Across the Bay

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ignatius on Arab Journalists

David Ignatius honors the memory of the late Samir Qassir and gives Michael Young a rave review. The staff of al-Arabiyya also gets a thumbs up.

Speaking of which, Arabic readers may find this report about the leading Arab satellite stations interesting. (Update: English version now available.)

Ignatius' remarks about the Pentagon are similar to Hitchens'. Take a look.

Finally, Arabic readers may want to read Bshara Sharbel's piece on that Dubai conference attended by Ignatius, where he criticized people like Amr Moussa of the Arab League. A sample:

The lecturing officials who declared that they were for an Arab media message that would respond to the West's allegations and its stereotyping of the Arabs' image, and equating them with terrorism, have themselves misled public opinion by jumping over the central problem in the Arab world, which gives birth to this failure or this distorted and underdeveloped media, and that is the absence of democracy. No one among the central figures of the conference decided to confront the difficult question: why is Arab media lagging behind, and what is the political environment in which it is living? Not one of them asked an important question about the possibilities of producing real free journalism in societies that don't allow for opposing opinions, and that refuse pluralism, and where the forbidden abounds.

It's a long slog, especially when the media itself is still infested with maximalist, conspiracy mongering Arab nationalists (inter al.). Ironically, that's precisely what Amr Moussa wants to see more of to "counter the West"! Just clone Buthaina Shaaban.