The morning show, Neharak Sa’id, on state-owned channel Nile Life, is being investigated for comments made by a guest who is accused of calling President Mohamed Morsy “a devil.”
The legal advisor to the minister for media has postponed the investigation until Tuesday, as the production team have requested more time to prepare their case.
Emad Al Sabr, managing editor of Al-Karama newspaper, was a guest on the morning show on 18 September discussing the headlines of the day and used the word “devil.” The investigators believe these comments were aimed directly at President Mohamed Morsy, an accusation that the show’s director, Remon Fouad, denies.
Fouad said “investigators misunderstood the guest; he was talking about the government system as a whole not Morsy.” Fouad continued, “he had many chances to talk badly about Morsy but he didn’t, when he spoke directly about him he called him ‘Mr President, Dr Mohamed Morsy’ out of respect.”
The show’s producer, Taghreed El Dessouki said, on 27 September the team was subjected to an “avalanche of accusations” by the legal advisor to the minister of the media after a complaint was made by Ali Abdulrahman, the head of speciality channels at Maspero, the state owned media center. El Dessouki says she is not sure what she was supposed to do, “Should I have stopped the guest?” she said, adding that it is “no way to conduct an interview.
Responding to accusations of her being unprofessional allowing this to happen on her show,she said “how do they define being professional? If they have standards for professional journalism then I would like to see them.”
El Dessouki said here has been little change at Maspero since the revolution. “The minister has changed but Egyptian television is still ruled by the same people,” she said. Fouad said “there has been change but not as much as we expected. There has been no modification in the way of thinking.” He added that in the media you should be able to “say what you want but with respect,” which he believes Sabr did on the show.
El Dessouki has described the investigation as “exaggerated measures. If the private channels think they are safe, then they are wrong, their time will come.”