You People Are Idiots

Sunday, September 09, 2007

That's the implied accusation that I received after reading a comment on the recent article, Jordan's ATV: The Untelevised Revolution.

Many people have been anxiously awaiting the official launch of Jordan's first independent TV channel, ATV, a project over two years in the making. But after Jordan's Audio Visual Commission (AVC) halted the transmission of the press conference which was to announce the launch date, many potentials watchers have been trying to figure out what is the hold up.

I haven't been following the build up that has led to this point, but it's clear to me that many people are frustrated by the legal red tape that is stalling the launch process. And according to the statements by a Mr. Jum3a (who speaks with a level of authority), the "AVC saved [ATV from] a colossal failure which would have been broadcast to millions of viewers."

"Colossal failure", as the comment goes on to say, apparently refers to a "lack of quality programming which disappointed the investors or potential investors, lack of readiness, which was evident by the constant slippage in deadlines long before the AVC was blamed, [and] poor management."

So aside from accusing ATV's Managing Director, Mr. Muhannad Khatib, of being a liar (or is he accusing the interview of being a lie? I can't tell, but it's the first sentence in the comment), Mr. Jum3a is also insulting our sensibilities by insinuating that we are too stupid to determine between good and bad programming.

Who is right here, the AVC or ATV? Personally I don't care. But I do take offense to any insinuation that those of us watching television in Jordan are too dumb to make up our own minds about quality television.


Blogger Hatem Abunimeh said...

With all due respect to people-- they should have talked to both sides of the issue so we can get a balanced view of what is really going on. If for instance the other side declined to appear for an interview 7iber should have said so in their report. Talking to one party alone without giving the other party an opportunity to confront their accusers isn't a good reporting practice. I'm not partial this way or that way I just want to know the facts.

9/09/2007 8:17 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Hatem, I completely agree. As you can see, my post takes neither the side of the AVC or ATV, but rather reports on what has been observed and what has thus far taken place.

But my post isn't necessarily about the article or whether it is right or wrong, but rather a comment posted in response to the article.

9/09/2007 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Rami said...

dave, the post you complain about is presenting an alternative point of view. that's considered a good thing. since when is it sonsidered an offence for someoen to disagree or express an opposing point of view on blogs?

blogs are full of contradicting comments. since when do we consider contradicting statements to be an insult to our intelligence?

and of all people, you an American should appreciate the value of opposing points of views. Or have been working with the Jordanian government for too long?

this is a truly bizarre post. the most bizarre I have even come across actually.

9/09/2007 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Mustafa Jarrar said...

are you involved in ATV or anyone related to it?

i fail to see the problem with comment you find problematic. 7iber is a blog...and people respond to blogs. sometimes they are in agreement, other times they are in disagreement.

are we missing something?

9/09/2007 9:09 PM  
Blogger Dave said...


Of course it's presenting an alternative point of view...with a couple jabs and accusations thrown in for good measure. I think Jum3a's point of view would go down easier had he not begun by accusing people of lying.

On top of that, what Jum3a is basically saying is that the AVC did us a favor by knocking their legs out from under them before they could get started. (His statements insinuate that is what happened.) I could do without such "favors".

It would be nice to see the AVC give ATV a chance, rather than "[saving] them from a colossal failure" before they could even launch. Time alone should determine whether ATV rises or falls.

9/09/2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger Dave said...


The answer is no, I am not related to ATV, nor do I really care about it at all. What I care about is the underlying principle that we are being told what is acceptable and unacceptable by a third party. Why not make the choices available and allow people to use their good judgment to decide?

Now perhaps the AVC isn't trying to hamstring ATV at all, but this comment in question implies otherwise.

9/09/2007 9:29 PM  
Blogger Hatem Abunimeh said...

I was able to gather from reading the various published reports in the newspapers and blogs that there are multitude of intricate bilateral problems between ATV & AVC.

Item: What is this about atv not paying one year rent for channel 2

Item: What is this about permission to use the satellite but not the terrestrial.

Item: What is about a buy out talk

Item: What is this about restructuring

Item: What is this about employees looking for another job while they are getting paid for sitting at home

Item: What is this about investors not being satisfied with the quality programing.

Item: What is this about the AVC playing the role of good Samaritan.

In my own personal view which isn't based on any evidence but rather pure speculation, the government did all of this because it wants a piece of the pie. The government fears the dissipation of the advertisement revenue being currently reaped by JT immediately upon the advent of ATV into being and that is why they are hedging. But again, who knows what is the real reason.

9/09/2007 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why not make the choices available and allow people to use their good judgment to decide?"

And how does expressing an opinion prevents you or anyone from forming your own own opinion?

What you are really saying is that so long as people agree with you and mr. khatib, head of ATV, that this is the only acceptable version. Other versions are an insult to ALL PEOPLE, which you presume to speak on their behalf. You don't speak on my behalf.

