Tuesday, August 03, 2010

  • Tuesday, August 03, 2010
  • Suzanne
Surprisingly there were reporters present when the clash happened. No-one wonders why they were there. Reporters are not all the time present where the army (of any country) is, or are they? Why were they there?

The journalist who got killed is Assaf Abu Rahhal and he was connected to the newspaper Al-Ahkbar. Interesting detail is that Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said the following about this newspaper on March 16, 2006:
On March 16, 2006, the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt appeared on the popular LBC talk show Kalam Alnas, and he seemed unusually agitated over plans for the launch of Beirut’s newest paper. “Who says the Syrians are really gone,” he declaimed. “Together with the Iranians, they are funding a new newspaper called Al Akhbar.”

The new paper, Jumblatt said, was a tool of Hizbollah, the core of the opposition and an ally of Iran and Syria. He repeated rumours that its mandate was to promote Khomeinism, brainwashing readers into supporting the allegedly fanatical militants dragging Lebanon into war with Israel. The paper, he claimed, would take an Islamist position on individual liberties and endorse Baath-style repression.
Jumblatt made these comments when the first issue of the newspaper was not out yet. It's odd to blame the unborn baby. However, the article continues:
Al Akhbar was the brainchild of the widely admired left-wing journalist Joseph Samaha, who quit his job editing As Safir – one of Lebanon’s two leading dailies, which he helped found in 1974 – for the chance to launch his own paper. But months before its debut, Samaha’s vision of a critical, reader-friendly paper was already being overshadowed by his stated sympathies for the opposition and the newspaper’s purported association with Hizbollah.
And states eventually:
Many inside Lebanon still see it as a more sophisticated front for Hizbollah – though unlike Al Manar, Hizbollah’s TV channel, the paper could not be reasonably accused of propaganda.
From what I grasp of the rest of the article is that the newspaper does a pretty well job, but still - if it is true that inside Lebanon it is seen as a more sophisticated front for Hezbollah... - it is something to keep in mind.

It might be coincidence, but the other journalist, Ali Chaayeb, who was present at the time of the clash and who got injured, is connected to al-Manar.


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