Elie Marouni Wants To Build Wall With Syria, Deport Refugees & Says Hillary Is Inept As She Can’t Please Her Husband

elie-marouni

Remember Elie Marouni? The Kataeb MP who, only a few months ago, said women should be blamed for when they got raped? Well, he’s back to his old horrifying ways.

In an interview with Joe Maalouf’s Hawa el Horriyeh, many Lebanese politicians were trying to draw similarities between our herd of politicians and American president Donald Trump. While many tried to distance themselves from the comparison and when asked what they’d do if they were Trump tried to have a more humane and decent approach, Elie Marouni went the exact opposite way.

He boasted that he was a lot like Trump, because he was sick of all the disgust we’re surrounded with. He did not specify what was disgusting exactly given he’s rotting away in parliament since 2009, postponing elections left and right and contributing to the horrific political stagnation we are part of. But, yes please tell me more about your “araf.”

It doesn’t stop there. When other Lebanese politicians criticized Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico as inhumane, Elie Marouni boasted that if he were the Lebanese Trump, he would build a wall on our border with Syria and get all the refugees out and back to their country. He would also make his wife his personal advisor because “you can’t leave her alone.”

His magnum opus doesn’t stop there. Because Elie Marouni is so funny, he figured the best way to bring down Hillary Clinton, also known as the first woman to ever be the nominee of a major American party for president and the person who got the second highest number of votes in history after Barack Obama, was to address her husband cheating on her: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband, then how can she satisfy America?”

Simply revolting. The horrifying part is that there will be many Lebanese who not only agree with Elie Marouni but would also chuckle or applaud his remarks, especially that “joke” about Clinton not satisfying her husband because what are we but a patriarchal society that laughs at the expense of women, especially when they are the butt of the joke of their husband’s indecencies, summarizing them by their husband and not through their own accomplishments?

You see, whether you like her or not, Hillary Clinton is one hundred million times the person that Elie Marouni will ever be, and that’s before we even go into her list of accomplishments that he wouldn’t even dream of matching. And yet, here we are, with a Lebanese MP thinking he has the right to joke about another politician, just because she’s a woman, from a sexual way, while he basks in his own irrelevance.

But you can’t expect much from someone who thinks a woman who is raped should be held accountable for her own rape, especially when he defends himself by saying that “women in the audience agreed with me.” There are plenty of self-hating individuals out there, as is evident by all the Arabs that voted for the man who tried to ban their own family members from entering the country one week into his presidency, but I digress.

What can you expect from a man who wants to keep his wife as close to him as possible because he can’t trust her to be her own person?

Elie Marouni doesn’t think his extent of ridicule and low-level rhetoric stops there. Like his role model Trump, he also wants to build a wall along our border with Syria. The wall is, as he calls it, a wall to control things and not to separate. I guess we must all re-evaluate our basic knowledge and understanding of walls because, as far as humanity knew, the basic function of a wall is to separate. You can refer to what Israel is doing to Palestinians across their land for further information. I bet they also call it a “wall to control things.”

He also wants to send refugees, whom he calls “emigrants,” because they obviously left their country voluntarily to come live in ours, back to their home-land. Perhaps that’s what he meant by the “disgust” he referred to when he said he shared a lot of Trump’s ideas?

This person, ladies and gentlemen, is a member of Lebanon’s parliament, and one who will probably be voted back in this May if he doesn’t postpone elections for the third time that is. Lebanon, we deserve better than an MP who thinks our women’s bodies being violated is not the fault of the person violating them. We deserve better than an MP who has the audacity to bring down women who have done more than he will ever do in four lifetimes just because their husbands are pigs. We deserve better than this level of fear from others legislating on our behalf.

Welcome to the age when xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia, sexism and misogyny are worn with pride.

Check the video here.