The fact most people are not commenting on this story shows there is so much doubt. I know because all of my friends don't buy into the official version of events. The funny thing is that all sides of the story are official versions.

This is not a struggle between private sector and public sector. All the parties to this conflict are insuperable from the official establishment either by family ties or by business ties.

ATV will be another establishment TV just like Al-Ghad newspaper, which is considered more pro-regime than Al-Rai, the official jordanian newspaper.


9/10/2007 8:13 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

M. Hababneh,

Very well, I don't speak on your behalf. But I would like to think I speak on behalf of all the people that would like to make free choices rather than being told what they can and cannot do.

And that's what this is about...options and the freedom to choose. I don't care one whit about ATV, but it would be nice to have the choice either to watch it or to ignore it, rather than have someone "save me" from that choice by not giving me one.

9/10/2007 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i still fail to see how one person's freedom to express an opinion precludes another person's freedom to formulate a different opinion.

you overreacted because you read an opinion you did not like. then you tried to rally readers by pretending that you understand their sentiments concerning the ATV issue. rather presumptions of you.


9/10/2007 9:50 AM  
Anonymous O.J. said...

There is definately a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what Dave is trying to say here.

Jum3a suggested that ATV's programs (which the majority of Jordanians have yet to see) are disastrous, not up to par, lack quality, etc. and sums that all up with a bold statement: "colossal failure".

Who decided, determined, or opined the aforementioned regarding ATV's programs. The AVC? JTV? Who are they to decide on behalf of Jordanians what is and isn't quality programming? It is this specific statement that I believe Dave is arguing. And if this reason has any truth to it, any individual who respects the freedom of choice should be appalled. Wouldn't YOU like to make that decision for yourself?

Finally, I'd like to put in my 2 cents and say this: ATV's worst program is almost guaranteed to be far better than JTV's best.

9/10/2007 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Ali said...

i am amazed at how you arrived at your conclusion from reading jum3a's post. like hatem abunimea, he is reporting on what has been said about ATV. still, anyone can say anything about any topic. if i don't like it, i don't have to listen. even dave is free to object to jum3a's post. but my opinion is that dave's argument is weak. i can suggest that his defense fall in the category of "you people are idiots, I am an American and I know best." there is an element of arrogance in Dave's article title. sorry dave.

9/10/2007 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Ali said...

[any individual who respects the freedom of choice should be appalled.]

This is getting out of hand.

and no i am not appalled that someone expresses an opinion. but may be I should be appalled that you and dave are trying to tell me and others how to react to Jum3a's opinion.

people, you have your opinion, others have theres.

9/10/2007 2:46 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

To all who are not quite understanding the premise of this post (who, with the exception of O.J., seems to be everyone who has commented thus far), I'm going to try to make this as clear as possible.

1. Jum3a is entitled to his opinion and this post has nothing to do with him expressing said opinion.

2. I am not telling you how to react to Jum3a's comments.

3. I am not calling anyone an idiot. If you think I'm calling you an idiot, please reread the first sentence very carefully. (The title of the post leads into the first sentence.)

4. There is no arrogance in this post, especially since it deals primarily with victimization.

So what is this post about?

If what Jum3a is saying is true, the AVC have made an executive decision to short-change you of your freedom...specifically the freedom to choose whether or not to watch ATV; they've already made the choice for you. So if the AVC have indeed pre-empted your right to choose, they are insulting your intelligence (thus, the title of this post).

For those who have been brought up in circumstances where there has always been someone to dictate what to do and how to do it, the concept of being screwed of one's freedom of choice isn't that big of a deal. If that is the case, then the underlying principle behind all of this won't bother you and you should probably just move along.

For those who respect (and expect) the freedom of choice, the fact that the choice may be taken from you should be an insult.

9/10/2007 4:27 PM  
Anonymous O.J. said...

Ali - I appreciate your response. Let me try a different approach...

If I were to confirm to you that the Audio Visual Commision (AVC) cited that one of its reasons for halting ATV's feed/frequency, was that it found its content/programs to be weak, lacking quality, and unfit for the Jordanian community; would you a) take it at face value, accept it and move on, or b) would you, as an intelligent, educated individual and part of the Jordanian community, want to make that decision for yourself?

It is NOT Jum3a's opinion or attitude that Dave and I are arguing. It is this specific portion of his comment that we both obviously completely disagree with. Jum3a is not the one I am against; it's the AVC's reationale.

In fact, I'm glad Jum3a (who obviously knows a lot more than your average Jordanian on this topic) provided us with another prespective on the subject matter.

Hope I cleared things up from my side. Over and out!

9/10/2007 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Ali said...

dave, OJ, you are repeating yourselvs and you are still not making sense. the bottomline, you DID try to tell us what we should think about Jum3a's post. It's the title of your post for chrissake. own up to it. what's the big deal.

9/10/2007 10:09 PM  
Blogger Dave said...


The title of the post is the implied accusation from ATV (not Jum3a).

9/11/2007 7:33 AM  

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