Thursday, August 09, 2007

US pressures on Daily Star: More II. My source adds: "The day that Baghdad fell (April 9, 2003) I came in early-- around 10 am. My normal shift was 2pm until we went to press. The mornings were always quiet as most of the reporters would have been briefed and sent off to get stories. so I rushed in to look at the wires (AP Reuters etc) for some up-to-the-minute reports, only to find the office full of Lebanese tough guy-types everywhere. Rami's office was behind my desk and I can see a couple of these clean-cut westerners lecturing him. Now Rami is very mild mannered, but I could see that he was clearly upset. Of course I had no idea who these goons were, (and why they where sitting at my desk) so I started for his office thinking "Rami is being intimidated I won't sand for it" . (funny, my first thought was that they could be Anyway didn't get very far as the goons intervened and told me to fuck off-one of them had a little US flag on his lapel. I didnt leave the office, but was too far to hear what was being said. All I could see was Rami getting shouted at and holding his hands up as if to say
"calm down" "its OK" etc. For the rest of the day he was very shaken and upset. It was after this incident I noticed a big change at the Star... and left soon after the first "editorial meeting" with Michael Young."