Sunday, September 27, 2009

The lowest of Lebanese journalists: the case of Fu'ad Matar

I would argue that some Lebanese journalists are responsible for the lousy quality of the Arab press. No Arab journalists have been as skillful and as unprincipled in their prostration before ruling dynasties like the Lebanese journalists. And they (those Lebanese journalists who do that service) always serve as hired mercenaries responsible for contributing to the construction of the personality cult of the reader. Here is Fu'ad Matar: a veteran reporter for An-Nahar. In the 1960s and early 1970s, he was a propagandist for the Nasser regime. After the death of Nasser, he became a favorite propagandist for Saddam Husayn: and his intelligence service (allegedly) funded his London-based magazine, At-Tadamun, which featured regular tributes for Saddam. The tributes followed a propaganda book that Matar wrote on Saddam, which used to be distributed for free in three languages by Iraqi embassies around the world. After the demise of Saddam, Matar switched his allegiance to the House of Saud, now writes tributes to Saudi king and princes in Prince Salman's mouthpiece, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat. This man has kids: how do they look at him? How does he look at himself, I wonder. Oh, Matar has a new book out: a book of tributes to the Saudi King titled: The Servitor of the Two Sites, and the Guardian of the Two Nations." I kid you not. It is serialized in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat.