Egyptian unrest and US media bias

The coverage of Egyptian uprising in the TV Channels across US have been criticised for being both pessimistic and superficial. Since the pro-democracy protests began, the mainstream American media has focused sharply on what it all means for the U.S. and its allies in the region.

4 thoughts on “Egyptian unrest and US media bias”

  1. Andrew Exum finds incredible the continued willingness of pundits with no previous experience in or expertise on Egypt to opine about what is taking place there. As CNN’s Ben Wedeman tweeted from Cairo, “If I had a dollar for every silly statement made by instant-Egypt experts in newspapers, TV, I could retire tomorrow.”

    BBC’s Newsnight too has made sure that they do not remain behind in offering clueless, confused commentary to dumb down the audiences on this side of the Atlantic.

    The responsible media needs to explore whether democracy delayed implies democracy denied; and whether hastening the peaceful power transfer could secure the mutual coexistence of Islamic polity with demoracy as the Turkish example illustrate. The media need to discuss if an ensuing delay would hasten a process of radicalization that would push North Africa back to Algeria of 1992.

    It may be instructive to note what Robert Dreyfuss author of Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam has to say about the evolution of the Islamic threat spectre in the first place:

    Shortly After January 11, 1992: US Tacitly Supports Algerian Government’s Cancellation of Elections

    After the junta ruling Algeria suspends elections and declares martial law (see January 11, 1992), the US decides to tacitly support the junta’s actions. Islamist groups were poised to take power. Secretary of State James Baker will later explain, “We pursued a policy of excluding the radical fundamentalists in Algeria even as we recognized that this was somewhat at odds with our support of democracy.” A State Department report will later comment that the US supported the Algerian junta with “something of a wink and a nod.” Algeria will become embroiled in a civil war and the Algerian government’s crackdown on opponents will become increasingly brutal, but the US will continue to support the junta.
    [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 315-316]

    With a wave of unrest spreading from Tunisia to Jordan to Yemen and as calls intensify for Mubarak to start a transition soon, Middle East analysts are turning their attention to Turkey, a rising diplomatic force in the region.

    “The only effective, working model in the Middle East is the Turkish model. There is nothing else,” said Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern politics and international relations at the London School of Economics. “Turkey’s model serves as a foundation for similar societies so I think then in the wake of the protests Arabs will be taking a second look at the Turkish model that marries Islamic values and democracy as a universal form of government,” Gerges said.

  2. The free and fair election of Hamas in January 2006 by the Palestinians was overthrown by the US and Israel before it had a chance to govern, even in a national unity coalition.

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