Morocco: Prime Minister Criticizes 2M TV Channel

Morocco: Prime Minister Criticizes 2M TV Channel

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018 - 08:30
Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani (Reuters)
Rabat - Latifa al-Arosni
Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani strongly criticized the Moroccan TV channel 2M for what he described as "unprofessional behavior" during its coverage of the government's weekly meeting last Thursday, which discussed the ramifications of a campaign to boycott three consumer products within the month of Ramadan.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister revealed the contents of the letter, sent by head of the Ottoman court, Jamae al-Moatasem to Salim al-Sheikh, the director general of 2M, which stated that the channel published a short video of the Prime Minister apologizing for not answering a question of the channel’s journalist.

"It is totally unacceptable for a public channel to film someone without the knowledge or authorization of the person concerned, let alone if the person in question is the prime minister, and the occasion is the weekly meeting of the government council," he said.

The message was also addressed to the Minister of Culture and Communication, the President of the National Company for Radio and Television, and “Soread 2M”.

The PM also criticized the opening segment of the channel’s news which broadcast the video which clearly showed that the Prime Minister did not stop to talk to the press, and was not aware of the cameraman who was filming from behind without agreeing to making a statement.

The prime minister's objection also included the publishing of a report by the channel about the cabinet meeting, in which he said that a price offer was presented, was considered "unrealistic".

During its Thursday meeting, the government warned of the severe ramifications of the boycott on the economy and small farmers, especially with regard to milk, which consumption doubles during the month of Ramadan.

The cabinet also indicated that it will monitor any false news on social media relating to the prices of some products, which angered the boycott campaign.

It is noteworthy that this is not the first time the prime minister clashed with 2M. Disagreements peaked during former prime minister Abdelilah Benkirane, and secretary-general of the Justice and Development Party.

During his government tenure, Benkirane accused the channel of targeting him and his party. He repeatedly criticized 2M news director, Samira Sitail.

Sitail in turn he also condemned the former prime minister and she even participated in a stance in front of the parliament protesting a statement in which he described women as "chandeliers."

A number of women's associations considered it a derogatory role.

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