Wrangling over the sensational headline underscores the biggest casualty of Egypt's two and a half year revolution: truth and accuracy.
Misinformation is rife -- a dangerous thing in the Twitter era. Opponents of politician and Nobel peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei had already taken to
the streets in outrage earlier this month after state news reported the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog was selected as interim prime minister. The
news was picked up by the international press and spread quickly over social media. The report was then denied some hours later.
Nearly three weeks after a popular uprising by millions of Egyptians to remove Morsi prompted military intervention, violent protests continue in locations
across the country, while private and state-owned media battle in words and accusations. It is the latest chapter in Egypt's tumultuous transition, in
which opposing camps are feuding in newspaper pages over everything from Morsi's legitimacy, to whether or not the events that transpired constitute a
"If you look back at the history of Egyptian media, there are many instances where page editors try to break from the state's message and it really shakes
things up every time that happens," said Adel Iskandar, an Arab media scholar at Georgetown University and author of the book
Egypt in Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution
. "In this peculiar case, you've got a remnant of the Morsi regime still in place and trying to use whatever authority he has left to get a message out."
When Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011, tales of oppression were vented through narratives in Egypt's print and television media. Many had hoped that the
Morsi government would encourage a more balanced discourse -- but those hopes were quickly shattered.
In August, the Islamist-dominated Upper House of Parliament, known as the Shura Council, named 50 new editors for the country's state-run newspapers, among
them, many with loyalties to the ruling Islamist party. The move preceded a number of controversial decrees, including a declaration by Morsi granting
himself judicial immunity, and the ratification of a new constitution in late December, despite the absence of any secular groups and religious minorities
on the drafting committee.
"The Muslim Brotherhood's plan to control the state-owned media was clear," said Al-Ahram journalist and former Washington correspondent Ezzat
Ibrahim, adding that the Brotherhood tasked certain journalists with "cleansing" state-run media of all "Nasserists [socialists] and liberals."
In the months that followed, a handful of talk show presenters were named as part of an investigation by the state for "violating journalist ethics in
order to incite sedition and chaos and threatening national peace," according to a report in Al-Ahram. Among them were Lamees al-Hadidy, Amro
Adeeb, and Youssef al-Husseiny, hosts of popular talk shows on private Egyptian channels CBC, OnTV, and Orbit, respectively. A number of secular veteran
editorialists with state media were also reportedly forced into early retirement, sparking outrage from the country's Journalist Syndicate.