Egyptian anchor suspended for using “inappropriate language” on air in episode discussing rape

Egyptian anchor Mona Iraqi suspended for using “inappropriate language” on air in episode discussing rape. (Screenshot)
Updated 14 February 2018
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Egyptian anchor suspended for using “inappropriate language” on air in episode discussing rape

CAIRO: Egypt’s Media Council decided to suspend TV anchor Mona Iraqi for using “inappropriate” language during an episode discussing rape.
The Media Council, a regulatory body established by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in 2016, said it is has detected Iraqi’s “professional and ethical error on air” while addressing the topic of her episode.
The council said she “used inappropriate phrases that contradict ethical and professional values,” which prompted the decision that led to her suspension.
Hours prior to the decision, the channel airing Iraqi’s program launched an investigation into the host’s previous episodes of her show “Entebah” (meaning attention in Arabic).
The channel’s management said that the language used by Iraqi contradicts the channel’s regulations, which adheres to “good values and principles,” adding that they represent “the channel of the Egyptian family” since its launch 15 years ago.
“The Mehwar channel apologizes to the audience for the inappropriate words used by host Mona Iraqi,” it added in the statement.
Iraqi was sentenced to six months in prison in 2015 with a LE10,000 ($565) bail over charges of “defamation” and broadcasting false news over her controversial filming of a bathhouse raid in December 2014.
Although the verdict was canceled in January 2016, the anchor received backlash at the time for cooperating with police to raid the bathhouse, accusing the 26 men inside of “debauchery”, a blanket legal term for homosexual activity.


What We Are Reading Today: Debating War and Peace by Jonathan Mermin

Updated 15 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Debating War and Peace by Jonathan Mermin

  • Mermin shows that if there is no debate over US policy in Washington, there is no debate in the news
  • The author constructs a new framework for thinking about press-government relations

The First Amendment ideal of an independent press allows American journalists to present critical perspectives on government policies and actions; but are the media independent of government in practice? Here Jonathan Mermin demonstrates that when it comes to military intervention, journalists over the past two decades have let the government itself set the terms and boundaries of foreign policy debate in the news.

Analyzing newspaper and television reporting of US intervention in Grenada and Panama, the bombing of Libya, the Gulf War, and US actions in Somalia and Haiti, he shows that if there is no debate over US policy in Washington, there is no debate in the news. 

Journalists often criticize the execution of US policy, but fail to offer critical analysis of the policy itself if actors inside the government have not challenged it. Mermin ultimately offers concrete evidence of outside-Washington perspectives that could have been reported in specific cases, and explains how the press could increase its independence of Washington in reporting foreign policy news. 

The author constructs a new framework for thinking about press-government relations, based on the observation that bipartisan support for US intervention is often best interpreted as a political phenomenon, not as evidence of the wisdom of US policy. Journalists should remember that domestic political factors often influence foreign policy debate. The media, Mermin argues, should not see a Washington consensus as justification for downplaying critical perspectives.