Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

whatever happened to lebanese journalism? (1)

Posted by worriedlebanese on 10/10/2006

It’s becoming more and more upsetting to read the Lebanese press these days, especially the editorial sections. This is particularly true for the Nahar and the Orient Le Jour, two dailies that I read regularly. They have been mobilised for over a year on a couple of political issues, which was most welcome before the 2005 elections and the coming to power of a new majority, that of the quadripartite alliance: Future Movement (Hariri’s group), Progressive socialist party (that’s neither progressive nor socialist but is a Druze Zaïm’s political organisation), Hezbollah and Amal. Each of these groups includes or has co-opted Christian politicians or political groups (Kataeb and Lebanese Forces) because of the quota system in government and the distribution of parliamentary seats on confessional (religious denomination) lines.

During the spring of 2005, that they dubbed “the Spring of Beirut”, “the Cedar revolution”, “The intifada for independance”, these newspapers were politically mobilised against the Syrian presence and Karami’s government. These were unordinary times, when people in the streets were mobilising and voicing these political demands for change. But how can one justify the fact that the Press is still engaged in similar battles today, after the fall of the Karami government, the withdrawal of Syrian troops and the coming about of a new majority and a new government? How can one legitimise its full support of the government (not all the government, only the ministers who are siding with the Prime Minister)? Not only it fails most of the time to criticize some very questionable ministerial behaviours and doings, but it accuses those who criticize the government of either being Syria’s agents or playing into their game.

Todays articles, like every day’s show the same bias.  

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