Monday, February 14, 2005
I have a lovely habit. Every morning I pick up my Al Ahram paper, the number one paper in Egypt, to see how they prioritize their headlines on the front page. This tends to give me an indication of what the paper wants to convey as "important" and as "not very important".
The major headline today went to the security conference in Germany! (did anyone hear about it??). Then a headline a little bit underneath announcing the score of a major soccer game yesterday. Underneath was a headline announcing that Israel will withdraw from Jericho during this week. At the bottom of the page I read the headline about Iraq's election results.
Ummmmm, very interesting. My dear government financed daily newspaper thinks that the security conference in Germany, the soccer game, and Israel's decision to withdraw from ONE Palestinian town is more important than the results of the elections that rocked the world.
My mind went back to a major headline I read days before the elections. The headline that was across the front page announced that "militants threaten to fill the streets of Baghdad with the blood of voters”.
When it turned out that the streets of Baghdad were not filled with blood, when it turned out that the only stain on that day was on the voters’ fingers (and it was purple and not red), my dear newspaper threw Iraq’s landmark elections to the bottom of its page. What a shame.
Why are they afraid of Iraq’s elections? Are they afraid to show that America’s plan might look as if it is working? Are they afraid lest people recognize that they were ranting on the wrong side ever since Saddam’s statue fell? Or are they afraid to show that yesterday’s winners did not win by 99.99999%?