Bahrain Special: How Regime Supporters Used a New York Times Reporter (Again) To Denounce the Opposition
Drove past the Pearl Roundabout this morning...total nightmare! Filthy squalid tent camps. It's about time the government got them removed!— Abigail Navarre (@CasaCoco) March 5, 2011
Almost three weeks ago, in a feature and a follow-up, we revealed how three supporters of the Bahraini regime, amidst tension and clashes around the Bahrain Grand Prix, introduced themselves as the "silent majority" to three Formula 1 journalists. The men, with a great deal of success, promoted the monarchy, especially Crown Prince Salman, as the symbol of moderation and reform while characterising protesters as a violent, misguided, Iran-led minority.
Two days before that, we considered how Souad Mekhennet of The New York Times --- allowed, unlike other journalists such as her colleague like Nicholas Kristof, into the country --- proclaimed, "Bahrain Holds Grand Prix, Keeping Protesters at Bay". Indeed, she went farther, portraying the opposition as fragmented, with one faction denouncing another for the use of violence.
But could this propaganda success be extended by merging the two strands? Could Mekhennet, representing America's best-known newspaper, be introduced to people who would reinforce her denunciation of the opposition?
From Tuesday's New York Times, "Losing Faith With Protesters in Bahrain", written by Souad Mekhennet....