Speaking of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, didn't the transformation of Mr. Mubarak into the Evil Man of the Middle East seem to happen faster than Dr. Jekyll could turn into Mr. Hyde with a drink of his special potion? Who was beating those war drums, anyway? Let's look at how the New York Times viewed Mubarak over time. Was he always a dictator? I searched the Times for all articles containing the words "dictator" and "Mubarak"
, and what I found was a pattern that would have made Hearst
Note that the two words were seldom used in the same article (and not once in all of 2010!) until January 2011, when they were used 12 times then in February 48 times! Note also that prior to January 2011 the graph shows annual counts, while it's monthly thereafter - so the incidence of the use of those 2 words now occurs on a monthly basis
about as frequently as it used to occur annually
before 2011. But the difference is even more stark - if you look at the actual articles before 2011, the word dictator was almost never actually applied to Mubarak himself, but was used to refer to a different autocrat in the region - Mubarak nearly always being referred to respectfully as "President Mubarak."
Labels: Middle East, NY Times