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Monday, 28 November 2016

Last Night’s Talk Shows: Scorn for Qatar; Prime Minister, cabinet ministers interviewed on Youm7 today

Scorn for Qatar was the rage on last night’s talk shows after Al Jazeera aired a report criticizing mandatory national service in Egypt. Al Jazeera claimed that its website was the victim of a cyberattack by Egyptian ISPs just hours before the documentary (Al ‘Asaker, or The Soldiers; watch, runtime 52:01) was due to air. Ahram Gate reported that the Qatari broadcaster’s website was breached by unidentified hackers who uploaded a picture of the Qatari army with an accompanying hashtag that jokes, “Qatar’s army, the finest Indians on earth.”

Hona Al Assema’s Lamees Al Hadidy spent her full show last night dissecting Qatar. Lamees explicitly blamed Qatar and Turkey for rising terrorism acts in the region, airing a CNN report dating back to 2014 that she said explained Qatar’s role in supporting Islamist terror. (Watch the entire segment, runtime: 1:05:53). Lamees then kicked it up a notch and launched a hashtag demanding that Egypt declare Qatar’s ambassador to Cairo persona non-grata. That’s dip-speak for “kick him out of the country.” Lamees then hosted MP and TV host Abdel Reheem Ali, who claimed to have evidence of the relationship between Qatar and Islamist president Mohamed Morsi (watch, runtime: 34:49) and then showcased a special report about Egyptian paratroopers (watch, runtime: 18:30).

While Kol Youm’s Amr Adib also railed against Al Jazeera (watch, runtime: 8:08), he focused on a Youm7 interview with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and other cabinet ministers set to be published in the newspaper’s print edition this morning(thanks for the heads up Adib). Ismail reportedly confirmed that metro ticket prices will rise to EGP 2 from EGP 1 (watch: runtime: 1:39). This is the first concrete confirmation from his government on an actual policy on the metro ticket prices, after dancing around the issue for some time now. The interview also delved into the subsidies system, where Ismail noted the government will consider the phone bill of citizens and their property to filter out those who are not eligible for the commodity subsidies. Adib praised Youm7’s editor-in-chief Khaled Salah for being able to secure an interview Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid, saying “you know that it is rare when Dalia Khorshid talks,” (watch: runtime: 7:30).

On Al Kahera wal Nas, Ibrahim Eissa criticized the Ismail government’s “lack of vision.” Eissa maintained his usual line about the cabinet ultimately being beholden to the state security apparatus and not the people (watch, runtime: 0:45). This is one of the primary reasons why so little gets done, he says. Ministers move and shift as the government deals with problems day-to-day, and there’s no coherent strategy as a result, he added (watch; runtime: 1:17).

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