The smell of “access journalism”


Fayez Nureldine/AFP

In 2018, as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embarked on a cross-country, getting-to-know-you tour of the United States, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi sent me a warning on WhatsApp: “I think America is brainwashed.”

The idea behind the visit — during which MBS, as the crown prince is known, met with everyone from President Donald Trump to Oprah Winfrey, with stops at media outlets, including The Post — was to present MBS as the modern, youthful face of reform in Saudi Arabia. But as he smiled for the cameras and dined in the Hollywood hills, Saudi Arabia was jailing critics, had started a destabilizing spat with Qatar and was bombing Yemen.

Seven months later, Jamal was murdered by a Saudi hit squad in Istanbul.

MBS was swiftly condemned and ostracized — but something told me this wouldn’t last long.

It hasn’t.

4 thoughts on “The smell of “access journalism”

  1. Realpolitik says:

    U.S. Looks To Persuade Saudi Arabia To Pump More Oil (March 7, 2022) https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/US-Looks-To-Persuade-Saudi-Arabia-To-Pump-More-Oil.html
    The issue with ramping up production more than planned—even if OPEC+ [which includes Russia] wanted to—is that only Saudi Arabia and the UAE actually have the capacity to do so, but a major bump in production from those two influential OPEC members would mean critically thin spare production capacity globally.
    Saudi Arabia’s state oil producer Aramco raises April crude prices to Asia to all-time highs https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/saudi-arabia-raises-april-arab-light-crude-prices-asia-2022-03-04/

  2. 4theRecord says:

    In 2020, the United States EXPORTED about 8.50 MMb/d [million barrels per day] of petroleum to about 174 countries and 4 U.S. territories. Crude oil exports of about 3.21 MMb/d accounted for 38% of total U.S. gross petroleum exports in 2020. The resulting total net petroleum imports (imports minus exports) were about -0.63 MMb/d in 2020, which means that the United States was a net petroleum exporter of 0.63 MMb/d in 2020.

  3. Business as usual says:

    “Absolute Power : The Crown Prince, A Murder, and the Future of Saudi Arabia” By Gareme Wood (The Atlantic, April 2022 issue) https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/04/mohammed-bin-salman-saudi-arabia-palace-interview/622822/
    (March 20, 2022): “Saudi Aramco’s 2021 profit more than doubles on higher oil prices : Saudi giant says its net income increased by 124 percent to $110bn in 2021, compared with $49bn in 2020. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/20/saudi-aramco-says-annual-profit-more-than-doubled-in-2021
    “Our strong results are a testament to our financial discipline, flexibility through evolving market conditions and steadfast focus on our long-term growth strategy,” Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement.

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