Cast your minds back to the year 2000 when Bashar al-Assad became president of Syria. Headlines such as this from the AP:
According to CNN, Assad Jr liked windsurfing and the web:
The New York Times referred to the “shy young doctor,” a “soft-spoken, gangly bachelor and computer buff.”
Today we know better.
So maybe the international media should give some thought to the widespread descriptions of Iranian president-elect Rowhani as a “moderate” or “reformer” such as this from PBS:
Sadly, in the Middle East, being a moderate or a centrist is very much a relative term.