Archive of ‘Media’ category

The View from Pakistan

Ok, so let's get this straight: Musharraf declares a state of emergency, and shuts down the media and deposes a Judge he doesn't like. The Judge urges people to protest , the people go nuts and European nations froze aid and Bush can't make up his mind on what is more important: The War on Terror, or Democracy. In the midst of all that, my Pakistani Friend M. Chaudrey just sent me this, which gives you the view of how it's like to be living in Pakistan at the moment: 

Its so frustrating. Absolutely nerve wracking. You sit at home, you
switch on the T.V and all you can watch is fashion T.V, music videos
and Hollywood and Bollywood movies.

No news. The screen is just
a black void when you switch to the channels where news spoke; where we
learned about what was going on in our country. Our nation.

And no one in the nation has any real idea about what is going on.

My
father calls and asks whether the rumors are true. The rumors that
Musharraf himself has been the victim of a coup. A coup on top of a
coup?

As my brother puts it, thats Coo-Coo.

But rumors
are abound and we get our news from the time delayed internet websites
and from people living in Dubai who are still able to watch Pakistani
news transmissions. Musharraf has denied allegations of a coup. He says
thats the most ludicrous "joke".

I can think of a better joke than that.

It is so unbelievably frustrating sitting in the dark. Not knowing what is going on.

But
we all have conspiracy theories. Because right now thats the only thing
keeping us alive. Letting us believe that we DO know what is going on.

Benazir
Bhutto landed on Saturday night from Dubai to Karachi. She rushed back
here to tell the world and our nation (I don't know how she planned to
do that since we get no news!) that this was the worst move Musharraf
could make.

So, whats new?

But people are talking. And rumors and conspiracies are spreading like wildfire. The following is the one that i think is true.

Benazir
landed with a big smile on her face, as seen by people living abroad on
their T.V screens. Why is she back? She could've given her press
conference from Dubai right?

But if Musharraf wants to save face
with the American government-and the American people- he will make
Benazir his prime minister. And himself as President. And Chief of Army
Staff.

He will not give up his uniform and will remain the dictator. And she will become the face of democracy.

How will the American/World media spin this?

Mushi
made a mistake by declaring emergency rule. He will remove it. Martial
law will remain in place. But he will say that since Benazir's party is
the biggest and most famous party in Pakistan, she should be PM.

And he will instate her as such.

She will graciously accept it.

And the world media will say, okay look the people loooove Benazir, she
is the PM, so TECHNICALLY, there is democracy in the country.

And
then Benazir will have Musharrafs illegitimate child but the child will
turn out to be the son of Benazir's brother and not Musharraf's and
Musharraf's wife will kill Benazir by throwing her off a cliff but
Benazir will not die. She will live and go skipping in the fields with
Musharraf's twin brother who is her "real" lover and they will go and
sing "oh baby pomp up the jam," a song from a bollywood movie.

For once, I agree with what Musharraf says.

This is a "joke of the highest order." (www.geo.tv)

But this is our state.

Until the T.V. flickers back on to the "real" news. News that will no
longer be free. It is now going to be government controlled and
censored under more than 20 new "media regulation" laws.

Here we are now, taking two steps back.

And yes, no news is drivng me crazy.

Iraqi cemetery workers suffering due to lack of business

..because the death toll in Iraq has been decreasing significantly. More than a 30% drop in deaths actually in the past 6 months. How about that?

A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al
Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and
that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living
digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.

[...]

Dhurgham Majed al Malik, 48, whose family has arranged burial services
for generations, said that this spring, private cars and taxis with
caskets lashed to their roofs arrived at a rate of 6,500 a month. Now
it's 4,000 or less, he said.

The Poor guys. They should form a Union and demand more attacks from the government or something. Oh and Iraq is not improving. No sir. It's a failure. And it won't get better. That's what the media you watch tells you, right?

Yeah. Make sure you listen to it. It doesn't lie at all!

Egyptian newspapers strike for a day

Well, Independent ones, anyway. The daily ones didn't appear yesterday and the weekly ones will not publish throughout the week. This is the latest development in the crisis between the Press and the Government.

Egypt's newspapers conducted a silent
protest against the government by withholding their publications from
newsstands on Sunday. Both independent and opposition newspapers joined
forces in the one-day protest against the government's crackdown and
imprisonment of journalists in the country. The move comes as a leading
editor is due to return to court on charges of defamation. The charges
come after his paper, Al Dostour, reported on rumors that President
Hosni Mubarak was ill or possibly dead in August.

"These
newspapers withdrew from the atmosphere of freedom in the victory day
for vague reasons and because of pressures from an unknown power,"
wrote the pro-government Rose El-Youssef newspaper in opposition to the
demonstration.

Pressue from an unknown power. Right. Yeah, don't count on Al Ahram, or Al Akhbar to join the protest either. There sued to be a time- until very recently- they would've, but not anymore! 

The Daily Sta..sorry..the Daily News sucks

Arab Road Rules

There is a new show on MBC called "On the road in America", where a group of young arabs get into an RV and travel across the nation. The idea is to present the arab world with a more positive image of the US. And it seems to be working, at least on one of them:

Before visiting the United States, Amr disliked the U.S. and worried
everyone would think he was a terrorist. But said he was surprised that
most people were friendly and interested in learning more about him.

Now that Amr is home in Cairo, he is trying to share his new optimistic American perspective with friends and family.

But some remain unconvinced, he said.

The people who are making this show say that it has more credibility because it's privately funded, rather than the US state department initiatives. However, just a quick glance on the Board of Layalena, the company producing the show, can make any good conspiracy theorist' skin crawl:

It was produced by a nonprofit company backed by a string of
Washington heavyweights — Republicans and Democrats — including former
President George H.W. Bush, who aim to fight negative stereotypes of
America in the Arabic-speaking world.

The company, Layalina Productions Inc., has a board that boasts such
names as former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and James A. Baker
III and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton.

Kissinger and Bush. Yeah, that will go well! 

Egypt Linkdump

Sweden reverses an expulsion order against an egyptian former terror suspect. With the story of Abu Omar out, who could blame them?

The Egyptian government lashes out against critics of the AbdelKarim verdict. After all, how dare those HR people have a differing opinion than that of the egyptian government? Blasphemy!

But it's not all bad news. Ibrahim Eissa beat the case against him and overturned the verdict of one year in jail for insulting the President. Abdel Karim's appeal court case is on the 18th of March y'all. Let's hope we hear good news then as well!

Al Zarwaa is no longer on TV, and I am pissed off. This was a great channel. Utterly psychotic. They showed explosions and dead bodies and terrorist acts in the making and ran videos of how great and brave Saddam was. Now that's reality TV for ya. And what even sucks more is that the egyptian government pussy footed around it. Instead of taking a stand against terrorism by announcing that they banned the website for its psychotic content, they claimed "technical problems" were the cause for the shut down. Wussies! 

The Shia are not having fun in Egypt, or so says this story. I believe it. It's just the sign of things to come! 

And finally, a story about the strikes the workers been waging and their victories. Knowing how shitty their wages are (less than 40 dollars a month) and how badly they are treated, this heartless capitalist says: Good for them. Keep it up guys and more power to ya! It doesn't seem like the strikes will end soon!

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