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Ed Webb

Mona Eltahawy - Will Egypt's protests go the way of Tunisia's revolution? - 0 views

  • The big question now is how loyal the armed forces are to Mubarak and what role, if any, they will play should the protests escalate.
Ed Webb

Watching Egypt (but not on Al Jazeera) | Marc Lynch - 0 views

  • One key factor was missing, though, at least early on. Al Jazeera has played a vital, instrumental role in framing this popular narrative by its intense, innovative coverage of Tunisia and its explicit broadening of that experience to the region. Its coverage today has been frankly baffling, though. During the key period when the protests were picking up steam, Al Jazeera aired a documentary cultural program on a very nice seeming Egyptian novelist and musical groups, and then to sports. Now (10:30am EST) it is finally covering the protests in depth, but its early lack of coverage may hurt its credibility. I can't remember another case of Al Jazeera simply punting on a major story in a political space which it has owned.
  • More broadly, it's astonishing how much is now in motion in Arab politics after such a long period of seeming stagnation. There's a vivid sense of an era coming to a close and an uncertain new vista opening. Even if Al Jazeera's release of the so-called "Palestine Papers" doesn't bring down Abu Mazen's negotiating team or the PA it feels like the autopsy of a long-dead peace process. Hezbollah's Parliamentary maneuver to bring down the Hariri government and replace him with veteran politician and businessman Najib Miqati, a response to the Special Tribunal's reported indictments which has sparked violent protests by Hariri backers, may mean an end to the era of U.S. alliance with a March 14-led Lebanon. It's hard to know where to focus --- but in fact I continue to see these seemingly unrelated events as part of a broader story of the crumbling of an Arab status quo which has long seemed unsustainable.
  • 3pm:  Al-Jazeera's lack of coverage of the protests has become a major story.   It doesn't seem to have gotten any better since this morning --- since getting back on line I've seen an episode of a talk show, more Palestine Papers, and only short snippets of breaking news on Egypt.  Al-Arabiya apparently hasn't done any better.  My Twitter feed and email are full of comments like "AJ Arabic is covering childrens gymnastics programs in Indonesia right now. Good call." (@mwhanna1) and "Exposed. Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya's failure in covering #Jan25" (@SultanAlQassemi).   Egyptian activists are complaining bitterly, and most seem to think that Mubarak cut a deal with the Qatari and Saudi governments. 
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