1-12 October 2017
This is the seventh episode of the semi-monthly “An Eye on Talk Shows” bulletin, which aims at shedding light on the content of the main talk shows, to help the public monitoring them critically and to monitor the extent to which their anchors are committed to their role in monitoring the executive authority, and giving information without misleading the audience. Also, it monitors their involvement in non-professional practices, such as incitement to violence or repression, violation of the law and human rights, as well as presenting one point of view and overlooking the another.
The bulletin does not necessarily represent a monitoring of all that has been broadcast during this period, but rather it presents the most important negative or positive sides of the program presenters, with the exception of what may be repeated or not exceeding the professional media performance.
This bulletin covers the period from October 1 to 15, which witnessed many incidents, including the Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah under Egypt’s support; the population census announcement, the Egyptian team’s qualification for World Cup 2018 in Russia; the UNESCO elections of its secretary general, and President al-Sisi’s visit to the new administrative capital. Under all these incidents, the talk show presenters keep their promises with regard to discussing these matters from one direction, which is pro-regime, and they did not highlight the other points of view. They, however, attacked and derided them.
Sunday October 1
The population census announcement on September 30 was a productive topic for most of talk shows on the following day; whereas the majority of talk shows tackled the statistics announced in the conference, attended by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Since the president warned of the child marriage, Ahmed Moussa, on the following day, October 1, prepared an episode entitled “Child Marriage” on his “Ala Masoeliti” talk show on “Sada Al-Balad” satellite station; emphasising the necessity of making citizens aware of eliminating such a phenomenon.
Nonetheless, Moussa did not pretermit inciting to the incident of two students got engaged inside Tanta University campus, who “hugged” each others; considering that as an insult to the university campus and education, and also a natural result of the “too much freedom”. He received a phone call of the acting dean of Tanta University, who saw that movies are in charge of what happened. Moreover, it is a clear ramification of what happened in the wake of January 25, after the police left universities, which was also confirmed by Ahmed Moussa. Then, Moussa talked the Spanish police’s excessive use of force over Catalonia referendum, which he supported because Spain eyes the protection of the country from division, and the police everywhere enforce the law. Meanwhile, the police in Egypt is being distorted for aims “known by all”. Thereafter, Moussa started to attack January 25 Revolution, and rendered it “disaster” on Egypt; overlooking that the Constitution, he is talking about, stipulates that January 25 is a popular revolution. Hence, his insult to the revolution is a clear violation of the Constition.
- Amr Adib, during his “Kol Youm” (Every Day) talk show on ONTV, addressed the police violence with voters in Catalonia, and he clearly and overtly compared that to the Egyptian police’s violent dealing with post- January 25 and June 30 protests; confirming that “the democratic central states have to use violence when they sense danger on themselves, and no one talks about democracy at that time.”
Monday October 2
Ahmed Moussa presented an episode about “crisis of national newspapers”. Being a son of those institutions, Al-Ahram institution, and a member of its board of directors, Moussa, at the start of his episode, defended the national newspapers, as they are owned by the people not the regime, saying: “It is not effortless to deny a news story that was published in a national newspaper, because the journalists of those newspapers are very accurate, and they always make sure the news stories are correct before publishing them.” At the same time, he launched attack on the privately-owned newspapers that have been previously mislead the people, i.e during and before the revolution. Indulging in paying compliment to those newspapers, Moussa said, “The national newspapers guide the global media and the international media institutions rely on them.”
He confirmed that the national newspapers have opposing voices, but they do not stir up agitation, and do not rely on them daily; overlooking what Rosa Elyoussef newspaper did, and still doing, as an example of those newspaper, as well as what the journalists and opinion writers in the national newspapers are facing, including harassment and ban on writing. Perhaps, the most notable incident was banning an article by the writer Osama Al-Ghazali Harb in Al-Ahram, because he was criticizing the implementation of the new administrative capital. Prior to that ban, in addition, the articles of Fahmy Huwaidi, a writer, were inhibited; the writer then issued a book titled “The Banned Articles” to include those articles banned from publishing by Al-Ahram.
The discussion, generally, took one direction; whereas Mouss hosted Abdel-Mohsen Salama, head of Journalists’ Syndicate and chairman of Al-Ahram; Khaled Miri, editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar newspaper; Abdel-Razeq Tawfiq, editor-in-chief of Al-Gumhiria newspaper; and Karam Gaber, head of National Press Authority. Hence, the voice of opposition was absent.
- Amr Adib prepared an episode about the Palestinian reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah factions, and talked about the Egyptian role in this deal, as well as the stance of Muslim Brotherhood on the deal.
- The episode was aired on Ramallah streets, and hosted a number of Palestinian officials.
Among the officials that were hosted by Amr Adib was the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abass.
Tuesday October 3
Both of Amr Adib and Lamis Al-Hadidi escorted the security delegation that was supervising the first meeting of the Palestinian government in Gaza.
