Vitriolic US campaign inspires viral videos

Updated 08 November 2016

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.


Journalists quit Lebanon paper over anti-protest stance

Updated 06 November 2019

Journalists quit Lebanon paper over anti-protest stance

  • One journalist announced her resignation last week, another on Monday and two more followed suit on Tuesday
  • Al-Akhbar ,is among the most read and respected newspapers in Lebanon, threw its weight behind the movement

BEIRUT: Four journalists have resigned from Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al-Akhbar over the daily’s stance on an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests.
One journalist announced her resignation last week, another on Monday and two more followed suit on Tuesday, explaining their decision on social media.
One of them, leading economic journalist Mohammed Zbib, said he “resigned to protest against the newspaper management’s attitude toward the uprising.”
Since October 17, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have taken to the streets to demand better living conditions and a wholesale change of Lebanon’s corrupt and sectarian political system.
Al-Akhbar is among the most read and respected newspapers in Lebanon, including by those who do not share its political leanings.
Over the years, it has consistently produced pioneering coverage of the economic hardships faced by Lebanon’s least privileged, a key driver of the ongoing protests.
When the protests erupted nearly three weeks ago, initially over a proposed tax on phone calls via messaging apps, Al-Akhbar threw its weight behind the movement.
However, protesters’ grievances swiftly grew to demand the resignation of the entire ruling elite and a complete overhaul of a system that has returned the same politicians to power for decades.
Hezbollah’s powerful leader Hassan Nasrallah faced unusual criticism, including within his own strongholds, and criticized the protest movement as reckless and manipulated by the West.
Al-Akhbar’s initial enthusiasm for the protests gave way to a stance cautioning against the government’s resignation and the emergence of a political vacuum.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Hezbollah rival in the governing coalition, eventually bowed to street pressure on October 29 and announced his cabinet’s resignation.