Every human life is valuable, including Khashoggi’s, and his disappearance and possible assassination deserves attention and the condemnation of the perpetrators — but the sudden interest in at least appearing appalled by the Saudis’ behavior, following a long, blood-drenched history of executions, war crimes, terrorism, and illiberalism that festers under the superficial facade of wealth and reform, is primarily virtue signaling.
The foremost example of the media’s disinterest in the Saudi regime’s wanton spread of terror is its relative silence on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where 16,200 civilians have died since March 2015 as a direct result of the Saudi-led coalition’s siege. The man-made disaster has caused a famine, and has been called the “Forgotten War” due to the lack of attention it’s been given from Western media despite its significant human toll and duration.
A week after the bombing of the school bus in Saada, Yemen, many of the outlets that are now participating in the boycott of Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi’s disappearance published editorials “fighting back” against President Trump’s attacks on the media. President Trump — who has a very amicable relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has already said he won’t halt American weapon sales to the regime — is culpable in extending the reign of terror by providing the Saudis the means of accomplishing it. But media outlets are also responsible for cherry-picking what examples of unacceptable behavior are deserving of their outrage and concern; they’ve chosen to overlook all of the misery the regime has inflicted on its own people and Yemenis (and the entire world, really) and latched onto the cause of Khashoggi. It’s not hard to suspect that many media outlets are pushing the story to create a stir over their being called the “enemy of the people” by President Trump, while at the same time keeping most Americans ignorant of the war crimes their taxpayer dollars are being used to commit.