Media and the WEF: Partners in Crime

الخميس 21 أيار 2009

The WEF is nothing more than another local and international intensive PR campaign, and the media is more than happy to play along

Written by Musa al-Shuqairi

If hundreds of rich “people” blabber for three straight days and there is no one to report it, do they make any sound? It is no secret that the media has been an integral part of Dr Klaus Schwab’s superficial and largely insignificant gathering-turned-franchise. After all, if you are going to be bright enough to convince the manipulators of the world’s fortune and the global corruption figures (usually referred to as CEOs and politicians) to fork thousands of dollars in membership fees to rub shoulders with Bono or to sit through brilliant presentations from business administration BA holders, the least you can do is offer them some face time that will pat their over-inflated egos and give them that false sense of importance they are desperately seeking. 

From the forums’ own You Tube channel and own publication (unfortunately suspended since 2006 when Dr Schwab decided that you are free to discuss all the world issues in his forum as long a there is no mention of Boycotting the Zionist state) to newspapers and online alternative media, the global press corps are an essential part of any conference shallow enough to “tackle” more than 37 regional and global issues by dedicating less than two hours for each issue.

But it seems that the organisers of the event in Jordan are not only responsible for hand-picking their media partners (through a screening process that include four simple questions: What is the WEF? When was it first held in Jordan? How did it benefit Jordan? And how do you think it could benefit you personally?!!), but judging by the two main Jordanian dailies, it seems that even the reactions to the event are controlled by the hosts.

After the Islamic brotherhood in Jordan issued a statement opposing the WEF (which in a typical Islamic brotherhood way was self-defeated by its own rhetoric and exaggerations, not that it did not contain some valid points) it is hard to imagine that it was a mere coincidence that the four main columnists in al-Rai newspaper decided simultaneously to defend the global event and launch an attack against those who are doubting its significance or importance to the country. (Actually the thought that they did it voluntarily without being ordered, provoked or encouraged is even scarier – but that’s a whole different issue). Al-ghad (which insists on presenting itself as the “liberal” and professional alternative to al-Rai without doing much to prove either) divided its counter-campaign over two days with responses from its prominent columnists and an editorial piece breaking down the above-mentioned statement. Even Yasser abu Hilalah’s anti-Davos commentary was uncharacteristically compromising, avoiding any confrontational language in a disjointed column, and probably serving that al-Ghad’s “fair and balanced” image more than actually expressing the opinion of a large sector of the Jordanian population that finds little benefit of such an event and more-importantly finds the attendance of the Zionists state war criminals and settlement builders(*)truly offensive – to say the least.

Al-ghad concluded its epic week-long partnership with the WEF with a barely-comprehensible descriptive-language-heavy column at the fifth grade level by its editor-in-chief, describing Jordanians efforts (specifically the efforts of the Royal court, the army and the security (devices) – revealing unintentional irony) over the past week (the pope visit and the WEF) as a synchronised orchestra. A group of drummers and dabkeh-dancers would probably be a more accurate description of the circus that flocked to the Dead Sea to bring us those important updates about unconventional capitalism (Friday 6:30-8:00pm) and e-Living (Saturday 1:30-2:45) [whatever they mean] – while ignoring the fact that the whole deal is nothing more than a meaningless image booster (Sunday 11:00-12:30) – but not in the Chinese Olympics model which the session advocated, but more like the Rumble in the Jungle or (with more Haute Couture similarities) the Thrilla in Manila model. 

(*) A reference to so-called Young Global Leader Efrat Peled, the CEO of the Zionist Arison investment group – that “has participated extensively in settlement construction.

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