A prominent Egyptian human rights activist has been muzzled after YouTube and Yahoo! shut down accounts belonging to the award-winning blogger. (Emphasis in original)
Cairo-based Wael Abbas regularly writes and posts video about police brutality, torture and sexual harassment in Egypt. He told FOXNews.com that he's fighting an "electronic war" now that the providers have pulled the plug on his video and e-mail accounts. "This is part of a campaign or a war - an electronic war - against me," Abbas said from Cairo.
Fox may be doing yeoman's work on this story, but when our friends the Saudis are involved it's a bit of a different story. This past Wednesday -- or was it Tuesday? -- no matter, Bret Baier, sitting in for Brit Hume who was/is on vacation, reported on the "200 lashes" story. During the very short segment on the story, Mr. Baier mentioned the 200-lash sentence and that the Saudi court was considering reducing the severity of the punishment even though the woman had confessed to having committed adultery. That's it. Nothing more.
But the AP story as carried on the FOX News web site starts as follows:
A Saudi court will review the case of a teenage gang rape victim sentenced to jail and flogging after she was convicted of violating the country's strict sex segregation laws, the foreign minister said Tuesday. (Emphasis in the original)
The remarks by Prince Saud al-Faisal, made in the United States and carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, were the latest in response to a salvo of international condemnation of Saudi judicial authorities' handling of the case.
It was also a sharp turn from a statement Saturday in which the Saudi Justice Ministry condemned the 19-year-old woman - raped by seven men and then sentenced to six months prison and 200 lashes - as an adulteress who had allegedly confessed to cheating on her husband.
These and other unpleasant story "details" were left out of the Baier report.
So? Well, who owns a chunk of News Corp? Saved Rupert Murdock's butt from a threatened takeover of his empire by rival media mogul John Malone? None other than Giuliani's take-your-ten-million-and-shove-it buddy, #13 on Forbes billionaires list , Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, Saudi Royal Family member and Warren Buffet of the Middle East. Also, bin Talal recently announced that, with Bill Gates, he would take Four Seasons Hotels private for $3.8 billion. To top it all off, he is also planning on being the very first to have a luxuriated Airbus A-380 Superjumbo as his very own private magic carpet. Must be nice. (No tinge of jealousy there, right?) So? Well, read the following by Frank Gaffney and decided for yourself if the relationship between Murdock and the Prince will prove no impediment to FOX's "fair and balanced"® approach to the news.
Oh, and don't forget, soon the Saudi Prince will own a piece of the rock, I mean, the Wall Street Journal through Murdock's purchase of Dow Jones. They're now in the process of wrapping up that deal. Once that's done, where will we go to get news and information critical of our friends the Saudis?
Maybe they're right? There isn't, rather, won't be any to be had.