Asharq Al Awsat, London – A reporter at the Lebanese National Broadcasting Network (NBN) has been sacked from her post over comments she made about the recent assassination of Walid Eido MP in Lebanon without realizing that her comments were being broadcast live.
Sawsan Darwich failed to notice that her microphone was on as she gave what was described as “harsh opinions” during the channel’s Thursday night coverage of the assassination.
The reporter was heard saying: “What took them so long [to kill him]?
“We don’t gloat at someone else’s misfortune,” her colleague replied.
“We are not,” the anchor replied, “but we’ve had enough of them. Only Fatfat [A reference to anti-Syrian Lebanese Minister Ahmed Fatfat] is left”.
The channel has apologized for the “unintentional” mistake. Kassim Suwaid, the news director at NBN told Asharq Al Awsat that Darwich and the sound engineer with whom the conversation was held have been sacked.
On his behalf, Ahmed Fatfat MP told Asharq Al Awsat that the comments “represent the sick mentality [of NBN] and what sort of political inclination NBN has.”
The National Broadcasting Network is affiliated to Nabih Berri, the Lebanese Speaker of Parliament, who is considered a key Syrian ally.
The statement made by Darwich regarding an assassination attempt on Fatfat’s life is the second of its kind in just over a year, as the Lebanese minister made an official complaint in March 2006 after receiving “threats” from Lebanese President Emile Lahoud during a dispute that broke out in a cabinet meeting.
Fatfat told Asharq Al Awsat that he feels “threatened anyway” due to his position and political views, and claims that he has, in fact, received threats from Syria.
The NBN open-mic scandal has made headlines around the world, and the recording has quickly reached video sharing websites.