- Lamis has described the atmosphere she witnessed, and aired her interview with Ismail Haniyeh, head of the political bureau of Hamas, from Gaza; while the talks about of Hamas’ support of terrorism in Egypt and Sinai in particular have disappeared, by saying one sentence, she wishes the clashes between Egypt and Hamas end, particularly there are new agreements between Egypt and Hamas aiming at protecting the national security and the Palestinian reconciliation.
- She aired videos for a group of Palestinians raising the picture of President al-Sisi, in addition, she confirmed that Gaza streets are covered by al-Sisi’s posters, which was appraised by nearly all the talk shows in Egypt.
- Also, Adib did not talk about Hamas’ terrorism that he significantly attacked. He, however, started asking Haniya, “How did you relinquish the presidency of Gaza?”, even when the turn came to ask Haniya about Hamas’ relationship with terrorism, Adib attributed the question to masses of the Egyptian people and did not use the term “accusation”, but he said: “Many Egyptians lay blame on Hamas”, although Haniya’s reply is the same of the movement that they say since the crisis with Hamas started, and which Adib was doubting before. However, this time he did not discuss with Haniya.
On the same day, Lamis Al-Hadidi aired an interview with the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abass from Ramallah.
Saturday October 7
At the eve of the match of the Egyptian team in the World Cup qualifiers, most of the talk shows in Egypt talked sports, and hosted sports editors. Ahmed Moussa and Amr Adib presented their episodes for the match. Though, part of the episode was for criticizing what took place in a school in Upper Egypt, which was forcing the students to chant for the president and the officials in the school. Such a matter was slammed by Amr Adib, considering it as remoteness for the students, and calling for investigating the video that was disseminated among social media users.
Sunday October 8
The Egyptian media was occupied with following up the match between Egypt and Congo, and celebrating the victory and qualifying for World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Monday October 9
Like the majority of Egyptian media outlets, Ahmed Moussa stated that the mean reason that made the Qatari candidate, Hamad al-Kawari, preceded in UNESCO elections is Qatar’s bribes. He clearly and overtly said that “there are 18 votes had been bought”, referring to the 18 votes to the Qatari candidate in the first round. Moussa, accordingly, launched a hashtag named “أنقذوا اليونسكو من اﻹرهاب” (#Save UNESCO from Terrorism). In the framework of the misinformation used by Moussa in his talk show, he said that the Qatari candidate has no qualifications for this position, and he just carries the suitcase of Qatar’s ruler, Tamim Bin Hamad. Moreover, Israel supports this candidate. The most strange matter is that Moussa believes that by this talk he would influence the UNESCO elections, although he heavily insulted all the countries voted for Qatar, which would negatively affect the Egyptian state thereafter.
Wednesday October 11
The talk shows followed up the round made by President al-Sisi in the new administrative capital. All of the shows appraised what they saw there, yet Ahmed Moussa exaggerated his compliment, as he said that what had been done in the new administrative capital has not seen in any other country in the world.
As well, Amr Adib kept praising what was done in the new administrative capital, and attacked all those who asked about the economic viability of the ventures in the new city. Throughout the episode, he kept citing the achievements made by sons of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed in the UAE.
A number of the talk shows were shocked again for the continual delay of UNESCO candidate, Mushaira Khatab, in light of the intensifying competition between Qatar and France.
- Yusuf Al-Husseini, in “Betwqet Al-Kahera” (Cairo Time) talk show on On Live, prepared an episode in which he accused one of the Qatari candidate’s cousins of terrorism, as well as the candidate’s daughter and her wife were convicted with killing children in Belgium after fire was set to a nursery, which she was co-managing. Moreover, he said that he is nominating for the Qatari-Iranian coalition; hinting that al-Kwairi has relations with Israel, although Al-Kwairi in his tenure as Qatar’s Ministry of Culture, ordered the ministry to issue the book “Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Poets,” in which he collected poems about Jerusalem and Palestine. In addition to that, he wrote the book’s introduction, and accused the Israeli ambassador to Sweden Gabriel Rosenberg of being anti-Semitic, in a tweet on his official account of Twitter.
Meanwhile, Al-Husseini did not mention the use of political money in elections, and asked his channel board to “subtitle” the “important information” he is saying so that the world would get to know this terrorist candidate.
Thursday October 12
Osama Kamal, in his talk show on DMC station, said that President al-Sisi has taken a decision to impose the state of emergency for “good reasons”. He stressed that many Egyptians do not pay attention to the decision. He called, in his show, the head of the legislative committee at the People’s Assembly, Baha’a Abu Shaka, who confirmed that Egypt is facing terrorism, therefore, it needs exceptional measures, including the state of emergency. He said that the state of emergency declared by al-Sisi is not an expansion; rather, it is a new state. Abu Shaka also upheld the presenters’ opinion that the state of emergency did not harm any Egyptian citizen during its previous two periods.