Are local TV stations watching TV?

We live in a spectators country! Every one is a spectator, the citizens, the politicians, and now TVs! There has never been a time in Lebanese history where any TV station has reached such a level of decadence be it in form or content.

With the advent of the online experience, I was expecting TV stations to be a little more creative (yeah, yeah, I know I’m asking too much but it’s worth a shot)! When international broadcast stations are re-inventing the way they deliver news and entertainment; back here we invent news ways of copying logos, formats and content. Plagiarism has turned into an elaborate science. Hey! At least we’re good at something!

I remember the good old days when Télé-Liban used to broadcast home-grown programming. Back then we had amazing Lebanese actors who made regional TV history. They are starving today, they’re dying in misery! We had journalists, real ones who became mesmerizing anchors. We had beautiful announcers’ faces, carved by nature and not by plastic surgeons. Color, 3D, HD and all that crap was never the issue.  It was about a word that has now entered the realm of oblivion: Talent.

News. In yesteryear it about news. Today it’s about the race for scoops. I wonder what they will do next… Hire a posse to kill someone just to earn the prime time news scoop?!

Lebanon has proven that it excels at one and only one thing, regression. We lead the Internet revolution then we trail behind. We create democracy in a dictatorship-laden region and then reinvent dictatorship. And now, after pioneering the broadcast history in Lebanon, we become history…

I think our local TV stations got the word “flavor” from the tail. Helloo! When we said flavors we meant programming… Not colors morons! Blue, yellow, green are not flavors… and certainly not orange!

What happened to the good old days when brains use to drive the broadcast industry? What happened to “Lebanese” speaking programs? What happened to the real depiction of the Lebanese society? Oh we still have those you say? Ah ok! The news. Yeah I totally forgot about that daily folkloric manifestation of our society where a stupendous amalgam of show-off occurs.

There’s the TV station trying to brag about a scoop (that we all read about on the internet in the morning and already tweeted a gazillion times!).

Then there’s the party or parties “behind” the TV trying to beam “subtle” messages between the already “obviously” messaged lines.

Then there’s the anchor, and oh what a staged dramatic comedy that is! They don’t train them anymore to deliver the news in a professional objective way. They get trained instead on displaying facial expressions that match the story they’re “reading” off the tele-prompter, in an attempt to immerse us in “their” truth. Speaking of truth, we’re probably the country that invented the “plural” of Truth… right after the alphabet! Since our beloved anchors are training,  I advise they get some basic grammar training while they’re at it…

Finally there are the guests and the footage. I guess that’s why we don’t produce any programs anymore… I mean, who would want to invest in producing a sitcom or series when we can get it for free with just a camera off the street… or the house of parliament?!

I am outraged!

Look at what we’re teaching our children.

Look at what we’re telling the world about us.

Look at what we’re leaving in our archive cellars for the future generations.

Look at what we’ve done to our voice,
our opinion,
our independence,
our democracy,
our cause…


We became an HMV outlet! (His Master’s Voice).

We’ve perfectly applied the joke of “when I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you”.

We’s removed the “in” off our “independence” between two commercial breaks.

We turned our democracy into the perfect camouflage fabric to hide our shameful dictatorships and feudalism.

And our cause? I never knew we actually had any until those bozos starting creating ones left and right and establishing TV stations to promote them!!

I guess now, we should play the National Anthem, right?


6 Responses to “Are local TV stations watching TV?”

  1. October 11, 2010 at 13:56

    How true and how sad!!! :-))

  2. October 11, 2010 at 15:42

    once upon a time TV was a reflection of social values and society.
    now TV dictates social values, religion, ideology, you name it!

  3. 3 Octavia
    October 11, 2010 at 21:13

    Sallem temmak Ibrahim Lahoud!! Great visual aids too.. I remember those days fondly! You speak my mind and that of every decent person who knows the potential of Lebanon and is outraged at the missed opportunities to live up to the potential instead of dragging the viewers and the country down the abyss of laziness and lack of creativity. Lebanon needs caring people like you to be outraged; maybe then the voices can join together to effect change through their outrage. Add my voice to yours. Who knows? Maybe the list will grow from here. Great company even if we remain at two!!

  4. 4 BeirutiAdventures
    October 13, 2010 at 06:17

    A long time ago we were leaders in the Middle East. A long time ago we were honest, true, and full of ideas. I, alongside you, am outraged and saddened. We as Lebanese continue to be our own downfall. We have just become really good at blaming others.

    Maybe one day I with many of the younger generations, who have had enough, will be the faces of change and hopefully resurrect Lebanon from the ashes we still are.

    I have a post on this somewhere in my drafts, I should pull it out in dedication to this AMAZING post of yours. I applaud you!

  5. October 13, 2010 at 17:15

    I’ve never been one for TV..it’s too much of a passive activity for me. That being said, I remember my shock when I first watched a Lebanese news broadcast. The women looked like they had just come back from a night out at Sky Bar..did no one teach them that they are supposed to wear neutral colors, both on their face and on their body, so as not to detract from the content of the program? Well, after what you wrote here,,maybe the producer/director instructed them to do so..

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