Egypt: Vulgar media takes center stage

Last week’s mistake from Egyptian channel ONTV was met with the disappointment that the so-called liberal media in Egypt is drowning in. The channel’s host used vulgar language and directly incited violence against “some Syrians” in Egypt. The act reflected the country’s media scene, currently rich in glorification of the army and incitement against the Brotherhood’s audience. It is adopting the very same Brotherhood rhetoric of accusing others of infidelity and urging them towards eliminating others.

Some people adopt a certain language and claim they are defending freedom and the country as a whole. They also claim that they do not accept anyone blaming them for acting towards the goal of defending their country.

And so, these eloquent men of the so-called free and liberal media suddenly began to justify their inciting rhetoric by claiming it’s a form of advocacy media, but this has further increased the routineness of their acts.

The cost to the Egyptian media

Perhaps the most expensive price the Egyptian media will pay is that many people will, for a long time, remember the ONTV host’s remarks as he questioned the presence of Syrian refugees in Egypt and questioned their “masculinity” in not confronting the regime in their own country and in supporting the Brotherhood in Egypt. The host also warned them they will learn their lesson.

The host’s statements stuck in people’s minds and made many think it worse than the Brotherhood media’s many images and videos that incited violence.

The truth is such a logic which backfires against those who adopt it

Diana Moukalled

It’s the logic of victory and defeat linked to the media’s image. The Muslim Brotherhood has been defeated and we will continue to argue a lot about the army’s role in this defeat. But what is certain is that those who are among the winning party in the Egyptian media are, under the slogan of liberalism, practicing the same violence the Brotherhood practiced.

In Syria, the footage of Abu Saqqar, who ate the liver of a Syrian soldier, replaced thousands of photos and videos which documented the death and torture of thousands of Syrians. Today, the short televised speech of a “liberal” host and his “masculine” incitement wiped away the practices of the Muslim Brotherhood’s many videos, of which only satirist Bassem Youssef succeeded at criticizing.

A product of the Brotherhood’s acts

Many argue that what this host and other hosts have done, by commending the army as a savior from the Brotherhood’s injustice, are a product of the Brotherhood’s acts. They also argue that the Brotherhood would have done worse if it had remained in power.

The truth is such logic backfires against those who adopt it. By copying the same elimination tools, those claiming that injustice has befallen upon them are practicing the same injustice against others. Cloning these elimination tools deprives them of justifications they think they deserve because they are against what the Brotherhood did.

The Brotherhood must be held accountable for the political, security, media and moral practices it carried out in the past year. What is being committed today in the name of freedom and in the name of revolting against the Brotherhood’s injustice, must be dealt with the same way.

Successfully presenting media institutions with morals, professionalism and high political standards must not be subject to bargaining.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on July 15, 2013.

Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:40 - GMT 06:40
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