A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Tuesday’s debate: photos from Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on October 10, 2008

This has been a rough, rough week (as my aunt said in her post “Millions Lost Trillions”: a billion? A trillion? … I can’t think that  big) – and this means that it has also been an extremely important week in terms of determining what type of America our next president will govern. And right now, governing this country out of economic catastrophe looks like a real challenge. Whoever wins in next month’s election, I hope he focuses on bringing the smartest minds available together to analyze what has brought us to this point, and chart a course for bringing our economy – and the global economy of which we are very much a part – back to fighting strength.

In the meantime, I am still greatly enjoying the amount of coverage the major Arab world news channels are giving to the election. Can you imagine Lebanese politicians agreeing to a town hall debate, in which they might face actual electoral competition, not to mention actual constituents? Can you imagine Mubarak allowing himself to be questioned by a news anchor? Can you imagine any major Arab minister putting himself in a position in which someone can tell him: your time for speaking is up?

I don’t think that every country in the world should have a government that is a cookie-cutter version of the United States’, but I do hope that seeing these debates gives people food for thought about what it means to have a national election that involves more than rubber-stamping the life-time tenure of the current office-holder.

Here are a few photos I took during Tuesday’s debate, with apologies for the grainy quality of our “vintage” television screen.

Obama on Al-Jazeera, echoing McCain’s suggestion that Warren Buffet would be a “good choice” for US Treasury Secretary:

McCain on Arabiya, with an explanatory bar stating that this is a televised debate between Obama and McCain four weeks before the election (Arabiya refers to them by name here; Jazeera refers to the “candidates’ debate”):

Obama on Arabiya, saying that “America is in [the] worst economic crisis since 1929”:

McCain on Arabiya, talking about the Senate and the bailout plan:

One thing that does not come through in these photographs was just how often the channels’ text bars reported what Obama was saying. Many of the photos I took (which I am not posting here because they were either blurry or caught one of the candidates in an awkward post) showed McCain speaking, but with a text bar that focused on what Obama had said. It could have been a simple mis-coordination between the video crew and the text crew, but I have no photos of Obama with “McCain:” on the text bar.

So: if you are wondering which candidate these channels support – or at least which candidate’s positions they believe viewers are more interested in – I would say that the answer is fairly clear.

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2 Responses to “Tuesday’s debate: photos from Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya”

  1. intlxpatr said

    Even BBC seems to be partial toward Obama, have you noticed?

  2. We don’t get BBC – our US satellite gives us Arabic channels (which we love) and Japanese channels (which mystify us), but no other overseas options. So I’m very interested to hear about its broadcasts!

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