The Arab Media Response to the Wikileaks

I joked today on Twitter that I believe the world will probably deal with this the same way regular people deal with post-one-night-stand-hook-up awkwardness: Everyone had their fun but seen each other naked and now they just wanna do their walk of shame and pretend it never happened.I have been monitoring media websites the entire day waiting to see how the different arab medias will cover the subject , betting that they will either ignore it completely or focus on what was said in the name of the leaders of the other arab countries instead of their own. It seems that the media honchos decided that they couldn't ignore the news completely, so they went with option #2. Here is the breakdown:

In Egypt I focused on two "independent" media outlets, Masrway and shorouk news . Here is what they said respectively:

Masrawy mainly focused on two aspects: The awkwardness that has befallen the US gulf allies from the leak , and everything that had to do with Iran on them, fromthe US closely inspecting Iranian diplomats who went to Iraq, to the report that Iran used the Red Crescent to send weapons to Hezbollah during the Lebanon war, to how the wikileaks won't affect Iran's diplomatic relations with its neighbours . There was one mention about how Turkey's Erdogan simply hates Israel. No mention of Egypt at all.

Shorouk , on the other hand, went all over the place with their coverage, from focusing on Qhathafi's suspect relationship with his nurse , to Burlesconi's jovial reaction to what was written , and ending it with an article on how Israel sees great benefit in the Iran wikileaks and how Erdogan doesn't believe the website to be credible . No mention of Egypt, plus subtley making it look like it was all an israeli plot. Bravo Shorouk, you get bonus points for a job well done.


As expected, AlJazeera ignored everything said about Qatar, and instead had one article about how the arabs (sans qatar, duhh) have tired to goad the US to attack Iran , and then two articles on how wikileaks embaresses US foriegn policy and whether or not those documents should be published in the first place.

And finally, we have Alarabiya:

Saudi owned AlArabiya went with the weirdest option of them all. They published one article , titled how Saudi and Iran asked the US to be firmer on the US (mentioned in passing in one paragraph) and then went into lengthy detail on how Qatar said they lie to the Iranians who lie back, Israeli diplomacy and the role of Egypt in the 2009 Ghaza War.That is all.

So, in conclusion, the arab media oultlets are sticking to their guns, ignoring or glossing over news that deal with their leaders, and focusing instead of the regional enemies or making the whole thing look like a farce. Given how very few options they actually have (god forbid they actually cover the news accurately), I think they did a very fine Job in reporting on this, without looking the bottom-feeding biased hacks that they are.

God bless you Julian Assenge. We wouldn't be having so much fun if it wasn't for your geeky ass.

38 Comments on The Arab Media Response to the Wikileaks

  1. The Lounsbury
    November 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    To be fair to Al Jazeera, the satellite coverage has mentioned Al Thani et Co, although not with any great glee or energy. So not total silence, but evidently not trying too hard.

  2. Sarah
    November 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Honestly I found these wikileaks releases pretty much expected. For me they were just stating the obvious, probably just what the rumors and the analysis have been saying in a form of an official document.

    It is really fun to read. I enjoyed reading Abu El Ghiet’s description and laughed at the Mubarak’s finger note.

    I still believe that with all due respect the Amir of Qatar is just … well, not as smart as he sells himself to be. The best he can do is to always be a regional wannabe player. This is the best he can do.

    I laughed at what he said about how the Israeli siege isn’t affecting the people of Gaza, seriously! And this is his idea of helping the people there. Now I don’t want to here a Palestinian screaming about how bad the conditions in Gaza are because their biggest supporters just said they aren’t suffering.

    Nijad’s response, is priceless.

  3. idit
    November 30, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Spot on.

    It’s good to have you back.

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  5. Richard Landes
    December 5, 2010 at 4:38 am

    very interesting observations. what about the more radical sites? is no one taking advantage of these embarrassing leaks to undermine rulers?

    your write: “how Saudi and Iran asked the US to be firmer on the US (mentioned in passing in one paragraph)”
    should that be “firmer on Israel”?

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    December 13, 2010 at 4:49 am

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  15. Karen
    January 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Anything to say about the recent bombing of a church in Egypt (or Iraq)?

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    January 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

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  17. dick
    January 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    It’s sad to see you blogging so infrequently, Sam.

    Although you haven’t commented on the subject, I wanted to find an opportunity here to commend those Muslims who protected the Coptic Xmas eve mass. I was touched to see such a display of courage and open-heartedness. Maybe there’s hope after all!

  18. kelly
    January 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

    i so miss you, i have been away now comming to you for my truth to see that you also are away just now, praying for your saftey and return to enlighten me and so many others.

  19. thewiz
    January 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Sandmonkey; what are your thoughts on the wiki-revolution in Tunisia? We have been told that the Arab world is petrified, or at least the leadership. We have been told that Mubarack and Jr are having meetings to make contingency plans. Any new security measures?

  20. Adam B.
    January 26, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Too bad Sam ain’t so active anymore – lot’s to blog about out of Egypt these days…!

  21. nadavu
    January 26, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Hey SM, your voice is missed.

  22. Beagle
    January 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    If there was ever a time for ESM to step up and tell us what’s going on, it’s now. Hey guy, you’ve been my go-to blogger for all things Egypt for five years.

    Do you have a government? Who’s in the streets?

    (If you’re using your ‘escape fund,’ never mind. I get that.)

  23. thewiz
    January 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    You guys know any other blogs out of Egypt to trust?

  24. Moose
    January 29, 2011 at 3:59 am

    FOX News “Fair and Balanced” has morphed to Shorouk, Masawry is CNN, AlJazeera is MSN and AlArabiya is the cooking channel with advertisements for the Home Shopping Network.

    In any event, bro…. welcome to my world.

    Seriously, thanks for tyring to educate this prarie boy. One of these days, man, it might take……..

  25. Andrew
    January 30, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Kudos SandMonkey!

    I’m an Oxford-educated Brit living in California, and you just nail this thing. keep it up. Same goes for Assange. Some good is finally coming of all this technology we engineers invent. The truth.

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    February 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I really hope wikileaks is still live and delivering the truth.

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    In my opinion what Wikileaks have done is totally unnecessary. There are things which the mass do not need to know. As one said, ignorance is bliss. The less they know, the happier they are.

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    March 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    In my opinion, Wikileaks doings are unnecessary and there are things which should be better left unknown. Ignorance is bliss.

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