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International Journalism and Fallacies

Some of the world’s most prestigious newspapers publish explicit fallacies, lies and contradictions, only to hide behind the small disclaimer written at the bottom of their pages, which indicates that articles represent only the opinion of their authors and not the paper’s staff. This is a justification that is inconsistent with the history and mission of journalism, which is a discipline committed to the highest of standards and ethics. How can some newspapers give up their credibility in the name of freedom of expression? Does freedom of expression mean spreading lies and rumors as if they were facts?! This is what the famous Wall Street Journal did, when it published an article on foreign investments in the Saudi economy, which was full of inaccuracies and manipulated facts. The article portrayed Saudi Arabia’s tax system as a draconian system meant to deter foreign investors. But the truth is that Saudi Arabia is simply trying to ensure ample employment opportunities for its citizens, just like any other sovereign nation in the world would do. In fact, most political leaders around the world are rewarded by their constituents on the basis of their performance in this area, and it’s a known fact that unemployment plays a crucial role in the American elections. The article proceeded to claim that many foreign companies operating in Saudi Arabia were “caught off guard” by the taxes imposed on them by the Saudi authorities. This claim is simply nonsensical. Multinational corporations operating from Europe or the US are regularly subjected to taxes and fines amounting to billions of US dollars. These expenses are incorporated into these companies’ business models. To claim that Saudi Arabia’s approach to the corporate taxation system is different from that of any Western democracy is foolish. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a country devoted to the development and well-being of its citizens. It is certainly not above criticism, but the criticism needs to be relevant and justifiable. Hurling baseless accusations at the kingdom under the guise of “journalism” is simply meant to undermine Saudi Arabia’s achievements on its path to development. – Youssef Al-Qublan (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)