Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Glimpse Into Media Coverage of Egyptian Chaos

The media coverage of the chaos in Egypt is a real eye-opener. I have witnessed a full spectrum from good reporting to random remarks from hacks.

I am pleasantly surprised to witness the performance by a CNN anchor that now has my respect as a reporter. I admit, I gave up on CNN a long time ago but in times of international crisis, the cable network does lead on real time and on the ground reporting. So, I tuned in yesterday and continued on from there. Today I give big props to Jonathan Mann. Stellar performance behind the anchor desk. If you don't see the contrast between his interviews and questioning and that of others with pronounced agendas, then you aren't paying attention. That's all there is to say.

I heard Mann say that it appears to be coming true, that belief of former President George W. Bush, that all people long for freedom. He noted that the Bush initiatives in Iraq and the Middle East certainly appear as though they are coming forward, long after he is now out of office. It is a bitter pill to be swallowed by the hateful left in this country to cede any credit to George W. Bush. History will not look kindly upon those who fought Bush at every turn and intensified the downward cycle of political discourse as they did so.

Contrast that with this entertainer masquerading as a pundit with his own show:

From the man who worked for President Jimmy Carter and now works for MSNBC:

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

"Leading off tonight: Unrest in Egypt. Proving the Iraq war wasn`t needed, these protests in Egypt, as well as in Yemen and Tunisia, are all aimed at dictators supported by the U.S. The demonstrations have not yet turned anti-American, but they could. These are the events the Bush administration hoped to encourage by lying about weapons of mass destruction and invading Iraq. A live report from Richard Engel at the scene coming up. And we`ll stay on this story throughout the hour as events warrant"

This is why his show is so low in the ratings. He is such a hyper-partisan hack that he can't report honestly on anything having a political bent, which are the only stories he brings to his show. He is still re-hashing the "lie" of the weapons of mass destruction though it is abundantly clear that every politician and world leader believed the same intelligence reports. He would like to keep it all on the shoulders of George W. Bush. Matthews is not worthy of any audience at all.

It can, in fact, be argued that it was Secretary of State Condi Rice's speech in Cairo in 2005 that planted seeds of change in Egypt. At the time she was taken to task for speaking truth to power - that it was not always such a wise decision to back dictators in the Middle East for the sake of continuity, for the sake of staying with whom you know. Administrations - both Republican and Democratic - have done so for decades. Supporting the known versus supporting the emergence of the unknown in leadership is bound to backfire eventually. You may remember the much hyped speech delivered in Cairo by Barack Obama was slobbered over by his adoring press but criticized by the citizens of Cairo at the time. While Rice brought intellectual heft in her foreign policy speeches, Obama brought the attitude and words of an American apologist.

The role of social media is spotlighted for importance again, as it has in previous uprisings on the international scene. Currently, I am following the Twitter updates from an Egyptian blogger:!/Sandmonkey

Facebook pages are springing up to deliver information and grown support for demonstrations here in America and around the world. Internet service has been shut down in Egypt but reports now are that cell phone service is available.

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