An Eye on Talk Shows
This is the eleventh edition of An Eye on Talk Shows, through the first half of December, which doesn’t actually cover everything that happened during that time, but highlights the most significant defelopments in Egypt, and the Arab world.
The most important was the US president Trump declaring Jerusalem to be the Israeli capital and moving the American embassy there. As usual, emotions and bias towards the Palestinian side has dominated the reactions on different Egyptian talk shows. And for five or six nights, the talk shows have covered the issue with disregard to professionalism and proper media coverage, by trying to find out the truth.
Also, Field Marshal Shafiq announcing his candidacy for presidency has had its share of attention on night shows, in addition to the assassination of the Yemini president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Kuwaiti summit which was attended by the prince of Qatar.
Saturday, December 2nd
TV anchor Amr Adib, through his “Everyday” talk show on ON E channel, gave a narrative on Shafiq’s candidacy:
Shafiq “don’t embarrass us” said Adib on behalf of (our brothers in the UAE as he described them) “You can’t have an international political tour and set conferences. You should first go back to Cairo, and from there do whatever wherever you want”
Then Adib explained that Shafiq had entered Egypt from the VIP airport entrance after his flight landed, and he was not detained, but it had been Shafiq’s intentions not to come to Egypt then, pointing out that that was information he got from inside UAE, and that Shafiq had had all intentions to have an international tour.
While Anchor Lamees El-Hadidi, through her CBC talk show “This is the Capital” devoted her episode for that night for the same matter, but from another angle, mentioning that it was not in Egypt’s best interest to treat presidential candidates badly.
She also said that it would be good for Egypt to handle the crisis in a civilized manner, to show how Egypt appreciates freedom and how the political arena welcomes presidential candidates from all political backgrounds, with no bias for one over the other.
Sunday December 3rd:
Although it had been already four or five nights on the Shafiq candidacy topic, the talk shows still discussed the issue, after his arrival to Egypt, together with covering the presidential candidates.
Amr Adib, continued his narrative showing the positive role of Egypt welcoming Shafiq to Egypt, and negating all rumors that he was detained in Egypt, assuring that Al-Jazeera had lied about him being detained and deported.
While Lamees El-Hadidi, pointed out that even though there were news about Shafiq’s stay in one of Egypt hotels, it was not yet confirmed where he was, as well as talking to, Mai, one of his daughters staying in UAE.
El-Hadidi stated that Shafiq’s daughter did not know where he stayed in Egypt, and that she hoped no presidential candidate was to be defamed, and there was no need to dig into the archives either.
“Even if he made mistakes,” said El-Hadidi “Egypt is a respected country with a long history, and Shafiq is a military man and a former prime minister. When he is safe, sound and dignified in his own home, we can visit him and discuss everything. After all, he is a military man, with my reservations regarding his appearance on Al-Jazeera”
Monday, December 4th:
That night was all about analysing the murder of the Yemini president Ai Abdullah Saleh, by the Houthis, and interviews were made.
On his “Everyday” episode on ON E, Adib addressed the murder, while saying no one actually felt sad for his death, because he made everyone sad.
“How could he get out of his house in only two cars?” Wondered Adib “I know Egyptian celebrities here in Egypt who move around with much more security. How could someone with all that military equipment do such a thing? The answer to that question explains how fishy and unbelievable the whole situation is”
Adib then described what has been happening in Yemen as ‘An Outsourced War” where the Iranian Houthi Qatari alliance has won that day by killing Saleh, adding that the Iranians are waiting silently at Bab Al-Mandab and the Saudi borders, with no voice, not even a statement.
On her “This is the capital” episode, El-Hadidi described Saleh to be an example of how politics can change and mutate from one moment to another.
She added that Saleh played with all the cards, as he took allegance with KSA, Houthis, and Yemenis, and then turned on them, wishing to stay longer in Yemen.
“Politics knows neither friends nor enemies” said El-Hadidi “It is a game of interests and stances are interchangeable”
As expected, Ahmad Moussa continued on blaming Saleh’s murder on Iran and Qatar, he said on his Sada El-Balad “On my responsibility” talk show, that there were only two responsible for Saleh’s murder: Iran and Qatar.
He pointed out that Saleh’s murder is a turning point for Yemen towards more violence, thanks to the Iranian interference in the Yemeni matter, stating that that is what happens to any country that allows Tehran to interfere with its internal affairs.
Tuesday, December 5th:
That was a different night because of the US president Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem to be the Israeli capital and moving the US embassy there.
On his “Everyday” episode, Adib said that we were in front of three possibilities; one was for the whole thing to be postponed, two was to call the capital but without moving the embassy there, and three was for both declaration of the capital and moving the embassy to happen.
