Impressions, views, and steam-blowing by a lonesome cowboy.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Daily Star and Reader: Dumb and Dumber

1) Lebanese presidential candidate Chibli Mallat forms a committee of his OWN supporters in the US to back his run for office. (my previous post)

2) The Daily Star publishes the news under the headline: "US backs Mallat on Presidency", making it look like an official endorsement by the Unied States government.

3) One of their gullible readers buys it, writes a letter to the editor, and all but accuses Mallat of being a US agent.

4) PUNCH LINE: The Daily Star finds nothing better than to PUBLISH the letter in the "readers" section (second letter on page).



  • At 12/7/05, 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    haha! good one Josey, I am still laughing!

    I still like hte Daily Star though.

  • At 12/7/05, 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yet another example of why the Daily Star is an embarrassment to English speaking Lebanese across the globe.

    We deserve better!

  • At 12/8/05, 4:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Chibli Mallat is an agent for the USA, he is also a close personal friend of Paul Woolfowitz and a NEOCON.

  • At 12/8/05, 7:17 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Anon 4:34,

    Even if you are right(??), the DS story is still wrong, and the letter to the ed. followed from the story.

  • At 12/8/05, 12:48 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said…

    Not to mention that Chibli is part of an international illuminati-carbonari conspiracy (not to mention his link with the Opus Dei).

    DS can get ridiculous sometimes, but the overall quality of the publication remains satisfactory. The opinions section headed by Young (Young, Rami Khoury, T. Lee, David Ignatius...) is arguably the best in the ME.

  • At 12/8/05, 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Daily Star satisfactory? Having personally experienced the Daily Star as a former staffer, I beg to disagree. Never have I read a "leading" publication which lacks this much substance and that represents such a spineless line.

    There are so many important topics to cover in Lebanese news, but more often than not, the DS chooses to keep a low profile and walk the line. They have a rare opportunity to communicate with the millions of Lebanese expats, to present clear and informative news on the situation in Lebanon, with an eye out for corruption and improvement opportunities.

    When I read through the Daily Star, it comes across as a series of press releases mangled together to form a newspaper. What rubbish!

    When the Daily Star endured the backlash for published "The charms of the domestic worker" trash, they fired the journalist. Funny that the "arguably best in the ME" opinion section headed by Michael Young, edited the article, yet were untouched.

    The only reason worth buying the Daily Star in Lebanon is the Herald Tribune.

  • At 12/8/05, 1:46 PM, Blogger Lazarus said…

    So Nahla actually was fired? Even though I had heard it from a few sources, I wasn't too sure.

    And I have to agree with anon's classification of DS as a "press release" - many of their articles are just summaries of what others have reported.

  • At 12/9/05, 1:07 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Thanks Anon/former DS staffer.

    Vox, yes some opinions are good but the ratio is like 2 in 10. Rami Khoury is a walking cliche rehashing every trite and failed idea.

    Laz and Anon are right. The editors (?) should have never published Nahla Attiyah, even before her last stupid piece. Her style is annoying and she has NOTHING to say.

    I am no big fan of Mallat, but they did him a disservice TWICE.

  • At 12/9/05, 3:37 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said…

    Yes, I read Nahla, this article was shameful

  • At 12/9/05, 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad to participate in your excellent blog. I've become increasingly fed up with the Daily Shit and the disservice they do for us.

    Any DS insider will tell you what a circus that news room is. I agree that they do bring on some decent people, but in most cases they don't hang around for very long. Last year there was an extremely funny letter sent from a newly resigned journalist to Mroue that circulated to current and former staffers. Let's just say he didn't hold back!

    I thoroughly agree with what you said in your previous post:
    "When they get simple things wrong, let alone in instances of bad faith, how can we rely on the press to report on things as complicated as the Mehlis investigation, corruption at EDL, or a new election law?"

    As the sole mainstream English media outlet in Lebanon, if not the Daily Star then who?

    Keep up the great work!

