What now, Saudi Arabia? Any more surprises ahead for the media elite?
Barely a week ago, international media outlets were playing up what they interpreted as the beginning of genuine religious reform in Riyadh and the uprooting of corrupt privilege.
But that was then. This week the narrative has shifted dramatically.
That Western applause over Saudi Arabia's signaling that women will finally be allowed to drive in the desert kingdom, unabashedly received as a sign of religious reform, or at the least, a sign of moderation?
Now it's just as likely that it was mere religious window dressing meant as international cover for the wholesale purging of key political rivals by the royal household -- which is to say by Saudi Arabia’s young and ambitious Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, acting with the apparent approval of his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Click here for a refresher on current events in the oil-rich desert kingdom -- though keep in mind that by the time you read this events may quite possibly have moved on.
Not to be minimized is that all this comes at a time of escalating tensions between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite Muslim Iran that are capable of destroying whatever semblance of peace remains in the Middle East.
Care to read an Arab take on what's happening?