But it is obvious that the pro-regime demonstrations were not covered. Can one deny that those pro-Syrian regime demonstrations are far bigger than the protests that have been promoted from Youtube by Syrian Muslim Brotherhood opposition, and which headlines coverage of Syria. Comrade Bassam said it best here: "When genuine, the rallies Tuesday demonstrated sentiments that had “less to do with support for Bashar and more to do with not wanting to descend into the unknown,” said Bassam S. Haddad, director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University. “There’s a lot of orchestrating going on, but it’s not all orchestration.”" What is it difficult for people in the Western press and academic to express opinions and offer explanations and analysis that don't fully conform with the Orientations of Western governments? That is what Chomsky called "manufacturing consent."
Indeed, and to my knowledge, the massive pro-regime demsontrations were mainly not covered by the western press, except by Anthony Shadid for the New York Times, and when covered by the Arab language press, they were protrayed as yet another manifestation of regime brutality against protesters, since seven anti-regime protesters apparently died from pro-regime actions, or as orchestrations, as if the anti-regime protests were not orchestrated...
Al-Manar TV showed images and footage of the pro-Assad protests and they were massive, no anti-regime protests have actually reached that number, not even half the number. We had also little coverage of Assad's third speech by the western press and blogs specialising in Syria, except for the Turkish press who welcomed the speech as the manifestation of a real change agenda. Blogs that are widely read on Syria had near to nothing on the last two events, Assad's third speech and pro-regime demonstrations, while serving us minutiae writings of famous 'trusted friends' (an army of MacMasters if you ask me) living in Syria on Syria's sectarian fabric and sectarian dynamics, exuding the misunderstandings, pretentions and fabrications of the orientalist tradition at its worse. Someone should explain to me why Syria, above any other country in the middle east, provokes the orientalist imagination. The MacMaster story was a pure concoction of orientalist cliches, despite its author claiming the contrary. Maybe because, more than any pother country in the ME, Syria is difficult to understand for outsiders and even for those westerners who pretend to be insiders.
This boils down to a truth nobody is ready to accept: western blogs and MSM are mostly adopting the line of their governments' narratives on a very complex matter without any serious questioning of the motives behind them. Nothing really to counter the Syrian regime propaganda other than badly imitating it. A strategy that is backfiring...
UPDATE: French TV commentator: 'those large protests were actually not in support of Assad'
UPDATE: Saudi owned news coverage of Syria