State-Controlled Media Deserting Mubarak

You know Mubarak’s in trouble when the chief editor of Al-Ahram — the major Egyptian daily better known obseqiously supporting the government — writes a front-page editorial supporting the protest movement.

The Daily Telegraph explains:

In a front-page leader, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Osama Saraya hailed the “nobility” of what he described as a “revolution” and demanded that the government embark of irreversible constitutional and legislative changes.

“The state and all its denizens, the elder generation, the politicians and all other powers on the political stage must humble themselves and rein themselves in to understand the ambitions of the young and the dreams of this nation,” he wrote.

There was no call on the president to resign and while it may yet prove that Al Ahram’s editorial shift may be tactical rather than genuine, opposition supporters expressed astonishment at the development.

Mr Saraya built his reputation as a dependable apologist for the president.

No kidding on that last point Just last September, Al-Ahram published a doctored photo of Mubarak with other Mideast leaders in the White House. At the time, Saraya insisted the altered image was merely illustrative.

I’d like to see the Egyptian media assert itself, but Saraya’s more worried about keeping his head the day after Mubarak leaves. This arrogant interview with Menassat makes my skin crawl no less than when I first read it a few years ago.

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