In the Washington Post, Arab columnist Mamoun Fandy wonders why the Arab press doesn’t condemn the latest Al-Qaida beheadings, but instead repeatedly replays the videos:
the lack of condemnation of the beheadings, despite their barbarism, is a direct result of a broad and dangerous trend in Arab media and in Arab culture broadly. The Arab world today swims in a sea of linguistic violence that justifies terrorism and makes it acceptable, especially to the young.
Fandy talks to the head of Al-Arabiya, Rahman Rashed, who shares an unbelievable story:
Rashed blames both contemporary Arab culture and the culture of Arab newsrooms. He offered two examples — one from print and the other from TV — to make his point. He told me that last year, when he was still chief editor of the pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq Al- Awsat (for which I am a columnist), he caught one of his editors changing the caption of an AP photo from “an American soldier chatting with an Iraqi girl” to “an American soldier asking an Iraqi girl for sex.” “If I had not caught him, it would have gone to print this way,” he said.
Read the whole thing – a rare, frank assessment of the state of Arab media.