Over the past 24 hours Western channels have been repeatedly saying that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsy has "agreed to limit|" his news powers. This is simply untrue. Not even by a long shot. Morsy gave himself unprecedented powers over the past few days resulting in demonstrations and clashes that killed two young Egyptians. Morsy is now the absolute ruler of Egypt supported, once again, by the US government and media channels. Previously Morsy's blind support came from Al Jazeera Arabic but we are now seeing Western media being complicit in the same folly. The New York Times had this headline: "Seeming Retreat by Egypt Leader on New Powers" here's a page grab from @MarwaFarag in case they change it. Then Washington Post ran "Egypt’s Morsi appears to accept some limits on his power", again untrue (this misleading headline was republished in The Independent). The BBC's otherwise capable reporter misreports that "Morsy & the MB are keen on doing everything they can to diffuse the situation" (excuse me?) and then she says Morsy appeared to "have limited the the scope of the big powers that this decree has given him". I recorded a video of it here. The Guardian published "Morsi's compromise fails to quell protesters" but its professional journalist Matthew Weaver promptly corrected the headline when I alerted him.
This is all despite Morsy's spokesman Yasser Ali saying after Morsy's meeting with the judges that there was 'no change to the constitutional declaration'. No where did I read the word "compromise".
But what explains this lax in standards by the Western media when it comes to the coverage of Morsy? Adel Iskandar asks on Facebook if this was "an honest mistake from the Times or a little Muslim Brotherhood waxing?" and that he is "worried this seemingly innocuous mistake is intentional." While Ahmed Shokr calls the NYT's poor choice of words : "This headline is totally wrong. The presidential spokesperson was clear tonight. Morsi has promised to use his sweeping powers only for "sovereign decisions" (just like he promised many months ago that the Muslim Brotherhood would not field a presidential candidate). However, the controversial decree remains unchanged. How embarrassing for the NYT."
My problem is that the Obama administration has been totally backing the Muslim Brotherhood and have been silent on Morsy's latest power grab. This is exactly the mistake they committed with Mubarak whom the US government bankrolled with billions of dollars. The Washington elite end up reading the NYT and WashPost's incorrect headlines and assume that Morsy has backed off from his power grab and that it's business as usual. Western media must be careful not to turn into the English version of Al Jazeera Arabic.