonymous said...

@14:00 Today in Dubai I read the papers and I got plenty of dire news about the situation here, both from local news and others like FT. I watch CNN, BBC, ABC, NBC, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CNBC etc. and they're all saying whatever they want. Stories of censorship in the UAE are greatly exaggerated. Which is not say it doesn't exist, by the state and the individual.

You are odd, really odd. To back your claim of free media, you list only international media organisations and not one local media company. Dont you think that says a lot about your free media claim?

free media is not allowing you to read FT because no government in the whole world can stop you from reading FT or watching NBC, thanks to the internet, so allowing you to read international titles is not freedom of speech. dumbo.

finally, do yourself a favor and instead of walking hand-in-hand with a russian hooker in a mall and acting as if she was your girlfriend, try to broaden your knowledge.

Anonymous said...

15:18

Please can you dislodge Sheikh mo's cock from your mouth? He wants it back...

Anonymous said...

@22:06 Which is why the Arabic media is not only more free but more real.

Forget about Arabic media being more real, whatever that means, but how did you reach the conclusion that it is free??

Which Arabic newspaper or TV station is free?

Please enlighten me.

Anonymous said...

@2206

dude, i'd stop smoking that thai stick if i was you. It's really fucking up your ability to cognate effectively.

Anonymous said...

All these pathetic journalists defending their sad positions with their rants on how they've changed the world all end their little squeaks the same way:

"finally, do yourself a favor and instead of walking hand-in-hand with a russian hooker in a mall and acting as if she was your girlfriend, try to broaden your knowledge."

" also noticed the one thing you didn't refute - that you're a braindead Dubai ex-pat cunt."

"(there's an opening in London for you - cleaning my flat - minimum wage hur hur hur)."

That they champion free speech is admirable but it would just be nice if their own speech was more supportive of that. To those who restrict free speech this is exactly what they point to and say "we don't want that".

And your constant racial stereotyping is so typically English. (Is that moral relativism or irony?)

Anonymous said...

There comes a point - or at least, I have come to a point - where the cultural relativity argument spouted by so many people both in the liberal west and the middle east (things work differently here, nobody else can tell us what to do, your values are not our values etc) just doesn't hold up any more.

Muslims have no problem expressing the view, both to each other and to the wider world, that Islam is the correct and true way to live, and that non believers are wrong. I respect the fact that they can believe so strongly in something.

Here is what I believe, from the bottom of my heart, with every ounce of my being: freedom of speech is right. Any attempt to limit freedom of speech, short of inciting people to kill each other or rape children, is wrong.

Don't jump don my throat and tell me the West isn't perfect. It isn't, and yes, censorship does come in to play there more than I like, and yes, some people choose to use their freedom of speech to talk about Britney Spears. I don't give a toss about seeing her pants, but if someone else wants to read about her that is their choice to make. Not the government censor.

I can write and shout and scream as much as I like about what is wrong with my society, not because I want to bring it crashing down, but because I want to improve it, and I don't risk jail by doing so. Politicians are corrupt? True, and when they are found out they will get ripped a new asshole by the press, hung out to public shame and ridicule, and then maybe arrested (see the expenses scandal in the UK earlier this year).

The press is there as an independent check against the abuse of power by government. If that check isn't there, your government can lie and steal as much as it likes, and fuck the rest of you.

You might disagree with me - that's fine. But I am sick of apologising. Free speech trumps everything else, and that's it.

Anonymous said...

Re: @19:21 - Just some of the best bits.

"I never said democracies don't have poverty. I correctly pointed out they tend to be popular because they give a voice to the poor and dispossessed."

Hardly the exclusive domain of democracy. Both Soviet and Cinese Communist rule were achieved through the voices of the poor and dispossessed. Oh no! Not Communism.


"So you're saying because Hitler was democratically elected it undoes the democratic ideal? That's probably the stupidest argument against democracy on the planet."

Actually no, that's not what was being said. It was a response to the statement that an absence of Democracy leads to totalitarianism.

"My point is that you either believe in it and strive for it or you don't. Plenty of Arabs do and plenty don't."

Your point is wrong. I believe in democracy absolutely and that it is the best form of government we have. However, I don't believe in imposing it as a complete turnkey solution on every developing nation. It has to grow organically and in line with cultural accountability and each one is different. India is hailed as the world's largest democracy and is relatively stable but they still have a firmly entrenched caste system and that must surely be a contradiction.

"Ultimately you have to chose a side and stop being a sissy assed moral relativist (you might need to look that up)."

Yes, I'll look that up - "sissy assed". Is it some kind of gay bashing insult? More scary though is your idea that journalists have to choose a side. For general news reporting I would have thought objectivity had a role.

