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March 02, 2005

Paradigm Shift Goes Pan-Arabic: Now Even the Arab Press Begins to Wonder

Must read. But here are the best bits:

Beirut drama dominates Arab media

By Sebastian Usher

Newspapers in Lebanon have greeted the fall of the government on Monday as a historic moment and proof of people power on the streets of Lebanon.

The opposition movement in Lebanon has been inescapable on Arab TV stations, which have brought the dramatic events of the past two weeks since the assassination of the country's former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, live into millions of Arab homes.

The front pages of Lebanon's papers are a colourful sea of triumphant protesters holding aloft the Lebanese flag.

"People power brings down Karami's cabinet", reads the headline in the Daily Star.


[W]ith Arab satellite stations focusing so intensely on Lebanon, there is little chance that the symbolism of the opposition's victory has been lost on the wider Arab world, including Syria.

Arab newspapers are weighing up the possible knock-on effect of events in Lebanon on other Arab states, asking whether it is the precursor of the spread of genuine democracy across the region.

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

And then I'll repeat it:

Arab newspapers are weighing up the possible knock-on effect of events in Lebanon on other Arab states, asking whether it is the precursor of the spread of genuine democracy across the region.

All emphases added.

And here's the kicker:

That article ran on the BBC website.

I am now, I think, even more disrespectful of the media than I was before.

Yes, they are dutifully reporting the new optimism.

But they do seem to be stampeding, don't they? It doesn't take much to spook this herd and get it to change direction.

I think I'd actually have more respect for them if they didn't back down from years of previous group-think so quickly. At least that would have demonstrated some spine, or something.

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posted by Ace at 03:04 AM

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