Vitriolic US campaign inspires viral videos

Updated 08 November 2016
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Vitriolic US campaign inspires viral videos

This US election has been noted for its especially bitter tone as fierce rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in the polls.
But for some this vitriolic campaign has been the inspiration for something else: Viral videos.
In one memorable YouTube clip, the two US election rivals are seen debating — except the audio has been switched to "I've Had The Time of My Life". The viral clip has already been viewed more than four million times. And one former Dubai expat has made his own US election-inspired video in a bid to promote a book published earlier this year.
Author Charlie Raymond — who wrote Hired, Fired, Fled, a humorous tale of his succession of 14 jobs in 15 years, including journalist roles in Dubai — made the hilarious video in London.
It shows a "parallel universe" in which Clinton and Trump, far from being bitter election rivals, are very much in love.
“There's been so much hate and vitriol in the US election campaign that I wanted to bring some levity,” Raymond tells Arab News.
“These two people are doing all they can to fight for their dream job, which is what my book Hired, Fired, Fled is all about, so there was an obvious tie-in. Fighting for your dream job is great and admirable, but sadly Trump and Clinton are going about it in a terrible way!”
The funny video, titled Love & Rage in the Race to the White House, shows Trump and Clinton sharing a plate of spaghetti, riding a tandem bike and taking selfies.
Raymond, a pen name, plays Trump — with an anonymous friend playing Clinton. Both wear masks portraying caricatures of the election rivals.
“People in London loved seeing these characters have some fun on their streets. We did get some comments shouted at us, such as, "I hate you both!" but in the most part people just wanted to take selfies with us,” Raymond said.
Raymond’s book, published in June, tells the story of his string of jobs across eight countries including the UAE. “It was an ideal place for me, as Dubai is full of opportunity. I didn't realize it until I'd left, but the best jobs I've ever had were working for media companies in Dubai, as the people, access, and variety were second to none. Maybe I'll return once more,” the author said.
The video to promote the book shows Clinton and Trump getting along — but in the final scenes the two are seen chasing each other around with baseball bats. Much more like, as the film suggests, the “reality” of the divisive election campaign.


Somali journalists’ body slams police ‘threats’ to shoot reporters

A general view shows people at the scene of a suicide car explosion at a check point near Somali Parliament building in Mogadishu, Somalia June 15, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 17 June 2019
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Somali journalists’ body slams police ‘threats’ to shoot reporters

  • The SJS called on the Ministry of Information, the commissioner of police and the office of the prime minister to open an investigation, “and take appropriate steps against those responsible”

MOGADISHU: A Somali journalists’ association on Sunday slammed the actions of police who it said threatened to shoot reporters trying to access the scene of a car bombing near Parliament, and warned of a “worsening situation” for the country’s press.
Police at a checkpoint near the site of Saturday’s bombing in Mogadishu, which killed eight people and was claimed by the Al-Shabab militant group, stopped a group of reporters from international news groups, including Al Jazeera’s Jama Nur Ahmed.
“When the journalists tried to explain to the police about their reporting mission, a police officer fired two bullets (in the) air and then pointed his rifle on Jama Nur’s head, according to Jama Nur Ahmed and two other colleagues,” the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said in a statement.
Also in the group were journalists from Reuters, AFP and the Turkey’s Anadolu news agency, followed by a second wave of reporters who were similarly denied access.
“The journalists said the police officers told them they had orders restricting journalist coverage at the scenes of attacks and threatened that any journalist who tries to film will either be shot dead or his/her equipment will be broken resulting (in) the journalists to return back from the scene,” according to the SJS.
It charged Somali police treat journalists “as criminals,” preventing them from doing their work of reporting on events in the country.
“This is a symptom of a worsening situation against journalists in Somalia.”
It said that on May 14 police confiscated reporters’ equipment, detained a cameraman, and beat up two others trying to report on another Mogadishu explosion.
AFP has documented several incidents in recent months of journalists being intimidated and threatened and their equipment seized while trying to report on Al-Shabab attacks.
The SJS called on the Ministry of Information, the commissioner of police and the office of the prime minister to open an investigation, “and take appropriate steps against those responsible.”
“We call the highest offices of the government including that of the Office of the Prime Minister to intervene in order to for the journalists to report freely and accurately without fear,” said the statement.