Great journalism, like comedy, is improved by timing…

28 12 2007

Offering up predictions is a dangerous game to get into. Some get it right, some don’t.

When it comes to media crystal-ball gazing, who possesses the acuity of a Buster Keaton… and who has the rare qualities of, er, Dick Emery.

Benazir Bhutto‘s death occurred on Thursday at 6.46pm India Standard Time (IST).

So step up the peerless Times of India which reports (28 hours prior to Bhutto’s death):

Pakistan’s deposed Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chowdhury has said the country has drifted away from the ideals and vision of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and is passing through the “darkest period” in its political history.

Cue prescient piece on Pakistan’s gradual divorce from the basic tenets of law and democracy.

And who is journalism’s Dick Emery?

Step up the Christian Science Monitor which published the following (on the day of Bhutto’s death):

It now seems probable that Pakistan will hold parliamentary elections Jan. 8. It seems just as likely the result may be little more than a reshuffling of familiar faces that will not result in the institutional changes needed to put this Islamic republic on the doorstep of democracy.

Er… events, dear boy, events.

Setting the premise of the CSM piece to one side, Walter Rodgers offers a pretty good round up of the arguments why the US has to get out of the exporting freedom and democracy business. It’s proving impossible to push in the region and is having the opposite effect to what was intended. It sums up pretty neatly why Musharraf is a necessary evil.

Had the disaster at Rawalpindi not occurred, Musharraf would still be a necessary evil.

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