Saturday, November 26, 2005

Oooooh, Barracuda!

This is a very odd story. So odd, frankly, that I'm inclined to dismiss it. It broke several days ago of course, so you all know about it already.

It's no secret that al-J drives many Americans to the end of their rag, often pretty understandably. But I somehow can't see them deliberately blowing the guys up. In Qatar of all places.

On the specifics of whether or not the Jazeera wallahs are an irritant, even a dangerous irritant, or not I have a lot of sympathy with those who feel antagonistic. What I've seen of their coverage doesn't fill me with confidence and frankly I don't really think the fact that they allegedly purvey an alternative but somehow equally legitimate and hitherto suppressed "truth" gets them off the hook. On the other hand, if you want Arab democracy and Arab media liberalisation, al Jazeera is what you get. You can't have it both ways.


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