Modern Egyptology

Friday, February 04, 2011


Egypt’s uprising has put the country in an unusual place—the front pages of American newspapers and all over television news. In many cases, journalists were caught flat-footed as they scrambled to find suitable experts to discuss the chaos. Former CBS Middle East correspondent Lawrence Pintak talks about some of the worst cable news coverage he saw, including a segment he participated in.

Comments [12]

john stevens from boulder CO

Bonafides - pronounced

bone - uh - fee - dees

c'mon man, do some homework

Feb. 11 2011 01:17 AM
jesse monroy from menlo park, ca

Hearts on fire.

The point of this piece was how pundits and personalities are put in place of analysis. (sorry for all the "P" ;-)

I came on to say this is where I turn off the volume and wait for the real news, or change the channel. Frankly, I'd rather watch the background loop, The Smoking Gun's 20 Dumbest Criminals, or commercials of line-dancing production line-workers (which is another sad state of affairs - sympathies to Mr Welch).


Feb. 09 2011 04:05 PM
Heavy D from Alberta

Dismissing Pete Dominicks input based on his profession seems rather short sighted and ignorant. I must ask if you have listened to his show? What point was that short 2 line clip supposed to make? How does that clip prove or even suggest that Pete was unqualified to be in the same discussion group as yourself on this particular topic?

Your "exclusive" "elitist" attitude is a quality that Pete lacks to his credit. He conducts his show as a very inclusive discussion inviting opinions and taking calls from all walks of life and bringing on guests who advocate for a variety of arguments on issues rather than excluding the input of those whose opinions he does not agree with rather than dismissing them as it seems you would do.

Feb. 09 2011 01:23 AM
Gene Madison from US

I'm very disappointed in the comments made against Pete Dominick. I don't think you make yourself sound more intelligent by dismissing a persons comments based on his profession.

It's refreshing to hear from a young man who doesn't spout the usual talking points. I suggest you know a person a little more before making further comments.

Feb. 09 2011 12:07 AM
Mark P from Mountain View, CA

I would have appreciated some guidance from this expert about what the media should be talking about with regard to Egypt. While I know Lawrence Pintak said, "subtleties are very difficult to convey in a 15, 20-second sound bite," I'm not asking for the subtleties; I just want to know what he thinks should be the topic of conversation and how should the questions be phrased. It's easy to criticize poor coverage and speakers who don't have the necessary background. However, it would have been nice to hear what Mr. Pintak thinks good coverage of Egypt sounds like--what issues are good media talking about?


Feb. 08 2011 01:40 PM
Tessa from Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.

He doesn't attempt to play an all-knowing talking head, in fact he is the first to admit when he doesn't know much about a subject (which is often). What he does do, however is to bring guests who are informed and to speak openly and honestly to guests and callers about subjects, regardless of their stances on the issue.

I suggest rather than glossing over a person because of one of their professions, that you take time to learn about them before dismissing them.

Feb. 07 2011 08:26 PM
Tessa from Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.

While I agree with the heart of the clip, that the general media and public of the U.S. glosses over and oversimplifies conflict and activity around the world. It is truly a pervasive problem that needs to be addressed.

However, in your article you also place a slight against comedian and talk show host, Pete Dominick. Your off-hand comments attempt to play that as a comedian, Pete makes light of serious situations and is a symptom of this problem. However, your comments show you to be suffering from the same ailment as many of the nation. If you were to listen to Stand Up! with Pete Dominick (found on the POTUS channel of Sirius/XM) then you would realize that in fact Mr. Dominick attempts to be a solution to this problem.

His show is based around getting deep into the issues and informing people about both domestic and international issues.


Feb. 07 2011 08:24 PM
Just a Thought

The future in Egypt may be less mullah and more Nasser; who was a British trained officer.
What unifies all strata of Egyptian society from the old establishment to the cherubic "pro-democracy" students, from the military to the Brotherhood, from leftist to rightist? It is hostility toward Israel and that elephant in the room is getting scant attention because it disrupts the fantasy media narrative of a heroic revolution.
Even the well respected Egyptian Army is only respected because in 1973 they were able to launch a sneak attack and push the IDF back for a few days on their own Sinai territory and they have been dining out on that "victory" for almost forty years. If their "victory" lasted for a few more days and Nixon did not send military aid to Israel, the conflict would have gone nuclear...and the Egyptians are fiercely proud of that. Only billions in US aid since then has kept a lid on that particular cauldron.
Whom ever comes to power eventually will inherit the basket case of the Egyptian economy. Will the temptation to seek out a traditional scapegoats like the domestic Christians or the foreign Israelis be a useful distraction from self inflicted poverty? Will influence from Iran and encouragement from the European left be too great to resist as was Soviet and then US influence was for the last fifty years? Thanks

Feb. 06 2011 04:38 PM
ELizabeth from Powell, Tennessee

Good piece. I was very disappointed that you did not play a clip of O'Reilly misinforming a large segment of TV watchers as to the nature of the revolutionaries in Egypt. He lied. FoxNews LIES. And when there is an opportunity to illustrate this, it should be taken. Keep up the good work, but PLEASE don't be overly politically correct when the topic allows for pointing out "propaganda news." There is no reason at all for NPR journalism to be "respectful" of FoxNews, et al.

Another thought: Many consider it beneath them to tune into Beck and Limbaugh and O'Reilly. I do it, so I know for myself what they are saying. NPR should have someone recording everything they say, and someone should listen to it all. Opinions are one thing. LIES are something else altogether, and these people lie through their teeth, daily! They are professional propagandists, not journalists. Just some advice from a retired journalist "granny." :)

Feb. 06 2011 10:52 AM
Andrew Markoff from Hallandale Beach, FL

Jim, the Muslim Brotherhood has been a "moderate, conservative group" in *EGYPT* for decades. There is always a danger to those who favor democracy and security for Israel and for the West as well as basic freedoms for all that radical, violent Islamic governments will take over in the Arab world and in the predominantly Muslim nation. At this moment, however, that is not anywhere near a certainty in Egypt and as yet, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt does not have the momentum to make that happen. They have also made no claims of their intention to do so.

Feb. 06 2011 09:02 AM
Jim McCabe from Bedford, NH

Pintak refers to the Muslim Brotherhood as a moderate, conservative group. A simple google search will reveal the Covenant of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, calling for the destruction of Israel and death to Jews. Please do a follow up story on the true nature of this organization, including some well known members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Feb. 05 2011 05:45 PM
Mariam Touba from New York City

Larry Pintak used to be my favorite correspondent back in the days when I watched a lot of television news in the 1980s. He always seemed incisive and well-informed, and I wondered what had become of him since the networks cut back so drastically on their foreign news bureaus. So now I hear he had been teaching and mentoring aspiring journalists in the Arab world. Cool. Thanks for the segment.

Feb. 05 2011 10:01 AM

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