Adib then did not go deeper addressing Trump, since he was more interested in shedding light on the GCC summit that was to be held in Kuwait, and that was expected to be attended by the princes and kings of the GCC countries to address the crisis of the quadrant against Qatar, with the presence of the Qatari prince himself, Sheikh Tamim.
What remains the most significant on that episode was Adib’s phone call with Elham Sharshar, former minister of interior during 2011 revolution Habib EL-Adli’s wife. El-Adli was arrested after escaping for months. Sharshar said that El-Adli had surrendered himself voluntarily to the competent authority, which she was against because of his illness.
“The amazing Egyptian people who have sent me telegrams” Sharshar addressing Egyptian people ‘should remain behind those who have devoted their lives to serving the country. Stop defaming our idols and destroying our culture and history. The past five years have witnessed a new bad tone that ruined Egypt reputation”
She then explained that there was a persistence on ruining that country and its history, which is against religion, pointing out that El-Adli did not escape and he was not arrested.
She said there were surprises with the case, since a decision issues with no status for El-Adli on that case, meaning he was not a part of that case, and that not a single accusation was proven, and that the rest of the surprises were going to be announced during trials.
Adib seemed professionally weak during the phone call, and it was the interviewee who was leading the conversation.
On her “It’s the capital” episode, El-Hadidi had an interview with the Libyan UN envoy, Ghassan Salama, to talk about the situation in Libya and his mission there to restore stability.
El-Hadidi also commented on El-Adli’s arrest, which proved that everyone in Egypt was accountable and that this was the reason why she asked about his location after his escape.
Wednesday, December 6th:
Ossama Kamal continued through that night on his show “Everyday” to cover the different reactions regarding the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying that USA no longer gives anything to the Arab region, that it was not an ally anymore, and it was not guarantee for negotiation or for any regime either, pointing out that USA is losing and not as smart as the Russian president Putin, who was able to establish a strong relationship with Iraq, Syria and Egypt, and for the first time with KSA, Iran and Turkey.
Kamal also pointed out that Trump chose one side over the other, and that he should be thanked for that and start working on the international legitimacy with the European Union and Lain America, like Abdel Nasser did. Kamal remembered Nasser that night with appreciation and respect, because he had always seen USA and Israel as one side, and the rest of us on the other side.
Adib mentioned that today-world is a reality world where deeds matter not words, and that Palestine is the only occupied country in the world now, and that through the 8 minutes speech, Trump had not mentioned the Palestinian land once or the occupation. He continued saying “We do not exist, and I think the speech was revised by Netanyahu”
With the song “Zahrat AlMadaeen”, Kamal started his show on DMC satellite, ensuring that December 6th 2017 was a sad miserable day for the entire Arab world because of Trump decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv, and that it was a promise from him who didn’t own to whom didn’t deserve, with no consideration to the consequences of challenging the whole world and that Trump has broken the world consensus.
Saturday, December 9th
That night was the beginning of the second week of December and though it was four nights after Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the episodes of different TV talk shows continued following up on the topic.
Adib, on his “Everyday” show, attacked the Arabs, accusing them of being behind losing Jerusalem by their negativity and weakness, without specifying who he meant by ‘Arabs” whether he meant the nations or the rulers.
Adib commented on the competition between political parties and institutions to release statements condemning the decision and pointing out fingers, while none of them had done anything for Jerusalem.
He also attacked the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan while showing his treaties with Jerusalem, and also showing the last Hezbollah speech that included a suggestion about the crisis. He then attacked the Arab countries and Security Council statements.
As for El-Hadidi, she discussed on her “This is the Capital” show, the next step after Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, while interviewing different Palestinian political figures about the American decision and what the next steps should be.
That night’s episode of Moussa’s show “On my Responsibility”, addressed the same issue, expressing his utter discontent with the Arab stance from the US president’s decision.
“Will we sit and wait till he officially announces it?” Wondered Moussa “What did the Islamic and Arab world do about that decision?
Then he added:
“Arabs have nothing to do but some protests and burning the American and Israeli flags, then everyone goes home and sleeps.”
Sunday, December 10th:
For the sixth night in a row, the Jerusalem issue dominated the talk shows.
Adib divided his episode into three sections; the first was about the US administration perspective on the peace process in the Middle East after moving the Israeli capital. Adib said that it was over, and America is no longer part of the peace process, and it would be a strange dream to imagine the Arabs trusting America again.
Then Adib covered the latest news regarding the Egyptian economy. And last, he interviewed writer Youssef Zidan, and talked with him about his book “The Tugs” during his “Nectar of Books” segment.
Zidan remained to be controversial saying:
“A distinction should be made between Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock”
Then he said:
“Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan was a mean man, because he destroyed the Kaaba twice; once as a prince and another as a Khalifa”
He pointed out that the Dome of the Rock was first built to be an alternative symbol for Muslims to substitute for the Hajj, and that it was aimed to be a destination for Muslims to pray in and go to pilgrimage around it, explaining that many of the followers refused that, including Ibn Taymiyah.
