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The gruesome murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi shredded the idea that Saudi Arabian royalty should be praised for reforming itself. Princes who chop political opponents into little pieces are not nice people. That said, puh-leeze stop it with the adoration of a man who deserves none of it.
Politico ran a gushing headline that read, "Jamal Khashoggi: The Free Thinker Whose Murder Shook the World." Time magazine named him one of "the Guardians," the journalistic muckrakers who became its 2018 Person of the Year.
Time - Karl - Vick - Laid - Praise
Time's Karl Vick laid on the praise, and thick, writing: "Khashoggi put his faith in bearing witness. He put it in the field reporting he had done since youth, in the newspaper editorship he was forced out of and in the columns he wrote from lonely exile."
In Vick's overwrought prose, Khashoggi was a bold and independent fact-finder. "What irked the kingdom and marked the journalist for death was Khashoggi's insistence on coming to that conclusion on his own, tempering it with troubling facts and trusting the public to think for itself," Vick wrote. Holy smokes! But it gets even better: "Such independence is no small thing. It marks the distinction between tyranny and democracy."
Wait - Khashoggi - Dec - Washington - Post
But wait. ... How independent was Khashoggi? On Dec. 23, the Washington Post acknowledged a "problematic" arrangement between Khashoggi and the autocrats of Qatar, a nemesis of Saudi Arabia (and the owners of "independent" Al Jazeera). Of course, the Post buried these facts in paragraph 19 on page A-14, in a massive 5,000-word story.
It deserved to be the lede. Text messages between Khashoggi and Maggie Mitchell Salem, an executive at Qatar Foundation International and a former State Department official during the Clinton presidency, show she "at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding...
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