The civilian façade of the Algerian military regime, President Abdelmedjid Tebboune, has once again held a public meeting with sycophant media during which he unleashed a new wave of fake news, manipulating and inflating figures, while denying a reality of a country in economic and political decline.
The editors in chief shunned questions about the dire economic prospects, unemployment, lack of basic commodities, oppression, and the crackdown on press freedom using a law that incriminates journalists.
They focused more on urging the president to offer more rent through adds to their publications in a country where the state is the main economic player.
History shall remember that none of them spoke for Kadi Ihsan, the editor in chief of Algeria’s independent Radio M who was thrown in jail for criticizing the government, while others in exile like Abdou Semmar were sentenced to death in absentia and other lesser known journalists still suffering arbitrary detention, intimidation and wiretapping.
Tebboune allowed himself to give editorial advice to the main- army-sponsored mostly-outlets in his country asking them to practice more censorship. He took as an example an investigative report by a journalist who said chemicals were behind the return by France of tons of Algerian dates. The journalist ended up in jail like hundreds of other journalists and people who expressed their dissident opinions in the media and social media.
Tebboune urged the media to practice more applause and to organize themselves into a potent institution to thwart “external attacks” and take the army as a model!
He also doubled down on putting forward figures that drew mockery at his capacity to lie. In one sentence he said France killed 6 million people during its colonial rule when Algeria’s population was 7 million people. This confirms what French President described as “memorial rent” which Algerian rulers in quest of legitimacy use as no census was conducted. Even the figure of 1 million martyrs often used to stoke national sentiment has no historical evidence to back it up.
As the queues for milk and semolina become longer while inflation is on the surge, Algerian media is mired in flattery seeking more rent from a regime that made distributing oil and gas revenues the basis of a failing social contract to buy the silence of a hypocritical class of journalists.
Luckily, the meeting was public and recorded to serve as a testimony for the cowardice of a media whose strings are pulled by disillusioned military rulers gearing attention of the Algerian public away from the impending social and economic crisis that will bite again as oil and gas prices slump.
Source: North Africa Press