Return from a long, long break.

4 01 2008

First there were finals, and then there was laziness, but I’m back to talk more about why U.S. coverage of the Middle East is totally stupid.

I don’t watch television news very often because it is generally useless, but I’m knitting a scarf and can’t listen to NPR for another three hours, so I flipped on CNN. Your World Today was on, and in addition to some primary coverage and a story on Britney Spears’ latest breakdown, was running a rather perplexing piece on an English-language Saudi blogger who got arrested for supporting 10 reform advocates that the Saudi government has accused of being linked to terrorism.

This is not really news–the Saudi government is constantly arresting people for saying things it doesn’t like. They must have spent 15 minutes (a long time in television news) on this report, and the anchor kept saying, “Is individualism in danger in Saudi Arabia?” As if individualism was once highly prized in Saudi Arabia. It was all very weird.

I did a little (very little) investigating and discovered that the Bush administration is petitioning for this blogger’s release–a fact not mentioned in the televised CNN report. It seems to me as if the whole thing is a ploy to make it look like this is an aberration, when in fact it’s an extremely common occurrence.