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MTV’s Side of the Firing of Joe Maalouf

A friend of mine just sent the following screenshots my way of Jihad el Murr’s explanation of why MTV decided to fire Enta Horr’s Joe Maalouf (link), following the controversial episode during which he criticized Dekawne’s mayor Shakhtoura. I have decided to publish the screenshots because they offer a viable, albeit possibly incomplete alternative, of what happened. And, for the sake of at least trying to sound professional, here they are:

Joe Maalouf MTV - 5

 

Joe Maalouf MTV - 4

 

Joe Maalouf MTV - 3

 

Joe Maalouf MTV - 2

Joe Maalouf MTV - 1

Much of the above makes sense to me for many reasons, most of which revolve around the notion that it was pretty difficult to believe MTV was always okay with what Maalouf was doing on his TV show. Perhaps they didn’t mind him going on a crusade against the politicians ruining Lebanon’s mountains with their quarries but, regardless of what I or anyone might think of the TV station, I believe they had a problem with many of what of the things Maalouf did on the show, such as naming the victims of the Ayntoura school molestation last year, among many other. 

I don’t like Joe Maalouf nor his brand of reporting that borders on the sensationalism. But given newly surfacing information that MTV had given him many heads up about the direction they want his show to go through, who can we blame?

I believe the answer goes both ways.

Joe Maalouf, as an employee at MTV, should have stuck with what they were asking of him. After all, this is what employees do. They weren’t asking him not to say his opinion but to present the other side of his opinion as well, which is quite fair.

MTV, on the other hand, should have at least waited until the end of the show’s current season in order for them to do what they want. The timing of firing Maalouf is the key element that led to the outrage at hand. For all of us, the way this appears to be is the following: major Lebanese TV station silencing a comparably irrelevant person because of his opinion regarding a person who’s politically affiliated with their board of directors. And given information that surfaced around the time of the news that Joe Maalouf was fired, Shakhtoura being a Murr-affiliate definitely played a role.

Perhaps the true reason why MTV fired Joe Maalouf is an accumulation of little kinks here and there that broke the chain with him going on a rampage against someone they like being the straw that broke the camel’s back, which is an unacceptable reason for the camel’s back to break in my opinion. However, if they wanted this not to turn into a Lebanese mini-scandal, they could have at least waited and canceled the show very silently in a few months. They can trust me on this: few people would have minded because many  remember all the horrific mistakes Maalouf did on his show.

Joe Maalouf or no Joe Maalouf, I hope MTV at leasts decides to hire someone else to fill in Mr. Maalouf’s place in a show that is similar thematically. There are plenty of more professional journalists out there who are waiting on their major break and plenty of facets in our life as Lebanese that need highlighting. It’s a shame an opportunity to light on some injustices in society goes to waste because of a possibly incompetent employee and a politically charged board of directors.

MTV Cancels Joe Maalouf’s “Enta Horr”

Enta Horr Joe Maalouf MTV

Enta Horr, arguably Lebanon’s most controversial TV show, has been reportedly canceled by  MTV according to Lebanon Files (Arabic link).

Joe Maalouf, the show’s host, has been involved with many now-infamous scandals which were started on his show, the most famous of which is that revolving around a cinema theatre raid which culminated in anal tests being done on several men suspected of homosexuality. Many believe he was the cause for the raid. Lebanon’s syndicate of physicians has since outlawed such practices by its physicians.

However, it seems a growing disparity between MTV and Joe Maalouf’s opinions has led the TV station to cancel the show altogether, effectively stopping the promo for any new episodes and re-airing older ones instead. The straw that broke the camel’s back was Joe Maalouf’s opinion regarding the Dekawne night club closing, which I haven’t seen yet. For those who are interested, here’s my opinion on that matter (link).

Many who are not fans of Joe Maalouf and his show will rejoice at this news which MTV wants to keep on the down-low for the time being. But I have to ask: even if they have the legal right to do what they did, is it  correct to stop a TV show that sparks debate – regardless of what that debate might be – just because you don’t like the opinions being put forward?

It could be that MTV has grown tired of trying to set a distance for itself from what Joe Maalouf advocates. Or it could be that Joe Maalouf’s politics aren’t in sync with the Murr clan. But isn’t effectively silencing the man doing a station which was silenced for years a bigger disservice given that I’m sure his show isn’t causing them financial woes?

Regardless of what I may think about some of the show’s episodes, Enta Horr has often been a candid and scathing critic of some Lebanese realities that many of us don’t like to tackle. And even though Joe Maalouf’s approach towards some issues, especially those of homosexuality, is unacceptable, I believe the type of shows that Enta Horr represents is much needed in this country. It’s a sad day when that type of shows bites the dust.

