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Cablegate: Egypt Media Trends: August 10, 2006

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #4928 2221247
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101247Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0462
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS CAIRO 004928

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA/PPD FOR ALBERTO FERNANDEZ, ROBIN SMITH AND
DAVID BENZE
R/PPR FOR GRETCHEN WELCH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO PREL IS LE EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT MEDIA TRENDS: AUGUST 10, 2006


1. Summary. All Egyptian terrestrial and
satellite channels aired Hassan Nasrallah's
exclusive statement on Al-Manar TV, to include
Egyptian Television which did not air items from
Al-Manar before the war in Lebanon. Lead stories
in morning television and print news included
Israel's vote to expand its ground invasion and
France's break from the US regarding the draft
resolution. The day's commentaries included
differing characterizations of Hassan Nasrallah
and a criticism of Arab media's influencing of
the public. End Summary.

2. In the headlines and front pages. "Israel's
Losses Continue." "Israel Fires its Army Leader
in Lebanon, Expands the Land War." These and
similar headlines in government-owned,
independent and opposition papers showed Israel
in a weakening position against Hezbollah.
Simultaneously, the papers emphasized the
deadlock over the potential ceasefire resolution
in headlines such as, "Lebanon is Back to Point
Zero", "No Progress on the UN Resolution" and,
"Differences Between Washington and Paris: Chirac
Threatens to Issue a Draft French Resolution."
All papers also headlined Nasrallah's latest
appearance on TV, with headlines such as, "He
Vowed Lebanon will be a Graveyard for Invading
Israeli Occupation Troops," and "Welcome to the
Battle, We Will Force You Out and You Will Pay a
High Price."

3. In the commentaries. Independent and
opposition papers showed a relatively high focus
on Hezbollah, with columnists using differing
vernacular in their characterizations of Hassan
Nasrallah. For example, a senior columnist in
opposition daily, Al-Wafd, characterized
Hezbollah as no longer "an extension of Syria or
Iran, but as "developing into a national power."
Meanwhile, a well-known commentator for
independent daily, Nahdet Misr, called Hezbollah
"the new Guevara", referencing its popularity
with the people and its image as an alternative
to "Arab rulers who were forced to condemn the
war (only) after their nations became angry."

4. In an interesting criticism of the "Arab
media's approach", especially per paragraph 5
below, Moneim Said, a well-known intellectual,
political analyst and celebrity television
commentator, criticized the media's "showing of
absolute support for Hezbollah and exclusion of
any opposition to this trend." He continued in
his column in independent daily, Nahdet Misr, by
comparing Arab media to "Israeli media which
directs its reports and analysis to real
information."

4. In the airwaves. In what would have been an
unusual practice before the war erupted in
Lebanon, Egyptian Television aired Hassan
Nasrallah's full statement, as given to Al-Manar
TV. ETV broadcast it as the third or fourth item
following the top-of-the-hour reporting on
breaking news updates. Excerpts of the
statements were repeated throughout all news
shows, particularly focusing on his comment that
Lebanon will "be a graveyard for invading
occupation troops," and his denial that Israel
"weakened Hezbollah's rocket capabilities."
RICCIARDONE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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