Reporters on the Job

Breaking Social Taboos: Correspondent Jaimie Etheridge in Kuwait says that it's easy to find people to talk to, especially women, at the political rallies held by the first female candidates for parliament. But no one wants to give their name or have their photo taken.

"It's a social taboo. If you're a woman, you shouldn't be in the newspaper. It's connected to protecting the reputation of the family. Even men are reluctant to be quoted. Having your name in the newspaper ties you to a position, and there's a reluctance to be locked down to any political position," says Jaimie.

"Unlike in America, no one here wants their 15 minutes of fame," she says. "If you're in the spotlight here, it's usually for a scandal. That's why the Kuwaiti women running for office are considered courageous; they've broken the taboo."

Political Humor: Staff writer Danna Harman says that the negative campaigning by both of the leading parties in the Mexican presidential election seems to be striking a chord. Felipe Calderón is portrayed as a crook, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a wild-eyed leftist.

"Many people here say they are terrified of an Obrador victory. It has people talking about leaving the country," she says. "The joke going around is that a little boy in an upscale Mexican neighborhood tells his friend he's pulling for Obrador to win Sunday's vote. 'Why?' his friend asks. 'Because my Dad says if Obrador wins, we are moving to Miami!' says the little boy."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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