A Jordanian talk show featured political journalists Muhammad Sharif al-Jiyusi (on the left) and Shakir al-Johari (on the right) discussing the media coverage of the Arab Spring protests just got real. Can you image if this happened on US TV? Both men would be offered reality shows immediately, or at least be forced to make up after lip-syncing on Fallon.
One pundit accuses the other of “bartering his positions”, prompting the offended journalist to say “shut up”, in a video posted on the website of pan-Arab Al-Arabiya TV. The men quickly start pushing the studio table at each other until the top comes off, while a hapless TV host looks on. In the subsequent table-top tug-of-war, nobody seems to score a decisive victory.
Later, al-Jiyusi says on his Facebook page he felt insulted by the way he had been called a supporter of Syria’s ruling Baath party. It was “as if being a Baathist is a punishable charge, or an affront”. Al-Jiyusi says he told the other pundit he is “honoured to be a Baathist” and is a correspondent for the Syrian state news agency Sana and of the al-Baath newspaper.