Ironically, this has happened around World Press Freedom Day.

Ignorant Lebanese “Journalism”

When I was about thirteen, the talk of the nation was about satanism. People used to go on televisions to tell us how these people desecrate the Holy Communion, have sex in graveyards and whatnot. And at thirteen, I believed all the stories. Education at school also geared us towards fearing such cults. They instilled fear in us. They warned us about the dangers of the music they use, which might infiltrate our minds with the subtle messages interspersed between their notes. So I never got into any form of metal music – because metal equaled satanism. And that’s what I was told.

Things today are very different, to me at least. I barely watch any Lebanese TV because I believe it’s absolutely pointless to do so and I fail to see any rewarding experience coming out of it, except to get me more exasperated at the state of decadence we’ve reached as a nation.

Joe Maalouf, MTV’s prodigy “journalist”, has found his name synonymous with controversy in recent months. It started with homophobic reporting about homosexuality. Some Lebanese responded. MTV responded back. The responses died. Joe Maalouf stayed… and he’s at it again.

In a November 6th episode, Maalouf went back to the same subject that was being discussed when I was thirteen, almost ten years years ago, to say how all metal bands are cult-worshippers, teaching our children and teenagers the arts of satanism. Here’s a link for the episode if you’re interested.

Absolutely stupid? You bet. But Joe Maalouf isn’t the only one. Every weekly episode of Malek Maktabi’s show: Ahmar bl Khatt el 3arid is a reminder that cheap journalism is popular journalism. Maktabi gets guests that are as taken out of society as you could get and imposes them upon his viewers as fact. His attitude as he presents one ridiculous topic after the other is that of a know-it-all who’s taking himself way too seriously.

The result of both Maalouf and Maktabi’s approaches, which are very similar, is a broad viewership that is taking in what they’re saying as scripture, which is even worse when you know that both TV shows are some of the most watched on their corresponding channels, data that I obtained from a TV private source a few weeks back. Yes, those metal bands are all satanist. Those people from Akkar are all demented. Those women who like to sing are all whores. And the list goes on and on.

The viewer is not to be blamed for the monstrosities committed against him. You can’t just say it’s the fault of the person who has nothing else to do than watch TV for believing what TV station is throwing at them. It’s the fault of TV stations and platforms that allow such content to be broadcast from their airways without vetting it.

No, I’m not talking about censorship. I’m talking about monitoring of quality. Maalouf & Maktabi should not be allowed to present absolutely ridiculous information as facts to viewers and be able to call upon equally unqualified “testimonies” in order to prove a moot point that is not valid in any way. They should not be allowed to tell viewers how “many more unspeakable things happen behind closed doors.” What closed doors are they taking about? What things are they referring to?

The sad thing is it’s not only Maalouf and Maktabi. Ignorant Lebanese journalism goes to political talk shows which rehash the same arguments at people over and over again, most of them unfounded, in the hope that one sticks. Ignorance is also in news reports, such as the HIV in Pepsi incidence recently, which people also believe because, I mean, how could the news be wrong? How could anything that makes it to TV, for that matter, be wrong?

I am not a journalist and I don’t intend to be one. But, as a viewer and possible audience of such TV shows, I know what I’m getting is ridiculous. I know that my TV stations should offer us something more mentally stimulating than the mental vomit they keep hurling at us with a lot of people taking it in. I know that what’s happening on our airwaves daily is not right. And I know that Malek Maktabi, Joe Maalouf and countless other self-proclaimed journalists are a bunch of ignorants whose words should never be taken to more than what they are: utter crap. Maalouf and Maktabi are a disgrace that graces our TV screens in a weekly manner to bestow upon us their eternally craptastic wisdom.

The problem is the collective of the Lebanese society thinks their crap is gold. They think Maalouf and Maktabi and others like them are absolutely right, every single time, and the cycle of willful ignorance of the Lebanese community continues because ignorance is truly bliss and dismissing entire demographics, entire discographies, entire mentalities because of the psychological complexes of a TV anchor is much easier than going on a limb to see that the presumed golden TV we get is crap at its best.