The Nightly News at NBC is a perfect example of unbalanced reporting – it’s not that they slanted the news toward a liberal or conservative narrative. They slanted it toward cynicism by focusing on the violence at Tahrir Square over the last few days and under-reporting the reasons for that violence.
Any violence in Tahrir Square is a result of the military council’s refusal to move promtly towards fullfilling the democracy it claims to protect. The last straw was the SCAF’s guidelines for a new constitution that earmarked military prerogatives over civilian rule. That was exactly the model Mubarak used to control Egypt for 40 years. And this model would destroy any moves towards real democracy in Egypt.
The violence was in reaction to a police route of peaceful demonstrators demanding an end to military rule. But at least the Western media echoes the fears of President Obama and others that things may get out of hand with elections in Egypt taking place over the next month.
The US government can’t straddle this issue. If it doesn’t come full force in favor of the democratic demands of the reform movement, it sides with the resurfacing of the old regime. Sec. Clinton can’t say the delay of elections by the military council if ‘appropriate’ and still claim the US is behind the protesters.
The American people were transfixed with the Egyptian Arab Spring, but now the news media makes it look like that Spring is going nowhere. Once again, the Middle East is being profiled as irreparably violent and sectarian.
Expect the Obama Administration to go easy on the military council, SCAF, in fear of ‘democratic chaos’. The chaos, however, will continue until the Egyptian people elect their own civilian government.