"I think you seem to be caught up in the fact you're an amoral scumbag who has lived off the backs of slaves for the last few years and the chickens are coming home to roost."

You're from a culture with a history of subjugation, exploitation, slave trading, denial of rights, theft of cultural property, and abuse of cheap labour (to clean your London flat) so perhaps you should support the cause of reparations rather than imposing your neo-enlightened views on others.

Anonymous said...

From an article in today's Guardian:

Lord Mandelson declared war on the Murdoch empire today when he accused News Corporation of maintaining an "iron grip" on pay television and warned that the company wants to import rightwing Fox News-style journalism to Britain.

But that's OK, Journalists should choose sides, right @19.21?

It goes on to say:

Mandelson's remarks show that Labour, which itself faced accusations of becoming too close to Murdoch when the Sun endorsed Tony Blair shortly before the 1997 election, is spoiling for a pre-election fight with News Corp. Mandelson believes that, unlike New Labour in 1997, the Tories have provided clear evidence of how they are pursuing a near identical agenda to News Corp.

So who do you answer to you if you work at a Murdoch media business?

Anonymous said...

@03 December, 2009 07:30: please dont equate muslims with a rabs, there is a big difference between the two. malaysian muslims, south african muslims, indian muslims, etc live and work peacefully and harmoniously with the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

@7.30

"Here is what I believe, from the bottom of my heart, with every ounce of my being: freedom of speech is right. Any attempt to limit freedom of speech, short of inciting people to kill each other or rape children, is wrong."

That's great and we all want to agree but you have to support the right to advocate killing and raping too. Not the right to do it, but the right to say it. The argument of incitement is purely a mechanism to restrict free speech. You can't pick and choose according to your cultural sensibilities. You can argue that unflattering images of Sheikh Mohammed are an incitement to bring down the government or that evolution is an incitement to deny God. In Germany and Austria it's illegal to espouse Nazi policies. That's a restriction of free speech.

"The press is there as an independent check against the abuse of power by government. If that check isn't there, your government can lie and steal as much as it likes, and fuck the rest of you."

Although the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance, that's not really why the press is there. That's a role certain sections of the press took on and good for them. But there are very few mainstream press organisations that do that without some political agenda.

The original point was to refute the notion that journalists in Dubai are especially weak or failures, when the fact is that journalists all over the world are weak and answerable to higher authorites and that this acquiescence seems to be excusable or overlooked.

Anonymous said...

dubai is not and never will be a democracy. Its a family run business base don ancient bedouin tribal values, so why should it have a free press.

by the way whats happened to gergawi ? is he still a special minister ?

Anonymous said...

@0925

Got to start with your strange -
"abuse of cheap labour (to clean your London flat)" - line of attack.

You really are a complete fucking moron, aren't you?

If a legal migrant works and lives in the UK they get the right to vote in local elections, the right to full citizenship after several years, the right to join a trade union and the right to be protected by law, should they be paid less than the minimum wage.

In Dubai NO-ONE has the right to form a trade union, legal migrants will never get any genuine rights and NOBODY gets to vote for anyone about anything.

And somehow you're trying to compare the two systems????

Also your take on other nations "progressing" towards democracy - do you think they do that by nobody ever demanding it or actioning for it?

Let's look at the labourers in Dubai. They seem to be the ONLY people who've made ANY attempt to create a democratic movement via illicit unions etc.

The poorest, most trampled upon have done more to agitate for this than all the "sissy-assed" selfish westerners put together.

And I'll tell you why.

It's because the "sissy-assed" selfish westerners benefit DIRECTLY from the lack of democracy in Dubai.

Just admit it - you HATE democracy.

If there was democracy in Dubai it would be the talentless cunts such as yourself who'd be cleaning the streets and flats.

And that's why I am happy to offer you a good, minimum wage cleaning job in the UK when you return.

I'd be happy for you to join the cleaning workers trade union, happy for you to have the right to vote and happy for you to complain should you feel I am breaching any of your rights.

Anonymous said...

Your sad, depressing and increasingly irrelevent little country was built on the back of exploited labour and the suffering of others. You raped other countries and cultures to get what you have, including your closest neighbours. You thought it was enough to be exposing them to your brand of civilisation and that they should thank you for it. And that's what you do now. You look to impose your morals and values on everyone else and hurl abuse and call people cunts and morons because for all your grandstanding about human rights and moral equivalence you're still a bigot and a racist and can't understand how the world really works. Go back to your dirty little London flat and conduct interviews for your minimum wage cleaner and console yourself by telling them they can join a union and vote in the local elections. I hope they vote to elect themselves and impose a reparations tax on you.

Stay away from this discussion, it's over your head.

Anonymous said...

