As the consensus grows that the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, there’s been a growing backlash to the regime in Riyadh.
High-profile luminaries and media and business sponsors are bailing on Saudi initiatives and on a major upcoming investment conference in Riyadh. Thomas Friedman, who wrote a gushing endorsement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last year, walked it back, a bit. Even Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, no friend of press freedom or civil society, is pressing the kingdom.
The administration’s reticence about the disappearance of a Saudi journalist is offensive, but it’s also clarifying.