The explosion of Beirut Port seems to have taken down with it the last shred of respect people might have had still towards those reigning over the crumbling country from their high seats.
People are not just angry at their dereliction but also at the pretense of prestige that is no longer there. The explosion shattered it into millions of pieces.
The people of the Lebanese media are not exempt from that fury, and some are no longer holding back to express it, nor munching on their words. MTV Lebanon is the most relevant example, which has earned it to be blocked from the presidential palace.
The given reason was: lacking respect towards the president when mentioning his name.
While LBCI announced right after the explosion that it will stop broadcasting any speeches, press conferences, and statements of Lebanese politicians, MTV went in the offensive, bashing at the president for his neglect and indifference.
MTV has been acting as if the president is unworthy of his title, hence position, belittling him, directing blames at him for failing the nation, and calling him “General Aoun” and “Mr. Aoun” instead of president, which was deemed highly offensive to the president.
As offensive as to block the MTV and its reporters from the presidential palace, impeding them to directly cover any of its news, stories, statements, updates, and so on, including most recently the nomination of the new Prime Minister, Mostapha Adib.
Reportedly, MTV was forbidden to enter the Baabda palace.
According to the official statement, the presidential press office had contacted MTV several times regarding its “disrespectful” stance, which apparently could even cause the shut down of the media station.
That act of “disobedience” is apparently punishable by the law.
However, these attempts by the presidential press office to intimidate the station into showing respect to the president didn’t yield the aimed result.
Instead, the MTV went even harsher in its response, attacking the decision for being unethical, illegal, and oppressive, and criticizing the president and his “appropriation of the palace” that belongs to the people.
The journalists went further reminding the president that it’s the people suffering from hunger who are paying for that palace, and for his salary and the salaries of his “army of advisors” and all those occupying the palace.
According to them, the station was threatened a day earlier by Hassan Nassrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, which corresponds with the policing decision of the president to block the station.
MTV, which deems itself “the voice of freedom for the suffering people”, doesn’t seem to want to back off any time soon, despite the intimidation, the threats, and the banning.
This isn’t the first time that the media in Lebanon gets oppressed and threatened. That stance has been most relevant since the onset of the revolution with reporters of various media stations being awfully threatened and harassed, and some stations attacked.
The ruling body and their party supporters are somehow unable to understand what is there strikingly evident and that has brought the people to a point of no return: The country is agonizing.
The capital has been destroyed, too many families are homeless, a mass-murder has been committed, banks continue to hold hostage the people’s money, poverty is at its highest in Lebanon’s history, and lockdown is crashing the last standing businesses – except in some areas where the law is not being enforced.
And the people only see carelessness from the ruling body, not even a rescue plan.
Anger has been escalating since the explosion of August 4th, and that’s all over the country. The people of Lebanon can’t simply take it anymore.