It stands to reason. Might our entertainment industry be offering up the best form of propaganda? Desperate Housewives being used to ‘counter the extremists?’ Amazing. Wonder how Modern Family is going over?
By Devin Dwyer.
American television shows broadcast across the Middle East are proving to be effective “agents of influence” in the ongoing battle over hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims pondering jihad against the United States, a confidential government cable published by Wikileaks reveals.
ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “World News with Diane Sawyer,” as well as CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” and NBC’s sitcom “Friends,” all carry more sway with viewers than a U.S. taxpayer-funded Middle East broadcast network, an unnamed Saudi source told U.S. embassy officials last year.
“It’s still all about the War of Ideas here, and the American programming on [privately-owned] MBC and Rotana is winning over ordinary Saudis in a way that ‘Al Hurra’ and other U.S. propaganda never could,” the source said.
“Saudis are now very interested in the outside world, and everybody wants to study in the U.S. if they can. They are fascinated by U.S. culture in a way they never were before.”
The Saudi government, which exerts tight control over media in the country, has permitted the satellite broadcasts of American programming uncensored with Arabic subtitles over the privately-owned Middle East Broadcasting group (MBC) as a “means of countering the extremists.”