I remember I took a class back in 2006 on technology and politics, our professor at the time asked us in one of our seminars does any of you refuse to use a certain technology? he went on about how he doesn't have a cell phone and that he refused to be easier to access, its enough that he has a home and office phone as well as an email. Students were like "OMG you don't have one!"
So he asked us. No one lifted my hand but me, as everyone in class turned to look at me; I said "TV, I dont have a TV". Students again surprised, "you dont have TV?!", "OMG how could you live!!?"
Yes ! I didn't have TV and I think movies in general tend to come with a twist of filth, that give a a person with the slightest feel/ of possession of eman a repulsive response. Soap Operas are even worse and they are just outright Haram. I remember all the people I use to tell that the show Friends is haram and just clearly inappropriate, of course then came later sex and the city, and even later desperate house wives and what not which are all shows that acquaint you and normalize to you illicit behavior, they gradually make you implicitly accept their underlying low morals.
This reminds me of the hadeeth; who ever sees an evil/munkar then let him change it with their hand, if they cant then with their tongue if they cant then with their hearts (aka reject it) and there is not a a grain of turmeric worth of faith behind that, (and in another narration: and this is the weakest of faith). So how bad is it to just sit and watch something that promotes that which Allah forbids ?
Going on to Wikileaks, and guess what, an ongoing conspiracy to westernize Saudis (and Arabs in general through MBC, Rotana and Al-Arabiya news channel (which is also trying to counter aljazeera as the leak shows too) , these channels basically westernize, and are mouthpieces for the Status quo in Saudi, promoting that the regime stays in place and to act against Islamist opposition.
This leak shows the American representatives to the Arab league, Gulf Cooperating Council (GCC) and "Islamic Collective" ( I guess Islamic affairs of some sort) meeting with owners of media in Saudi or those who know them or overlook their activities, assuring them that strategic interests of America are being met (through Arabic subbed friends, desperate housewives among others)
here is the leak
IDEOLOGICAL AND OWNERSHIP TRENDS IN THE SAUDI MEDIA
below some excerpts!
"In a meeting at his XXXXXX office XXXXXX with Consulate and Embassy press officers, XXXXXX because of the SAG’s concern that young Saudis were particularly vulnerable to the calls of extremists, and that the station now targets its moderate news broadcasts to the 14-18 year old demographic in short presentations of three minutes or less. He also said that the stations website, Arabiya Net, appeals to a pan-Arab audience and gets about 100,000 visitors per day. Al Arabiya and other MBC channels, he said, present programming that they hope counters the influence of al-Jazeera and fosters “moderate” perspectives among the country’s youth."
"XXXXXXXX said the American programming on channels 4 and 5 were proving the most popular among Saudis. A look at the December 17 programming menu for MBC channel 4 reveals a 24-hour solid block of such programs as CBS and ABC Evening News, David Letterman, Desperate Housewives, Friends and similar fare, all uncensored and with Arabic subtitles. Channel 5 features US films of all categories, also with Arabic subtitles. XXXXXXXX told us that this programming is also very popular in remote, conservative corners of the country, where he said “you no longer see Bedouins, but kids in western dress” who are now interested in the outside world."
"Over coffee in a Jeddah Starbucks, XXXXXXXXXXXX, and XXXXXXXXXXXX elaborated on the changes in the Saudi media environment. “The government is pushing this new openness as a means of countering the extremists,” XXXXXXXXXXXX told Riyadh press officer. “It’s still all about the War of Ideas here, and the American programming on MBC and Rotana is winning over ordinary Saudis in a way that ‘Al Hurra’ and other US propaganda never could."
"So effective has US programming been, said XXXXXXXXXXXX, that it is widely assumed that the USG (USgovernment) must be behind it. Some believe, he said, that Prince Talal’s relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and its sister company Twentieth Century Fox has a clear ideological motive behind it, noting that the Fox Movie Channel on “Rotana” is available for free to anyone with a satellite dish. Both XXXXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXX, liberal-minded supporters of US democracy and society with little use for conspiracy theory, clearly believed this was the case."
"Saudi-produced religious programming on ART and Rotana also departs from past models. Rotana’s popular religious channel “Al Risala” features a hip, clean-shaven Saudi in western clothes offering practical religious advice in a calm and friendly manner. Jeddah-based Arab Radio and Television company (ART) (owned by Saleh al-Kamel and according to our contacts being edged aside by MBC and Rotana) recently featured an MTV-style music video clip on its “Iqraa” religious channel depicting a group of dissolute young Saudi men who give up their carousing and return to observance. They are then shown succeeding in sales presentations and other interactions at work, gaining the admiration of their colleagues and supervisors. The young men continue to dress in standard attire, remain clean-shaven and are fully integrated into normal, workaday Saudi society. The message of moderation in the religious realm could not be clearer.