The Corner

Watching Arab Media

For those who haven’t gotten to it yet, Samantha Shapiro’s latest New York Times Magazine piece, on the television network Al Arabiya, is a good read. It begins and ends with Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, the station’s general manager, who was widely noted after the Beslan massacre (including on NRO) for his harsh words about Islamists. He also has harsh words about the Middle Eastern media, particularly Al Jazeera (his main competition); and has been criticized, including by his employees, as too pro-American. In fact, you get the impression from Shapiro’s article that the station is tilting, even slightly, pro-American, but I’m skeptical. Overall, though, the piece is a revealing glimpse into the Middle East media wars, and Al-Rashed is a sympathetic figure–someone to keep an eye on.

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