As NBC News reports, Pompeo has a new book out. That you needed NBC to remind you of this isn’t surprising, as Pompeo’s book is singularly lacking in anything that has generated even the slightest appearance of “buzz.” In fact, it’s so tepid and lacking in substance that the only person Mike Pompeo could find to provide a cover quote was … Mike Pompeo.
Even so, Pompeo doesn’t hesitate to raise his nose at the idea that Khashoggi was an actual journalist.
Pompeo, who also served as CIA director in the Trump administration, described Khashoggi as an “activist,” claiming that he was a journalist only “to the extent that I, and many other public figures, are journalists. We sometimes get our writing published, but we also do other things.”
Jamal Khashoggi started his career as a reporter for the Saudi Gazette in 1985. He became managing editor of the daily paper Al Madina in 1991, then deputy editor-in-chief of the English-language paper Arab News, where he worked until 2003 before taking over as editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Al Watan.
He was forced to leave his position when the Saudi government declared Khashoggi had allowed one of the writers on his staff to stray too far from the authorized version of Wahhabist Islam. Threats to his life forced Khashoggi to move temporarily to London. He returned to Al Watan, but was forced out again in 2010 over articles that were critical of the harsh punishments handed down to those whose beliefs did not conform. Leaving Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi worked as a columnist for Al Arabiya before launching the satellite news channel Al-Arab in 2015 in cooperation with Bloomberg Media—only to have the network shut down on its first day thanks to pressure from the Saudi government.
So, sure. Khashoggi only had a thirty-year career in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. He only served as a reporter, an editor, a publisher, and a newscaster. None of this apparently makes him “a journalist,” according to Pompeo.
Then again, Mike Pompeo was secretary of state for more than two years under Trump. That certainly doesn’t make him a diplomat.
Comments are closed on this story.