Dozens of journalists die every year throughout the world, including some specifically targeted by governments.
Why has the case of Jamal Khashoggi gotten so much attention?
It’s mainly because he has many friends among American journalists, and his death provides yet another opportunity to bash President Trump.
Here’s what you won’t read in most of the stories.
Khashoggi was no choir boy. He supported the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that wanted the imposition of sharia, or religious, law. He played a prominent role in several newspapers in Saudi Arabia, which means he had close ties with the royal family. He even served as a media adviser to Prince Turki Al Faisal, who was the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Various sources said he worked with Saudi intelligence services throughout the world.
He took up residence in the United States in June 2017 and started writing occasional columns for The Washington Post. Most of them attacked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. You can read most of the columns here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/10/06/read-jamal-khashoggis-columns-for-the-washington-post/
What really gave the story legs are Khashoggi’s friends in the media. Thomas Friedman and Nick Kristof wrote of their relationships with the murdered Khashoggi.
“Praying for Jamal Khashoggi,” a column written by Friedman, details his long-standing relationship with an important source about Saudi Arabia.
Kristof amps it up in his column. “I had known Jamal for more than 15 years, and I’m appalled by every element of what happened: By what appears to have been his brutal torture-murder, by the cover-up afterward, by President Trump’s downplaying of Jamal’s killing,” he writes.
Kristof closes the loop in his attack on Trump.
That’s the underlying meme of the extensive coverage of the murder. Trump is a bad guy because his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is friends with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
I haven’t ever seen this much coverage of the death of a journalist, with the possible exceptions of photographer James Foley at the hands of ISIS or the death of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of al-Qaeda.
But the intensity of the coverage of Khashoggi fits the media’s plan of attack on Trump just before the midterm elections.
There’s one other part of the story that doesn’t get much coverage. Only a handful of outlets like Forbes have raised the issue. What is Turkey up to?
As Forbes notes: “It’s endlessly astonishing how the global news media can generate such a mountain of noise over a particular topic without once asking the most obvious, the most germane questions. What are the Turks up to? What’s the game here? They’ve managed to endure years of foreign nationals being executed on Turkish soil…. Of course they should be outraged. But for them to develop a sensitive heart suddenly over this one outrage suggests other calculations afoot.”
The Turks want to oust Saudi Arabia as the leaders of Sunni Islam and get the United States to end economic sanctions for a variety of bad deeds. Cui podest?
I’m not suggesting his murder was justified in any way, but now you know the rest of the story.