STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Saudi Arabia ‘Asked Vice for Help’ to Create Pro-Saudi Network: WSJ

It’s been a tough few weeks for digital media, but this probably isn’t the answer. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was reportedly joined on a yacht off the Red Sea coast by Vice Media Executive Chairman Shane Smith last August where they discussed a joint venture to help improve Saudi Arabia’s tarnished image around the world. The Wall Street Journal reports that the crown prince wanted Vice’s help to create an “international media empire” that would reset its damaged image in the West. The Saudi connection with Vice reportedly began in 2017 through the crown prince’s younger brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. who is reportedly a fan of Vice’s news coverage. Prince Khalid set up his brother’s meeting on the yacht, hoping that Vice would be able to help the kingdom reach younger audiences and give them a more positive view of the country. However, Saudi Arabia’s partnership talks with Vice are unlikely to move forward, the newspaper reports.