@06.16

It's funny but I began reading your latest load of deluded tosh and thought you were writing about Dubai

Then it became clear it was just another example of tiresome ex-pat hatred of the place they come from that just reveals their own pathetic self-hatred.

Also, you really don't need to tell me the faults of the place where my home is. I am very aware of them. Have never denied them.

But you singularly fail to acknowledge the faults of the place where you live.

As I said before this is because you, personally, have benefited from a lack of democracy and basic rights for the weakest members of the society you live in. You even defend this lack of rights cos it's in an "Arab" country. Are you the kind or person who would've lived in Nazi Germany in the 30s and said the anti-Jewish programme was just "local culture". Your position is just completely repugnant.

Simples.

As for your calling me "racist" and a "bigot" not sure what part of twisted rationale produced that.

You're just an amoral cunt. Face it.

You hate democracy and you hate the slaves who built Dubai having any rights. Because if they did you'd have a smaller slice of your nasty greedy fucking pie.

Anonymous said...

so many people seem to have whipped out their Plato and civic books to reply to this post.

It was a nice attempt to stir up the pot since the biscuit breakfast controversy. Yaawn.

sometimes I dont know if most of the Dubai Media observer rants are written by the sacked western journalist who was enjoying beer at Irish Village two years ago or the one who does not have a job back home and spends time surfing the net on freedom of whatever.

see first post - "they have not been exposed to ideas the same way westerners have." Is there any other part of the world or wot? Like Brazil, Russia, India, China, and so on?

The truth is Arab media is bold and floral too. Plenty of ideas there. But if you dont know the language, I guess you dont know if Arabs have ideas.

PS - communists lost the last election in Kerala because the vote bank decided that they wanted filthy lucre to pay for their kids education, buy them iphones and make a home.. ok, dark humour is wasted here

Anonymous said...

Dubai is not a democracy on that we all agree but what is interesting is how this is accepted and in some corners embraced.
It says a lot for your character that you chose not to have freedom or civil liberties but instead wish to be governed by someone who has inherited a title and wealth.
A bit like the British only that ended centuries ago!
Sheikh Mo was handed this title he didn't earn it and for all he suppossedly strives for the benefit of 'his' people he does so whilst lining his pocket with gold.
He personally has accumulated vast wealth whilst its the banks of the world that have invested heavily in Dubai's development. Now it appears this development is on shaky ground and in serious need of re-investment, so where is your beloved leader. Do we see him sacrafice his personal wealth for the good of his people?
No, you see him declare this someone elses problem and he freely gambles with the possibility of Dubai becoming a permanent building site.

Should Dubai fail to climb out of this recession you will not see Sheikh Mo suffer, he'll be too busy watching his horses at Ascot, and the rest of you spineless cunts that basqued in his glory and felt priveged to receive the scraps from his table can return to the desert from whenst you came.

Anonymous said...

From my experience working with westerners for the past 20 years, the hypocrisy, racism, and cronyism, with some of them still amazes me. Take this comparison, a female media executive in Dubai is caught having sex and the story is a world wide scandal, while when a famous CNN TV host is caught in central park having sex with drugs, barley few heard of it. CNN has also been caught faking live reporting, CNN Caught Airing Fake Broadcast During Gulf War 8-24, the story never makes headlines anywhere. Westerners are just better at faking it -faking racism and their lies-, Arabs are too crude to get away with it. I think we Arabs could be reformed, but not sure about the WASPs.

Anonymous said...

I am all for freedom of expression, and the recent Jeddah floods has proved that those courageous Saudi journalists who said in their headlines something to the effect that behind every small corrupt official a high ranking official. They even went as far as calling for the resignation of members of the royal families. There are many decent Arab journalists, just like anywhere else. But Westerners believe their own idols and their version of democracy and freedom of the press is superior to all others. In fact that is all BS. Take the US, all networks have six owners who set the agenda and rules of action:
http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart/main
The rest of the world is left at the mercy of Murdochs and other douchebags.
"A handful of companies control most of what we see, hear and read every day. They own our TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, cable channels, movie studios, music labels -- even our favorite Internet sites."

Anonymous said...

Western journalists cheat on a daily basis.Creating fake memorable stories is awesome, a famous actor is claimed to be a dead friend:

"The soldier who uses this weapon keeps a picture of his dead friend taped to the stock".

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1944414_2007291,00.html#ixzz0YifQPp8V


http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1944414_2007291,00.html

Anonymous said...

@18:33 The truth is Arab media is bold and floral too


Which a rab media is bold and floral? please name one newspaper or tv station that is bold and floral?

Anonymous said...

