Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hariri News TV: Cry for Hariri 24 hours a day. So I was watching Hariri TV's show, Transit. It is a weekly show on Future TV devoted to a discussion of the media hosted by the able Najat Sharaf Ad-Din--she is one of the few TV journalists in Lebanon who does not annoy me because she is natural. The topic this time was the launching of Hariri News TV--a 24 hours news station (Future News TV). Her guests--to be fair and balanced--were: Nadim Qutaysh, of Hariri News TV, Dayana Muqallid of Hariri News TV who writes a weekly column for Prince Salman's mouthpice, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, and Muhannad Al-Khatib, formerly of Arabiyya TV and currently of Hariri News TV. The discussion was, well, fair and balanced. What do you expect from a discussion of a station that did not include one critic of the station? My mother asked me last week whether she should add the new Hariri News station to her cable channels. I said of course: you have to monitor it for me. She said that she was afraid. What are you afraid of, I asked. She said that she worries that she will be aggravated on a daily basis. She is not receiving it, and we don't get it here in the US. The word objectivity was thrown around the way Fox News throws "fair and balanced." The best part of the program was unintended: Nadim Qutaysh, who used to work for Hurra TV (which is still being watched by 3 people in different parts of the Arab world, and which is single-handedly responsible for turning Arab public opinion into staunch support for Bush and his wars), was asked how much leeway he has in the station. He said that it is not more or less than other experiences. Then he added this: I have to admit that I did not see a difference between my experience in Hurra TV and the new Future News TV.