In its coverage of Egypt's declaration of a national holiday to mark the ouster of Islamist dictator Mohammed Morsi (also spelled "Mursi") three years ago, the Associated Press recast history. It completely ignored Morsi's assumption of de facto dictatorial powers only months after he was "freely elected" in 2012, his government's brutal repression while he was in power, and his Muslim Brotherhood's attempt to ramrod sharia law and socialism into the country's constitution and legal framework.
The wire service, by noting that "millions of Egyptians took to the streets on June 30 (2013), to call for Morsi to step down," also effectively admitted that it attempted to downplay the size of the protest crowds in its original reporting three years ago. Most other news services accurately reported at the time that "millions" had taken to the streets throughout Egypt, while the AP would only acknowledge "hundreds of thousands."
Additionally, as I noted in a July 1, 2013 NewsBusters post, AP appeared to do all it could to minimize the protests' visibility in the U.S.
The most obviously factually incomplete paragraphs in Hamza Hendawi's AP story are these (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Back in 2013, millions of Egyptians took to the streets on June 30, to call for Morsi to step down, just a year after he took office as Egypt's first freely elected president. El-Sissi announced Morsi's ouster on July 3, 2013, and authorities later detained thousands of Morsi supporters and banned his Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.
In custody since, Morsi has been sentenced to death in one trial and long prison terms in several others. He is appealing his convictions on a range of charges, including a prison break, leaking secret documents and conspiring with foreign terror groups against Egypt.
At crunch time three years ago, in a piece co-authored by Hendawi, AP opened its coverage as follows:
Massive crowds thronged the streets of Cairo and cities around the country Sunday and marched on the presidential palace in a cheering tide of people that filled a broad avenue for blocks in an attempt to force out the Islamist president with some of the most gigantic protests Egypt has seen in 2 1/2 years of turmoil.
The report's fifth paragraph was the first to attempt to enumerate crowd size, and only acknowledged "hundreds of thousands (of protesters) in Cairo's central Tahir Square."
By contrast, Reuters, even though it cautiously characterized it, relayed the Egyptian military's countrywide estimate:
Millions flood Egypt's streets to demand Mursi quit
Millions of Egyptians flooded into the streets on the first anniversary of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi's inauguration on Sunday to demand that he resign in the biggest challenge so far to rule by his Muslim Brotherhood.
Waving national flags and chanting "Get out!", a crowd of nearly 500,000 massed in and around Cairo's central Tahrir Square in by far the largest demonstration since the 2011 uprising that overthrew Mursi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
... A military source said as many as 14 million people in this nation of 84 million took part in Sunday's demonstrations in sweltering heat. There was no independent way to verify that estimate, which seemed implausibly high, but the armed forces used helicopters to monitor the crowds.
AFP also headlined and opened its coverage of the protests with references to "millions."
The AP's reference to how Morsi was "freely elected," independent of what he did during the following year, is a pathetic attempt to make it appear as if he was removed despite being a democracy-advocating guy. That's utter nonsense, as seen in this commentary from early 2013:
Morsi turned into a dictator and issued an unconstitutional declaration granting himself absolute powers that enabled him to do anything he wants. He destroyed the judicial system and granted himself and his decisions immunity from prosecution. Morsi allowed his followers to surround the Supreme Constitutional Court until the defunct founding committee finished writing the defunct constitution, which was prepared in the (Muslim) Brotherhood’s Guidance Office.
... The resistance against the new dictator escalated for the simple reason that the Egyptians started a revolution through which they offered thousands of martyrs and tens of thousands of injured people. Egyptians can no longer tolerate a dictator being replaced with another. The Brotherhood's tyranny is just as bad as their failure in the administration of the state.
At crunch time in 2013, the Obama administration supported Morsi until the last possible, face-saving moment, which explains why some protesters carried signs declaring that "Obama Supports Terrorism." From all appearances, the administration still believes that the Muslim Brotherhood, despite what it did during its year in power in Egypt, deserves a place at the table there.
International human rights groups are rightly concerned about current instances of government repression in Egypt. But they were relatively quiet during Morsi's year-long run of murder and torture, and are currently fairly subdued in their criticism of the damage bloodthirsty Brotherhood terrorists — and that is what they are — are doing there to elicit occasional overreactions and tragic mistakes.
Likewise, the press is largely giving Egypt's government the "Israel" treatment, where its actions are described in outraged terms, while murderous terrorist activities are minimized or ignored.
In January 2015, Egypt's current leader, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (also spelled "el-Sisi"), "gave a historic speech to Islamic scholars marking the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday where he called for a religious revolution within Islam."
In December, Tera Dahl at Breitbart, who claims that "33 million Egyptians, out of a population of 85 million, took to the streets to call for early elections and the removal of Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi" in 2013, wondered why el-Sissi's pleas are being ignored:
Surprisingly, the mainstream media has failed to recognize the historic and unprecedented speeches of Egypt’s President Sisi. During a time when the voice of the moderate Muslim is needed more than ever in the war against extremism, the words of President Sisi should be elevated and backed up by the Western world.
One thing Dahl shouldn't be is surprised.
A year ago, Bill Gertz at the Washington Times broke the news that, as expressed in a headline at American Thinker, "Pentagon docs show Obama supports Muslim Brotherhood." The U.S. press supports Obama. Many if not most beat reporters have known all along that he supports the Brotherhood, supposedly as a "moderate alternative" to ISIS and Al Qaeda. Thus, the press default-sympathizes with the Brotherhood, never mind its clear record of terrorism and its long-stated intention "to seize (the) U.S."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.