Media and War of Rumors during Morsi Tenure
This study investigates and analyzes the narratives adopted by the Egyptian media from the date President Mohammed Morsi assumed power by the end of June 2012, until the military coup took place in July 2013. The study also attempts to reveal the nature of some of the most famous rumors related to Morsi’s regime, and analyzes how it spread within the Egyptian society.
The paper outlines a number of the most important strategies adopted the Egyptian media and illustrates how it were implemented in their narratives. It also explains the background of some of the Egyptian media performance and the common features they have in common; and suggests an explanation of the reasons that lead adopting such narratives.
The study is divided as follows:
The First Section: The Methodical Context:
This section includes some of the basic elements of the study as follows: the concepts of the study, the theory of prioritization upon setting the agendas, the dilemma of the study, the methodology of the study, case studies offered, methods of data collecting, questions posed by the study, and the study limitations.
Section Two: Strategies and Contents of Rumors
The study states that rumors during Morsi tenure relied on number of key strategies including:
Firstly: questioning Morsi’s legitimacy.
Secondly: questioning Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood’s patriotism: this strategy contained several sub- policies like: a different narrative of January revolution; the first Rafah massacre; the release of jihadists and coordinating with them in launching assaults against the army and the police forces; treachery and espionage; and the relation between Morsi and the Egyptian army.
Thirdly: selling parts of Egypt to foreign countries and foreigners, where the narratives were about: relinquishing Halayeb and Shalateen area to Sudan; selling Maspero area in Cairo to Qatar; selling Suez Canal; selling Sinai to establish an alternative homeland for Palestinians; Renting out Egyptian archeological sites to Qatar.
Fourthly: comparing Morsi to Mubarak and Muslim Brotherhood to the National Party.
Fifthly, rumors that targeted President Mohammad Morsi personally, like his health status, receiving alleged gifts, his son’s engagement, assigning his son in certain post, assigning his son in law in certain post, and Morsi’s salary.
Sixthly, financial rumors: about Egypt bankruptcy, and the law of debentures.
Seventhly, cultural and conceptual rumors: about the Egyptian people’s identity and MB endeavor to change it; rumors about MB support and encouragement to minor marriages and dead corpses copulation; MB enmity to arts, literatures, sculpturing, selling books and organizing book fairs and graffiti paintings in the revolution squares and streets.
Eighthly, a variety of rumors about: MB deal with the Ultras; poisoning Al-Azhar students; granting amnesty to Khairat Al-Shater personal guard.
Ninthly: rumors about the military coup facts, reasons, and circumstances.
Tenthly, discussing the results: in this section the study concludes that the rumors narrated by Egyptian media during Morsi’s tenure were characterized by many features, the most important of them are: repetition, inclusiveness, persistency, continuation, pro- army propaganda, president’s negativity and blunt biasness against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The study also concluded that the Egyptian media excessively and intensively spread rumors against President Mohammed Morsi all through his year in office. The reason behind adopting such policy is primarily due to the fact that the owners and the running team of these establishments are closely affiliated with the ousted president Hosni Mubarak. On the other hand, the study also suggested in its conclusion that the repetition and regularity of these rumors strongly contributed to its wide spread and its ability to affect a large spectrum of the Egyptian public1.
(1) The views are expressing of their authors, not necessarily reflect the Egyptian Institute for Studies