People in Glass Houses

21 06 2011

Category; Middle East, Media

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles has been giving lectures on Western morality recently, and explaining that the West does not have the moral authority to condemn Arab dictators:

 …the West no longer has the moral high ground in the way that perhaps it did in the Middle East…we cannot really preach to the Arab world, we cannot really be seen to have the moral force we need… (BBC Newsnight, 15 June 2011)

He’s the sort of person who might think twice before lecturing others on morality on national television. But he’s also the sort of person who ought not to be invited onto news programmes as a neutral expert. Read the rest of this entry »





Buffoonery and state killing

3 04 2011

Category; Media, Middle East

I can understand why people are sometimes scared of clowns. There’s a frightening buffoon appearing in the British media at the moment; Sami Khiyami, the Syrian Ambassador to the UK.

Jeremy Paxman did an excellent job trying to impose a sense of reality on a man who describes his country, in the grip of civil unrest and which has seen more than a hundred of its citizens killed by their own government, as ‘the nicest and most beautiful state in the Middle East‘.

As to the cause of the unrest, it is nothing to do with the authoritarian regime of President Assad, but it may be the work of the Israelis; ‘they could be behind any bad thing in the world‘.

You can watch the interview here:

Paxman handled the surreality of the interview well. His colleagues on the Radio 4’s Today programme did not.

Evan Davis interviewed Khiyami on the Today Programme on 1st April 2011. It is a negligent piece of journalism. In a programme known for combative questioning, Khiyami was handled with kid gloves.

It’s a dreadful interview. Davis even sums up for him, have a listen: Read the rest of this entry »