Let me explain something to you

These explainer websites really get my goat. It’s the smug, we-know-better-than-you tone that I object to. It is almost the opposite of the everyman sort of journalism – “I don’t know any more than you, but come with me as I try to find out” – that I like to think (probably mistakenly) I try to practise.

Anyway, poor old Max Fisher at Vox has got a right old bee in his bonnet about shoddy coverage of the Obamas’ visit to Saudi Arabia….

As soon as President Obama and Michelle Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia this week for the funeral of Saudi King Abdullah, it was inevitable that there would be a nonsense media controversy of some kind over the visit, and it didn’t take long. There is a growing tempest of coverage over Michelle Obama’s decision to not wear a veil to the funeral.

I generally let these things wash over me. There’s nothing worse than journalists arguing among themselves. Readers don’t care for it much. But, well, if you are going to run an explainer website and start “correcting” other journalists you would hope that Mr Fisher would sometimes look up from his web browser to check a few details. Such as the fact that Michelle Obama did not attend the funeral of King Abdullah who was safely buried last Friday….. four days before Mrs Obama went scarfless.


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