Sunday, November 16, 2014

Spin doctor Abou Faour wags the dog.

Image source
The list of establishments which are non-conform (the now classic expression "ghayr moutabik") to standards which has been released by Lebanese Minister of Health Wael Bou Faour has caused a storm on all levels. So Abdel Rahman Hallab had an Ashta (clotted cream with rose water) which apparently did not meet the ministry's laboratory criteria, which promted the above image found on fellow blogger's Patrick Chemali "how do you cover the extension? With Ashta". Interestingly, it's either a) the Lebanese government has become frighteningly great at spin doctoring or b) they watched "Wag the dog".
First let us reiterate with the facts, the Lebanese parliament has extended its own mandate till June 2017, the news natrually was badly digested by the population (or the vocal civil society activists on all accounts), and the news would have trended longer except - bingo - a new scandal, so immediate and so unavoidable broke out: The Bou Faour report.
In itself, the airwaves were owned (according to the known technique of propaganda whereby you go out and state your facts and make everyone else on the defensive), and basically deflect the original scandal into onother one, so that by the end of the process, both would not be worthy of discussion any longer.
So now, bloggers and social media actors (some of them being more royalist than the king) rushed to the rescue of "martyred" brands and "wronged" companies and attacked "non-transparent" (the word "opaque" does not apply) ministry results, The Hallab invited their Heads of Departments to taste dishes with Ashta in them, and some declated they'd trust a "Roadster" chicken strip (one of the accused meals not being conform in the one of the branches) more than a minister in the Lebanese goernment.
#no_to_extension? That's sooooooooooo old news by now.
The movie Wag the Dog starts with a joke: "Why does a dog wag its tail? Because the tail cannot wag the dog."
But of course it can! All it takes is a good propagandist spin doctor and some Ashta... ya 3assal!

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