The media’s coverage of the Egypt crisis has been one-sided

The media has done it again. They’ve presented the wrong message to the American people about the Egyptian crisis, and it’s not just because of the liberal bias of the U.S. media. It’s also because liberal and conservative media outlets have the same agenda: to sensationalize stories in order to raise ratings. They’re interested in creating the story that sells best. Facts come second.

The media has chosen to sell the storyline told by the rioters and anarchists in the streets. They have chosen to interview only one side, those participating in the protests. But is that representative of the true storyline? Is there another side to the story? Of course there is.

I just got off the phone with a longtime friend — a successful Egyptian business leader. He believes that several hundred thousand people in the streets do not represent the 80 million citizens of Egypt. They represent anarchists, communists, and Islamic extremists — all with an agenda and an axe to grind. He says if you polled the people of Egypt today, the majority would support Mubarak. He says that the backbone of Egypt — the business owners, small business community, and middle class — still supports Mubarak and the military. They are horrified by the mobs in the street and are shocked at Obama’s tepid response to the riots and the one-sided portrayal of the situation by the U.S. media.

My friend asked a simple but powerful question: “If several hundred thousand people rioted on the streets of New York and demanded Obama be removed, would that represent all of America’s three hundred million citizens? Would the media report this meant the end of the Obama regime?”

Good question. If the Million Man March or the Rally to Restore Honor had turned into a riot, would the media have painted a sympathetic portrait of the rioters? Would we cave to the demands of a relatively small number of rioters? I think not.

Has the media bothered to interview anyone on the other side of this Egyptian crisis? Has anyone gone out of their way to interview the shop owners or home owners not rioting in the streets and ask them if they would rather be represented by Mubarak and the military or allow anarchy and mob rule to determine their leaders?

My friend explained that if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, he, his family, and virtually the entire business community will be forced to leave the country they love. If Egypt becomes a Muslim extremist country, Egypt’s #1 industry, tourism, will be extinguished. Egypt’s economy will be destroyed and those who think they are bad off now will experience true poverty and starvation.

My good friend’s prediction is that in the end the military will end mob rule and remain in control, choosing to protect tourism and the business community. If Mubarak actually leaves, he will hand-pick his successor from the ranks of the Egyptian military and institute some moderate reforms.

The lessons we can all learn from this crisis:

1) Media coverage is often based on sensationalism, not facts. Are you certain who the good guys are here? I know I’m not.

2) It is not the U.S. government’s duty or right to determine other nation’s leaders. Besides, we have an awful track record — see Vietnam, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. At most we should have influence behind the scenes and always in the direction of moderation, reform and democracy.

3) We should dramatically cut or end foreign aid. The $2 billion per year we borrow from China to give to Egypt is a terrible waste of taxpayer money. And if we’ve bet wrong on Mubarak, and our sophisticated military equipment falls into the hands of Muslim extremists, we’ve made a tragic error.

  • Tess_Comments

    It is time for the media to go back to reporting the facts.
    We do not need 24 hours of NEWS.
    We do not need “breaking News” reports that do not have any facts.

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  • John R. Guardiano

    This op-ed is embarrassing and shameful — especially for a so-called libertarian. It seems that for Mr. Root, Muslims and Arabs don’t deserve liberty.

    For a different point of view about the media in Egypt, check out my most recent piece here at the Daily Caller.

  • JoeJ

    Sorry but this guy is a businessman who stands to have his happy little money machine upset – freedom for his countrymen be dammed.

    He would be a King George loyalist in our American revolution.

    Freedom has to start sometime – that time is now for Egypt.

    Obama must make the call to the Egyptian military saying “Mubarak must GO!”

    • Drahcir

      Ecuse me Joe, but I read earler that Israel is ‘upset’ with Obaama’s reply to Egypt. They were losing their man in office and did not know what their future was looking like. And they weren’t sure they could count on the US in future endevours pertaning to them. I wonder what the response would be to that?

      • JoeJ

        Should Israel be able to hold up the movement of the peoples of the ME to personal freedom — of course NOT.

        How can we do anything but help these people to find a better freer more prosperous life. Will these events lead a in straight line to these goals – of course not – it never does. But reason says we must start NOW.

        It is totally in our self interest to do help these people – end of story!

        After tomorrows events – Israel no Israel – Obama must step in and dump Mubarak.

  • mdiavaro99ro

    Actually there’s one important lesson to be learned that the author totally missed: whenever there’s lack of freedom and no political change over decades, you’re gonna end up with radicalized scores of citizens.

    The regime over there had decades to allow for democratic change in power: at least at the very top. I very much doubt there’s only one person there that can be president. As for what your business friend says, don’t be too surprised if he felt compelled (either directly at gun-point or due to monitoring of communications) to tell you the story the regime wants to be heard.

    This “radicalized outlaws presentation” always works for dictators ’cause this is how they can justify their perpetual presence in power… It’s a way to keep the international community in check.

    So what the heck! Let Mubarak go down the sewer pipe now! Though from what I see he’s not going to 😀

  • BigRmv

    @Flips — I thank you, humbly, for delineating which side of the spectrum you’re on when you say (and I paraphrase), ‘Don’t listen to both sides of the arguement!’

    As one of the American Right, I am willing to listen to both sides. And I certainly don’t see where the Islamic Brotherhood or other Islamic extremists fit into the “grassroots democratic uprisings” category. Seems that the Tea Party is more representative of that group, doesn’t it?

    Suggestion: Re-read the story and THINK about it this time.

    Also re: Point number 4 above. Don’t worry about that drilling ban. The Islamic Extremists or Chinese who take over the U.S.A. with the help of Flips and his ilk will have no problem at all drilling into those nature preserves to get at that oil.

    • flips


      Did you see that black helicopter that has been circling your house?

      Paranoia will destroy ya.

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  • flips

    Conservatives are always against grassroots democratic uprisings.

    “the storyline told by the rioters and anarchists in the streets”
    That’s almost the same language Mubarak used in his speeches attempting to shut down this call for democracy, and then he called out his hired thugs to beat the people.

    The American Right is on the wrong side of history on this. You worship American Revolutionaries, yet dismiss others who seek the same.