Then he explained that Al-Aqsa mosque, which was a chapel full of garbage and animal waste, because it had a “stone” that survived from the ancient Jewish monuments, which is why Christians threw the “garbage” there, explaining that Omar bin Al Khattab ordered the Khalifa to clean it and prayed in it.
After which Abd Al-Malek and his successors worked on developing the mosque, because the hearts of the people began to yearn for it, and because it was linked to Isra and Maraj.
El-Hadidi described Trump’s decision as a collective insult to Arabs, offending both Arab nations and regimes.
She added that the time for screams and cries had gone, and that it was time for actions, and that the Arab countries should not stand still in front of Trump’s decision, and that the Arab decisions should not be “pale” but positive.
She then pointed out that the Arab ministers of foreign affairs would meet as per Palestine’s request, and that that meeting should come out with a clear statement like a resolution to refuse meeting the American vice president, who is scheduled to visit the region on December 19th.
Moussa went back to blame everyone because of Trump’s decision, and he accused Qatar and Turkey of betraying Arabs and selling Jerusalem out, he even went as weird as accusing Netanyahu and Trump of selling Jerusalem out.
He said that the issue of Jerusalem is a source of shame to everyone, ensuring that Egypt was not responsible alone for the Palestinian cause, and that everyone should move against the decision, and he insisted on his comment that it was Qatar and Turkey to blame for “Selling Jerusalem out”
Monday, December 11th:
Adib discussed on his show “Everyday” the statements of the Arab leaders, ensuring that every new American president came with worse, as when Obama came we though he was the worst, till it became clear that Trump was even worse, and he said he believes the next will be even worse than both of them.
Adib welcomed the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Egypt and the signing of the contracts of Dabaa. Building the nuclear station would not pave the way for Egypt to nuclear weapons, but into the field of nuclear energy production, stressing that that project had nothing to do with Egypt at being the beginning of the state of Iran or the ends of North Korea
On her CBC show “This is the Capital”, El-Hadidi devoted her episode for the Russian president visit to Egypt, and the signing of the Dabaa treaty.
The other segment of the show had a special interview with journalist and writer Mohammad Salmawy, about his memoir which had recently been published in a book.
Moussa commented, on his Sada Al-Balad “On my Responsibility” show, on the Manhattan explosion and Trump’s decision, with one phrase;
“The worst is yet to come, and this explosion is a response to the decisions of crazy Trump”
Tuesday, December 12th:
Moussa devoted his episode for an exclusive interview with Yusri Abu Shady, the former chief of nuclear expert of the International Atomic Energy Agency, while the other segment of the episode discussed the new draft of the House of Representatives, which focuses on regulating visitations for the defendants in terrorist cases in prisons, and although Moussa hosted both views on the topic, but it was clear in his comments and questions that he was biased towards the project and supports it.
While El-Hadidi talked on her episode about women rights, marriage, divorce, and alimony. She presented on her show a special report on the presence of women on the judiciary bench.
On the other segment of the show, she discussed the new currency “Bit coin” that had caused a revolution in the global currency market.
Wednesday, December 13th:
The attention of the talk shows that night was on the nuclear reactor Dabaa and the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the competition of the private sector with the government sector in Egypt.
“For the first time, the private sector complains about the government sector because of the latter’s competition,” said Adib. “When will the government back off? And why did not the government subsidize social housing projects to the private sector, although there are very successful models? Does the government budget bear all that money? ”
Adib stressed he did not get why the government subsidizes business and construction to the private sector, pointing out that there were a lot of cities built up by the private sector, while the government was gaining profit from, and that it had been complained a lot that the government sector had been a major competitor in different fields, like construction or import and export, which was – according to Adib – something that the government would not be able to keep doing for a long time, and that when the time comes for the government to need the private sector, it would not find it.
He added that the Dabaa reactor would start in 7 years, which meant that all of us, including President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, would not be in our places, and that Egypt would pay the interest of the reactor’s loan from its profit, pressing on that that was not considered a nuclear weapon, but it rather puts Egypt in the nuclear energy era.
He pointed out that after Putin’s visit, the Russian aviation minister had stated aviation between the countries would likely resume the coming February, wondering if the aviation alone would come, or the tourism as well.
Moussa that night devoted his show to discuss the opening of the Youth Forum in the Upper Egypt Governorate, Sohag, in the presence of a number of MPs.
During the last part of the program, Moussa interviewed Ahmed Qadhaf al-Dam, and it was clear that it was a promotional and propaganda show for the cousin of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to return to the Libyan scene.