Rather then telling us the reasons behind the [election] loss in Lebanon, and why the Lebanese people voted for the March 14 Alliance, those defeated [in that election] came out to attack Asharq Al-Awsat, [attempting] to give us lessons in politics and journalism, accusing us of sectarianism and being influenced by America.
Were the Lebanese being sectarian and agents [of the US] when they voted for the majority which won 71 seats?
If they are attacking Asharq Al-Awsat for writing that the Iranian project in Lebanon has collapsed [Lebanon and the Collapse of the Iranian Project]; then what is their opinion with regards to what is taking place in the Iranian street today?
Are the protests in Tehran also sectarian, or are they a rejection of Ahmadinejad and the policies that he represents?
It is strange that Asharq Al-Awsat was also described as sectarian for saying that Lebanon is an Arab country, even though we did not say that it was the Persian or Shiite project that collapsed, but rather described this as the Iranian project. Some of those defeated at the elections are trying to be clever by saying that the Lebanese opposition is comprised of Sunnis, Shiites, and Christians [and therefore cannot be sectarian], but have they forgotten that Tehran also embraced the Al Qaeda organization?
Have they forgotten that the majority of the Sunni suicide bombers who infiltrated Iraq did so via the Syrian border?
It appears that those who believe this have not noticed that with regards to terrorism, backwardness in our region is far more flexible than any progress made. Where is Shaker al-Absi [Fatah al-Islam leader], and where did the “heroes” of Nahr al-Bared come from?
Journalistically, they can say what they like, and in fact a Lebanese satellite channel reported that “The Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper targeted Beirut…and the newspaper published a report with the headline ‘Defeated…but Beirut Victorious.'” Rather than defend us in the same manner they defended “An-Nahar”, this satellite television channel decided to justify [its attack].
And so one of the most prominent members of the defeated alliance, who is well known for his defense of Bin Laden, and who also defended Saddam Hussein, and defends Bin Nasrallah and Iran, came out to lecture us about writing newspaper headlines, saying that the headline “Defeated…but Beirut Victorious” is equivalent to gloating at another’s demise.
However they are not to blame, as I always say, there is the journalism of information, and then there is yellow journalism which hinders progress, even when this type of journalism is located externally. The language used in the election is under constant scrutiny because this involves language taken from a variety of fields because “politics is a live drama” as the observers say. Therefore the term [political] campaign is taken from the army vocabulary, while sporting metaphors are also present, such as the [electoral] race and others. There are also expressions that entered politics to be used as descriptions rather than for gloating, such as the term “lame duck.”
This highlights Clinton’s 1992 [presidential] campaign slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” which was coined by James Carville, one of the most respected election campaign strategists. The documentary “The War Room” was released in the wake of President Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Journalistically, there is a large number of campaign slogans that prove the absence of philosophical vision [from elections]. For example a US newspaper published a headline that read “The Nation is clothed in Red, but Alabama is Blue” not to mention the headline “The Election Changes the Face of the South.” So is this language sectarian?
A headline in the British Guardian newspaper following Bush’s re-election simply read “Oh my God!” while another London newspaper [The Daily Mirror] published a headline that read “How can 59 Million People Be So Dumb?” Obama’s election victory, on the other hand, was described by US newspapers as “sweeping” and “epic.”
This is not all, yellow journalism is not aware of the fact that newspapers have the right to endorse electoral candidates, and so a British newspaper can say “No to Labour.” Therefore we advise those involved in yellow journalism to please, be more courteous.