Frustrated by technical difficulties during an interview he was conducting on Iraq’s Arabic Etejah TV station, emotional anchorman Tawfiq Shoman told viewers he had lost all faith in Arab democracy.
A clip of the interview, conducted last week and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), shows Shoman getting increasingly upset as his guest, a member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood in a studio in Amman, keeps speaking without paying any attention to — and apparently not always hearing — the TV host’s questions.
As guest Ali Abu Sukkar discusses the misfortunes of his Islamist group in Egypt, TV host Shoman attempts to interrupt and ultimately implores him to get a new technical team into the Amman studio. “Mr. Ali Abu Sukkar, I beg you to talk to your sound man. Your sound man is doing whatever he feels like! That’s unheard of!”
When Sukkar finally stops talking, Shoman asks a probing question about the negative view of the Brotherhood held by pan-Arabists. Just when it seems as though his guest may give a reply, the audio, and then the picture too, get cut off. “There goes the sound again… and there goes the picture as well,” laments Shoman. “The picture is gone too.”
Shoman turns, defeated, to the viewing audience to beg its forgiveness.
“I deeply apologize to our viewers for the disruption in the audio and video,” he says sadly. “This seems to be the reality of the Arab world. We do not know how to run things — neither in politics nor in technical matters. We do not know how to operate a satellite and receive audio and video, yet we want to have a democracy. Goodbye…”
He then stands, not waiting for the customary fadeout, and begins disconnecting his microphone equipment.