Salama Nimaat, a pro-American Jordanian journalist and frequent al Hurra guest, writing in al Hayat: "George Bush met with King Abdullah of Jordan a few days ago, the first meeting with an Arab leader of his second term in the White House, and since the outbreak of the spread of democracy in the Middle East, which gave observers the opportunity to discover the extent of Bush's sincerity in spreading freedom in the Arab world.... But Jordan, in contrast to Egypt which also receives American economic and military assistance, was not subjected to pressure such as that felt by Egypt currently to carry out democratic reforms. Even though Jordan has witnessed a series of setbacks on the front of freedoms in recent years, such as appointing regional councils and student governments instead of electing them as in the past, and issuing laws which sharply limit the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, Washington directed no criticisms towards the retreating process of reform and modernization in the kingdom."
Rana Sabbagh, Jordanian journalist, writing in al Hayat: "The American president George Bush described the Jordanian King as his first Arab ally on Monday... It is clear that Bush appears more determined this time that Washington's policy in the Middle East does not rely on supporting totalitarian regimes in the interest of stability... A few weeks ago the State Department issues its annual report on Jordan and directed some sharp criticisms towards the governments "violations of human rights, the retreat of freedom of expression guaranteed in the Constitution." ... More recently a crisis has exploded between the government and the professional associations which is a wider controversy over the whole file of political reforms which Jordan began in 1."
Al Jazeera: A bright cheery picture of Bush and Abdullah shaking hands, with the caption "King Abdullah is a close ally for Bush", which I'm sure did wonders for Abdullah's image in the region. No further commentary on the absence of criticism of Jordan, however.
What about the Jordanian press? I'm paraphrasing here, but it went about like this:
Al Ghad: King has fabulously successful trip to America, Bush loves him
Al Arab al Yom: Fabulously successful trip to America for the King, Bush declares love
Al Dustour: On fabulously successful American trip for King, Bush's love declared
Al Rai: Fabulously successful trip to White House for popular, handsome, intelligent King; Bush once again declares undying love and devotion
Free press in Jordan, you know.