How's that theory working for ya this morning? Via.
Today's Quickie (via Bloomberg):
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said an oil price of $70 to $80 a barrel is in the best interests of Saudi Arabia because it diminishes the urgency in the U.S. and Europe to develop alternative energy sources.
“We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives,” Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, said in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled for broadcast tomorrow. “The higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives.”
Oh my, the prince is concerned that Americans are wising up and getting more serious about clean energy. What's a "26th on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest billionaires" to do?
That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?
Monday, 11 May 2009, 10:50
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 RIYADH 000651
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ARP (JHARRIS), R (MARK DAVIDSON), NEA/PPD (WALTER
EO 12958 DECL: 10/20/2050
TAGS PGOV, PHUM, PTER, ECON KISL, SA
SUBJECT: IDEOLOGICAL AND OWNERSHIP TRENDS IN THE SAUDI MEDIA
//David Letterman, Agent of Influence//
11. A look at the December 17 programming menu for MBC channel 4 reveals a 24-hour solid block of such programs as CBS and ABC Evening News, David Letterman, Desperate Housewives, Friends and similar fare, all uncensored and with Arabic subtitles. Channel 5 features US films of all categories, also with Arabic subtitles. XXXXXXXXXXXX told us that this programming is also very popular in remote, conservative corners of the country, where he said "you no longer see Bedouins, but kids in western dress" who are now interested in the outside world.
12. (S) Over coffee in a Jeddah Starbucks, XXXXXXXXXXXX, and XXXXXXXXXXXX elaborated on the changes in the Saudi media environment. "The government is pushing this new openness as a means of countering the extremists," XXXXXXXXXXXX told Riyadh press officer. "It's still all about the War of Ideas here, and the American programming on MBC and Rotana is winning over ordinary Saudis in a way that 'Al Hurra' and other US propaganda never could. Saudis are now very interested in the outside world, and everybody wants to study in the US if they can. They are fascinated by US culture in a way they never were before."
13. (S) So effective has US programming been, said XXXXXXXXXXXX, that it is widely assumed that the USG must be behind it. Some believe, he said, that Prince Talal's relationship with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and its sister company Twentieth Century Fox has a clear ideological motive behind it, noting that the Fox Movie Channel on "Rotana" is available for free to anyone with a satellite dish. Both XXXXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXX, liberal-minded supporters of US democracy and society with little use for conspiracy theory, clearly believed this was the case.
14. [I]t is easy to understand why XXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXX believe that this programming is having a profound effect on the values and worldviews of Saudi audiences. During the recent Eid holiday, Rotana's "Fox Movies" channel repeatedly aired two mawkish US dramas (again with Arabic subtitles) featuring respectful, supportive American husbands dealing with spouses suffering from addiction problems--in one case gambling (lost the kids' college funds and then told her college professor husband it was because he was boring) and the other alcohol (smashing cars and china when she wasn't assaulting the husband and child.) These films and others broadcast over the Eid offer models of supportive behavior in relationships, as well as exemplary illustrations of heroic honesty in the face of corruption ("Michael Clayton") and respect for the law over self-interest ("Insomnia.")
Who knew Bree and Susan possessed such powerful propaganditude? Girl powah!
Saudi based media group Rotana will sell shares to News Corp for access to the US firm's movie making and new media expertise to help boost its position in Arab media ahead of an IPO.
Rotana owns the Arab world's largest record label and about 40 percent of the region's movies - most of which are Egyptian - and operates 11 free to air television channels, two of which are through a partnership with News Corp.
Isn't this the same place from which the 9/11 terrorists ....?
Is Rupert palling around with...?
Oh but I kid. That's something you'd only hear on some biased outlet like... well, like....
Prince Alwaleed [...] holds a stake of about 7 percent in News Corp [...]
He said Rotana would benefit from News Corp's experience in television, movie production and new media, such as MySpace. [...]
News Corp Chairman James Murdoch said the deal expands News Corp's presence in a region with "a young and growing population where GDP (gross domestic product) growth is set to outstrip that of more developed economies in the years ahead". [...]
[Prince Alwaleed] said: "I don't visualise a situation whereby Fox News would be broadcasting in Arabic."
However, he said the partnership would help Fox News and the United States to "understand the Arab world better".
"Fox News is not the only media that is against Saudi Arabia ... It's an American syndrome".
Who would deny that ClusterFox is the perfect outlet to help us understand the Arab world better? They're so evenhanded and inclusive.
I couldn't be more excited for the U.S. I'm hopping from foot to foot in anticipation.
Thank you Rupes, for all you do.
H/t: Aphrodottie, 1kecko
Think Progress has this little tidbit regarding the relationship between the Murdoch clan and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, who happens to be the largest shareholder of News Corp... if you don't count Rupert's family:
The prince met with Murdoch last week to discuss a “future potential alliance with News Corp,” and he told Charlie Rose Wednesday about his respect for the Murdoch dynasty:
ALWALEED: I met with Mr. Rupert Murdoch and Mr. James Murdoch. We are always in tough. I’m second biggest shareholder there. And no doubt that News Corp is moving on all the fronts. You’ve seen how FOX rating is skyrocketing. … James is now managing Europe and Asia. … I’ll be the first one to nominate him to be the successor of Mr. Rupert Murdoch, god forbid if something happens to him. … I have full confidence in [James], full trust in him, and he’s capable. He’s really Rupert Murdoch in the making, and he’s almost there now.
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