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February 12, 2006



This populism issue may simply be part of what in America would be called "the culture": this is the dominant tone in the Arab world today, whether it comes from a Islamist, left-nationalist, or sometimes even liberal (see Ayman Nour in Egypt) perspective. One thing about the cartoon issue is that for most people, the outrage is genuine -- even if it had to be stoked by opinion-makers to start spreading. (Incidentally, this something Al Jazeera probably did not have a great role in doing since it covered this issue from the height of the crisis rather than the beginning.)

As for Al Jazeera benefiting from the crisis, don't all TV stations when there's a big story? Besides, I thought you were happy with Al J as an Arabic Fox News (or is that only for AJI?)

the aardvark

Issandr - you're right about al-Jazeera jumping on the bandwagon rather than lighting the fire, I'm pretty sure I wrote about that in one of my earlier posts. But once the fire was going, it sure has been throwing gasoline on it...

On the "all TV stations", absolutely right - hence my concern that increased market competition won't necessarily mean more moderation. That might seem obvious, except that there have been a lot of people arguing that the problem with the Arab media is state ownership and the answer is privatization. I think that breaking state monopolies on media is good for all kinds of reasons... but that might not be one of them.

Good points, though.

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