Francois Bassil is the chairman of Byblos bank and president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon. He accused the Lebanese Parliament members in “wasting public money” as a response to one of the suggestion for public funding by increasing the tax on Lebanese banks profits by 2% to reach 7%. A day after this accusation, MP Hani Kobeissy (member of Amal Movement headed by Speaker Nabih Berri) decided to file a law suit against Bassil for “libel”. There were rumors that the law suit was dropped but he was summoned to attend in front of the General Prosecutor today. MTV decided yesterday to defend Bassil in their prime time TV bulletin (check minute 25) for one minute and 11 seconds announcing what follows. “..there are now solid grounds for this accusation.. ..Bassil is innocent.. not taking into consideration the importance of this man.. one of the biggest financial references in Lebanon and the Arab World.. Bassil represents a sector which is the biggest and the only resource that funds the state.. this sector that represents Lebanese figure as a viable state.. we ask for (the MP) to back off this case..”.
What can we call this media coverage?! Is it news reporting? or is it professional coverage of the case? If the man to be trialed was not a millionaire, would MTV give him/her 70+ seconds of live air in its news bulletin? Why all of this bragging about the financial and banking sector? Why name it the only resource of funding to the Lebanese treasury? isn’t this exaggerating? We know what to call it: Gold Digging! Shame!
PS: MTV has a political line which is the complete opposite of Speaker Nabih Berry.