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Egypt: Vulgar media takes center stage

July 16, 2013

By Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled

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.

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.

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. Read the rest of the column in Al Arabiya.

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