Mind Boggling Media pt. 1: Gulf Times Qatar

Every now and then Arab Insider will take you through some of the astoundingly absurd “news articles” that have somehow made their way past editors and proofreaders to the websites and printed pages of news media outlets in none other than our favorite peninsula, Qatar.

So here are a three ridiculous, idiotic and absurd news stories this week.

If you want a quick recap on the general state of the media in Doha, check out this post here (still pondering the need for a part two).

Now, on to the juicy, ridiculous stuff.

I love the smell of propaganda in the morning

Oh dear

No really. The top “news” story on Gulf Times Sunday morning was titled Blockading countries fail to break Qatar’s will to be independent.

Ignoring the graceless title (a difficult task, I know) – the reader is left wondering if the article is an opinion piece since it is not being tagged or labelled as such (and is in fact listed under “top news”). Just pure, unadulterated, state-sponsored propaganda. Good one guys.

Brevity is the soul of the twit

Sometimes less is more, and sometimes more really is less. Other times if your “photo essay” is one sentence and a generic picture of a crowded supermarket, you should probably consider axing the whole thing. Unless of course you feel that your readers just need to know that supermarkets will be crowded before a major holiday.

Truly groundbreaking journalism

Making Xavi a…millionaire?

This little news story is truly a beauty. Essentially Doha Bank created a PR stunt to draw attention away from their plummeting shares and general unease about the market since the GCC-wide blockade of Qatar. The greatest minds of whoever their PR people are, managed to fart out this abortion of an idea; giving former FC Barcelona star player Xavi Hernandez a million riyals to promote their mediocre saving scheme.

Personally I can’t think of anyone in Qatar that deserves the one million riyals than a multi-millionaire. Certainly not those blue collar workers, god forbid.

Ignoring for a minute that the man is estimated to have a net worth north of 40 million USD, you just have to read those totally 100% genuine, non-PR department drafted quotes by Xavi, allegedly. Highlights include the very natural sounding:

I had opened my account in Doha Bank on December 5, 2016, as I had taken interest in the Al Dana programme after hearing about how Doha Bank encourages their customers to save money, and get a chance to become millionaires, as well as the opportunity to win other cash prizes.

Now that doesn’t sound like its straight out of a bank brochure at all. My favorite quote of his however, has to be this:

Winning the QR1mn cash prize was an unexpected but welcome surprise

Count us both surprised, Xavi. I mean, I understand that because Doha Bank advertises with Gulf Times that they HAVE to publish their drivel, but at the very least be subtle about it.




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