@23:58
the bold:
alquds.co.uk/
http://english.aljazeera.net/
al-akhbar.com
the floral:
http://www.alefmag.com/
.ililinyc.com

Anonymous said...

lol! Thanks @21.52!

"The soldier who uses this weapon keeps a picture of his dead friend taped to the stock," I am assuming the caption is by Scott Olson, Getty's man on ground in Afganistan. Time used it. Neither of these two mammoths of Western media is aware that the photo is of a top Indian actor.

I've seen countless Western expats build up their lousy compatriots and must say that the "Western ideas" do not stand scrutiny.

Not saying Dubai is great or anything. But certainly the fix is not importing Westerners to implement practices best for them. All it does it create jobs for Brit losers. Since they keep saying they know best.

Anonymous said...

sunday times reporting that shaikh mohammed really does have debt problems and its not just restricted to dubai world.

Mohammed Gergawi identified as the man at the heart fo the problem who is reportedly "in denial" at the true extent of dubai holdings debt.

the article also claims that the
dubai desert disneyland will never be more than a dream.

thoughts anyone.

Anonymous said...

@05 December, 2009 07:36

I knew you would call al quds newspaper a bold newspaper because it is. but you forgot to mention that it is published in the UK, where the regional censorships rules dont apply, plus the fact that many a rab governments have banned it in the past.

al jazeera, yes, they do speak out, but even they never say anything about q atar, and as we know it is easy to point out our neighbor's failings than to fix our own house.

i have never heard the last three names you have mentioned, so cant say anything about them but i am presuming they aren't that famous and/or big organisations.

the truth is not one a rab newspaper, apart from al quds, or tv station is respected by anyone or carries any weight.

Anonymous said...

19:44
The whole world is in denial for the last three years. That is why we had the recession.

from the credit rating agencies to Madoffs clients to Satyam's board of directors to Bernanke lowering the interest rates to those of us who flashed five credit cards, flipped property and now blame the banks.

New topic administrator?

Anonymous said...

how about as a topic.

" does the dubai government have the intellectual muscle and experience to run the economy in an open and transparent way, or are they all just sand salesmen "

Insipid Chagrin said...

And ladies and gentlemen - I give you verification of Godwin's Law, right here @DMO.

Never fails. Hilter is always lurking in the background somewhere. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:42. This is
04 December, 2009 18:33.
someone else replied on my behalf. :-)

But by bold I meant reactionary. a bit like the Brit press on Dubai when their own country is in disorder

and floral - well, at any presscon when the floor is thrown open to the media - Arab journos speak for five mins airing their views and congratulating the person on his announcement and the next five airing some opinion and finally when prodded by PR pop the question.

Have the more serious Arab journo or PR friends translate all that jazz. the end qt is so lame.

Like I said, dark humour is wasted here

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:42. This is
04 December, 2009 18:33.
someone else replied on my behalf. :-)


This is 4:42. your description of bold and floral is apt, I totally agree with you.

Anonymous said...

4:22, I wonder why you are commenting on Arab media - you don't seem to know what you're talking about. You don't even know 2 out of the 3 titles 7:36 mentioned. I think that says something about your lack of knowledge rather than about how well-known the publications are.

Al Akhbar is biased, but their journos cover a lot of sensitive topics.

The past year, many Shia were getting kicked out of the UAE (it was a pretty big deal in case you haven't heard) - Al Akhbar covered it extensively and because of that, Nabih Berri met with the UAE leaders and they promised to put a stop to it. That was the last I heard about the whole issue so one would think that these journalists did a good job.

Al Jazeera constantly has reports that show us what's really going on. When Israel attacked Gaza last year, Al Jazeera reporters risked their lives to show us what's really going on. What did Western media do? Ignore the topic. Or call some 'experts' from their desks. If not for media like Al Jazeera, I would still be ignorant about the people and politics of this region seeing as the Western press only focuses on 'terrorists'.

Alef Magazine closed down but the person behind it is now on Unfair, a recently launched lifestyle mag. It has some good stories about talented regional artists, cultural initiatives, etc. and some articles are very well-written.

I don't deny that there are many Arab journalists who produce sh1te but there are good ones out there as well. Same goes for British journos. Perhaps you should try learning Arabic or talking to Arabs in order to know a bit more about how Arab media influences their lives.

Anonymous said...

@ 10 December, 2009 21:29.

I did acknowledge that al jazeera does a pretty good job, apart from keeping quiet on q atar.

and dont forget most of its top journalists are from the bbc and other 'western' press.

i dont know about al akhbar, maybe its good or maybe not, but the lebanese issue was also covered by the western press and Iran's Press TV channel. But our dear National forgot to cover it.

frankly, i dont really care how many of them are doing a good job or not because they neither matter to me or to the world at large.