Analysis: Schalit on Egypt TV: exploitative, abusive, cruel
Unbelievable, oh wait...
Israeli officials described Gilad Schalit's first interview after his release as "exploitative." They could have added amateurish, propagandistic, opportunistic and downright cruel. Tuesday's travesty - carried live on state-run TV - was conducted by Shahira Amin, a leading Egyptian journalist who in February quit the channel for its skewed coverage of the popular protests that unseated president Hosni Mubarak. That Amin now appears to be doing Cairo's bidding bodes ill for hopes the "new Egypt" would usher in the first free media environment in the post-colonial Arab world. The notion that Schalit agreed to give Nile TV an interview of his own free will beggars belief. Forcing him to do so immediately after his release from Gaza - before seeing medical staff, much less an Israeli representative or his family - is in itself an apparent breach of journalistic ethics. That issue aside, more than a few of Amin's questions ran the gamut from fatuous to sadistic.Is it any wonder he appears stressed? A masked Hamas terrorist was standing behind him and was also filming the interview. Hell, maybe for all he knew, he may have thought this was another Hamas propaganda video:
Hamas militants were in the area as the interview was being set up. One of them stood behind Schalit's chair, wearing a black face mask, a green headband of the Qassam brigades — Hamas' military wing — and filming with a video camera in his hand[...] An ashen-faced Schalit answered a range of questions on his captivity and what he thought of the 1,027 Palestinian prisoners released for his freedom. He was then handed over to Israeli officials and only then given a medical examination, where doctors determined he showed signs of malnutrition and lack of exposure to sunlight.