Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bogus Threat!

A fellow blogger claims that The Daily Star was "threatened by the Syrian Mukhabarat" .


The "From Beirut to the Beltway" blog says:

"According to the staff member, there is a disturbing reason why the Daily Star continues to publish Shaaban's pieces; one that might not strike you as surprising.

In early March [2005], after reviewing the Shaaban piece I mentioned above, the paper's editorial team decided against publishing it. A couple of weeks later, their managing editor received an early morning phone call at his home from a man who identified himself as a "member of the Syrian Mukhabarat" (Syrian intelligence).

The Syrian agent demanded to know why the Daily Star had not published the article.

According to my source, the managing editor asked the man how he had gotten his phone number.

"We have all the phone numbers and addresses of every journalist in Beirut," was his chilling response.

The Daily Star's management took the safe road and published the piece...".


What "From Beirut to the Beltway" forgot to mention is that the Daily Star sells copies in Syria on a daily basis and that as a newspaper it has to publish the opinions of all sides. Therefore I think that the claim is to say the least exaggerated if not totally bogus.

The Daily Star publishes Israeli writers and therefore Butheina Shaaban is as intitled to publish her opinion as any other columnist.

Furthermore, Shaaban's columns are also published in Asharq Al Awsat and many other Arab newspapers that have criticized Syria, and I do not think that "the Mukhabarat" threatened them. But most importantly late PM Rafic Hariri's Mustaqbal newspaper was publishing Shaaban's articles right up to September 2005.

Government officials and press attaches often call newspapers to publish the opinions of their officials and most of the times the newspapers oblige.

Finally, if the Syrians wanted to hurt the Daily Star they would have forbidden it from selling in Syria. And unlike An Nahar, which is forbidden from entering Syrian territory, the Daily Star is available on the same day.

10 Comments:

Blogger Raja said...

"Finally, if the Syrians wanted to hurt the Daily Star they would have forbidden it from selling in Syria."

Ouch! You're out of touch ma man!

Last I heard, one of the only outlets that sells the dailystar is the Sheraton Hotel in Damascus. Oh, and I think you're only able to buy the edition that is like 3 days old!

What a lucrative market!!!

22 February, 2006 13:24  
Anonymous ghassan said...

As usual Zadig , here you go again reporting sensationalism that is totally unsubatantiated. When would you ever learn to stop theses unprofessional practices.

What are these are newspapers besides the Dailystar and the English Edition of the Al-Shark Al-Awsat that have published the Syrian propaganda in English?

As for your other lame justification that in many cases press attaches contact newspapers let me ask you whether is these civilised countries the press attache calls to inform or whether they call to demand or even threaten? And what is more important what to the #%&** gives you the right to question the validity of what happened? Were you there when the call came in? Or is this another one of your assertions based on the flimsiest of evidence?

You have the freedom to report on whatever you want but readers do not have to read the rubbish that you report on. Furthermore, maybe it is about time that OpenLebanon establishes some professional guidlines that must be followed by those that are allowed to appear under itsheading?

22 February, 2006 14:31  
Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

First of all, Kais is a good blogger and a serious journalist. If he says that he has a reliable source, I believe him.

"The Daily Star publishes Israeli writers and therefore Butheina Shaaban is as intitled to publish her opinion as any other columnist.
"

What's the point? That all Israelis are evil like Buthaina?

22 February, 2006 21:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While you seem to lash out at Kais for his post on the threat to the Daily Star, you offer NO proof otherwise. If he has direct source (and let's assume he's being honest), you do not offer a direct source countering this claim.

Would it suprise you if Syria was threatening journalists at the DS? You're a bit naive if you think otherwise.

Very unprofessional of you.

AM

22 February, 2006 21:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zadig,

You really are the worst of the Lebanese bloggers out there. Usually I do not take the time to make negative comments, but with you I have found that it has become necessary on a weekly basis.

You sir are not a journalist and in fact are the furthest thing from a reliable source. In fact, people like you are the ones that make the Internet into a dangerous source of misinformation.

Please...just stop...spare us all.

23 February, 2006 06:44  
Anonymous Ziad said...

Zadig....

Your rebut of kais is well researched.
Beirut-to-Beltway is basing its story on hearsay and rumor....Anyway a phone call and a request are not a threat and the source of kais might be finding a lame pretext to explain the Shaaban columns in the Daily Star......

Keep up the good work.........

23 February, 2006 08:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good posts zadig.

some independent thought is desperately needed in Lebanon


never mind the people with one-track-minds

23 February, 2006 08:52  
Anonymous marwan said...

Zadig is a liberral fuck & a syrian bitch

23 February, 2006 09:05  
Anonymous ram.z said...

the syrian connection is exactly why they sell the Daily Crap in Syria u moron!

This is the problem with blogging... all of a sudden a 14 year old who thinks he knows something has a platform to spew bullshit. I don't really think this fool is a Syrian bitch, he just likes to take it up the azz from dominant species like bears.

Nice going Zadig... keep up the quality work!

24 February, 2006 17:36  
Anonymous lamia said...

Ouch.
knocking down propaganda parrots deeply hurt some of your readers zadig.

Anyways as was said earlier

Nice going Zadig... keep up the quality work!

24 February, 2006 18:41  

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