Bahrain Special: How Regime Supporters Used a New York Times Reporter (Again) To Denounce the Opposition
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. She portrayed activist Zainab Alkhawaja – now in prison like her father and fellow activist, hunger striker Abdulhadi Alkhawaja – as a supporter of that violence: “Ms. Khawaja rejected the argument that demonstrations should always be peaceful. When asked if she would call on protesters to refrain from using bombs, she said: ‘It really amazes me when people ask if I will condemn it. I will not.’”
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?