08 December 2010
Desperate Housewives at the front line of the war against terrorism?
Despite saying that I am not that interested in the Wikileaks exposures here I am posting again about them… or one of them at least
According to the Torygraph a US Embassy cable seems to indicate that popular American shows like Friends and Desperate Housewives have done more to stifle Islamic extremism in Saudi Arabia than the money spent on propaganda.
In a message sent back to Washington DC, officials at the US Embassy in Jeddah said the shows were successfully undermining the spread of jihadist ideas among the country's youth.
The progtammes are broadcast with Arabic subtitles on several Saudi satellite channels and were part of a push by the kingdom to foster openness and counter extremists, according to the cable. The officials said the policy was succeeding in a way that Al-Hurra, a television news station funded by the US in 2004 at a cost of several hundred million dollars, never could.
The diplomatic cable was headed "David Letterman: Agent of Influence," referring to the US chat show host who is also being broadcast to a Saudi audience.
The May 2009 cable said: "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." American sitcoms and chat shows were said to be finding a popular audience even in remote, conservative parts of the kingdom.
Well there you have it… I can’t say I ever cared for Friends (I didn’t mind Desperate Housewives for a while but it wore thin after a while) but if Jennifer Anniston and Felicity Huffman can help subvert Islamic extremism, who am I to criticise!