  • At 12/9/05, 7:55 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Thks again anon. May I suggest you sign-in in the future as "other" and pick a nickname, especially if you are going to comment frequently on the Lebanese blogs.

    We need every sane voice ou there.

    While we have you here, what do you think is the problem at the DS? Bloggers who know Mroue believe he is a decent and smart fellow. Does he run the show?

  • At 12/10/05, 12:37 PM, Anonymous DS.BS said…

    Good idea, you can call me DS.BS from now on.

    I think the major problem with the DS is their lack of political relevance in Lebanon. Furthermore, because they are not viewed internally as important, in my opinion that leads them to resort to playing both sides in order to get the attention of government officials.

    I recall several staff members were a little too cozy with the likes of Birri and other corrupt politicians, and it certainly showed in their typical "press release" coverage.

    They are caught up trying to appease too many parties and individuals, and as a result are delivering sub-standard news.

    I actually like Mroue personally, but professionally I don't think he does a good job managing that paper. Of course he runs the show, either directly or by delegation. Make no mistake - he has always been the man in charge.

    Mroue is without question decent and smart, having lived in Europe and the U.S., I always enjoyed talking with Jamil and discussing life abroad.

    On a funny note, I frequently pondered about whether the newspaper was some sort of a cover or shelter for some other business he was operating... given how half-ass backwards everything was.

    That said, the Herald Tribune deal certainly helped them financially, and the web certainly helped boost their significance by broadcasting news outside of Lebanon.

    I hope they get some serious competition soon, that's the only way they will ever get their shit together.

  • At 12/10/05, 12:50 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said…

    I think it's unfair to bash the DS considering that it's working under tremendous operational pressure. I've been hearing that it's no in a good financial shape. Moreover, the quality of a newspaper is constrained by its financial ressources and the DS is operating on a small market, and is written in a language that is understood by a small fringe of the population.

  • At 12/10/05, 1:06 PM, Anonymous DS.BS said…

    They've never been in good financial shape, I meant to say that the IHT deal gave them a second life. Their financial cramp has always been an issue, and could very well be to blame for quality problems.

    I realize some people will think that I am merely bashing the DS, but that's not what it is about at all. Lebanon's English speaking population is by no means a "small fringe" if you take into account the millions living abroad. They count too, and in many cases they follow the news more closely than people inside Lebanon. That also happens to be where most of Lebanon's financial resources are - abroad!

    I am not here to bastardize the DS, they do a great job of that themselves. However I do think that it is wrong too sit quietly and accept mediocrity. At the end of the day, whether you like it or not, an English news monopoly out of Lebanon does represent you in the eyes of foreign readers. And I certainly don't want Nahla Atiyeh and other sub standard views representing me.

  • At 12/10/05, 1:43 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said…

    DS, what you say is true, but Lebanese living abroad can't buy the daily star, they just read it on the net.

  • At 12/13/05, 5:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Josey just a thought, your extensive knowledge of the middle east extends from where? CNN? BBC? Dailystar?

  • At 12/13/05, 1:51 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Last Anon

    The answer is NO. All these news outlets suck.

    If you are being sarcastic, I missed it. You have something to say? Say it.

  • At 12/22/05, 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No Nahla is back, but his style is still stupid.


  • At 12/22/05, 8:46 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Yes Anon,

    Annoying Nahla's back. I saw that. As usual, she has nothing to add, and her (she's a she) style's as annoying as ever.

    In a pice on Jibran Tueni, she tells us that she knows 2 bits about modern physics and drops names like Beauvoir and Che????

  • At 12/23/05, 4:59 PM, Blogger Lazarus said…

    Thanks for bringing Nahla's return to my attention JW. It's a shame.

  • At 12/24/05, 7:58 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said…

    Merry Christmas and happy new year Josey!

  • At 12/25/05, 2:54 PM, Blogger Lazarus said…

    Thanks for leaving the message on my blog - Merry Christmas to you too JW.


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