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Don't Blame Berri's Channel - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Could the comments carried Mr. Nabih Berri’s television channel regarding the assassination of Lebanese MP Walid Eido and the currently under threat Lebanese Minister Ahmed Fatfat be labeled as just a slip of the tongue?

Could it be considered just a slip of the tongue when the channel’s presenter gloated at the assassination of Walid Eido and wished the same for Fatfat?

I don’t think it so. I believe this because of the fact that the goal of a number of these TV channels is not to provide programming or balanced news coverage, but rather to contribute to media blackouts and distortions with the aim of pushing forward a specific agenda.

Those employed by these channels do and say as they truly believe, which reflects that particular channel’s point of view, which in turn reflects the viewpoint of its owners.

This type of media is not based on neutrality or a commitment to journalistic professionalism, but rather on bigotry and a commitment to a specific ideology and sect, with their homeland being the least of their concerns.

Just sit and closely watch the nature of the news cast, guests and terminology used in these channels.

What we failed to notice in some of our Arab nations is the presence of authority heads, special flags and a special media.

In Lebanon for example, Hezbollah has its own flag as well as its own media channel. In Palestine, Hamas has its own flag and its own media as well as a global channel designated for support and back-up in case of emergencies similar to those media channels that supported Iran’s schemes in the past.

In Iraq, the worst case scenario currently exists. And in other Arab countries, parties that cannot expressly show themselves like as Hamas and Hezbollah opt for the Internet as an alternative. Thus, what happened was not a slip of the tongue. In fact what we see of consideration for morality on the air is merely an attempt to attract a segment of the public, neutralize another and to win the support of others.

Just imagine what would happen if live microphone was left on during an Al-Jazeera broadcast, bearing in mind that earlier this year a verbal attack by one of its presenters directed at Sayyid Ali al-Sistani led to angry protests. Just imagine all that we would hear?

Aggression, violence and the divisions we are currently witnessing in the Arab world today is not groundless but rather the result of organized corruption that is being practiced on our airwaves, television, press and the Internet.

An example of this is Lebanon, where a number of different newspapers as well as television channels have emerged to support Syria’s return to Lebanon.

In Iraq some channels turned into Hussainiat. Similarly, in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia one watches channels that drive us to ask for God forgiveness, but it’s enough to say that one of the perpetrators of a terrorist operation was a presenter on one of those channels.

Therefore it is not surprising seeing the amount of misinformation introduced through these media outlets and the magnitude of lies that are meant to provoke public opinion, encourage sectarianism as well as consolidating underdevelopment and resistance to change and reform.

Unfortunately, in some of these stations honesty is represented only behind the microphone yet mere lies is all that we hear.

It wouldn’t be right solely blame Mr. Berri’s television channel since this form of misleading media is overwhelmingly abundant in all satellite channels.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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