How Will the Arab Press Report the Wikileaks Release?
The Wikileaks documents show Arab leaders' true feelings about Iran. How will the Arab press cover it, and how will the Arab street react?
A large portion of the currently released Wikileaks documents feature Arab leaders begging the United States to bomb Iran, Arab leaders mocking Iran, and general bad feelings between the rest of the Middle East and the current Iranian regime.
These sentiments aren't very surprising, but now that they're public, things get difficult. As much as these leaders are afraid of Iran, they are also afraid of their own people, who they believe fully support Ahmadinejad's nuclear ambitions. They are so afraid, that they won't act or publicly support any actions by the United States or Israel, despite saying so in private.
Now, as Marc Lynch writes at Foreign Policy, the question becomes how this information is disseminated in the Arab media:
I imagine there are some pretty tense scenes in Arab newsrooms right now, as they try to figure out how to cover the news within their political constraints. Al-Jazeera may feel the heat the most, since not covering it (presumably to protect the Qatari royal family) could shatter its reputation for being independent and in tune with the "Arab street". So far, the only real story I've seen in the mainstream Arab media is in the populist Arab nationalist paper al-Quds al-Arabi, which covers the front page with a detailed expose focused on its bete noir Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, the details are all over Arabic social media like Facebook and Twitter, blogs, forums, and online-only news sites like Jordan's Ammon News.
Once the news of these stories gets out there, Arab leaders might see whether their calculations about the beliefs of their masses are true or not.