Mohamed Fahmy holds Canadian passport

Fahmy and Harper: Who wins?

I had an unusual experience in the summer of 2013. I drove up to Lac-Mégantic, to the site of the inferno that destroyed half of the town. Canadians will remember that a train carrying crude oil had jumped the tracks and burst into flames.

When I got there, the press had already arrived and cameras were set up against the police cordon on the main street. All of us were made to stand quite a distance away from the site of the crash. It was believed that pools of un-ignited fuel were still hidden in the wreckage.

  • Everyone Else

    she’s right, the media see themselves as activists

    CBC radio As It Happens in particular sees itself as social justice warrior as validated by creator Mark Starowicz. What they fail to understand is the fuel for their risk-free social justice war is their own self-importance … the same personal-benefit that fueled Starowicz in the first place.

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  • Waffle

    If Ogrizek had been less obsessed with telling a long and winding romantic tale, loosely connected to the Lac Megantic disaster (very loosely), she could have cut to the chase a lot sooner. What everybody is overlooking is the fact of Fahmy’s dual citizenship. Who knows how long he actually lived in Canada? He chose to use both his Egyptian passport ad his Canadian passport depending on the circumstances he found himself in. Well, the fact that Egypt chose to recognize him as an Egyptian was the risk he took. The Australian was deported back to his home country because he only had one passport. End of story.

    • Everyone Else

      i was also pissed off at mrs. clooney for telling canadians how they should think. basically, she lost this case, lost face, and is flailing around

      • I am long sick of Amal.

        • Clausewitz

          Yeah, she’s right up there with that perpetual tax fraud Bono.

    • et1014

      This is the writer: I agree the beginning of the article was maybe a bit meandering, but I was trying to indicate just what a cult of personality exists around some of our broadcast journalists. I mean, it’s like the seas parted for this man as he arrived, and I thought — uh-oh, there’s something wrong about this. I suspect all the attention Fahmy is getting is related to that phenomenon: he’s being deified by the left for no good reason. That’s why I shared it. We have a toxic media culture in this country.

      • Waffle

        While I certainly agree with the personality cult that surrounds some journalists — I had a close up look at this phenomenon way back when during the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco. When the “star” from CNN arrived, the waters parted and a white picket fence — just a little one — was erected around his trailer!! I canèt remember his name. Such is the fleeting price of fame. But what on earth does this have to do with the price of tea in China, as they say. Who has ever heard of Mohommed Fahmy, until now. And who would even notice Mrs. Clooney if not for her relationship to her handsome and well-known husband.
        Subject: Re: Comment on Fahmy and Harper: Who wins?

        • et1014

          He’s becoming a symbol of truth, which is just plain weird, but there you are. If you read the editorial about him in the Globe and Mail, you’ll see what I mean. It’s the cultural phenomenon I was trying to capture there. No one had heard of him before…but he fits the “heroic” bill when it comes to the political left.

          • Waffle

            I haven’t read the Globe editorial, but I understand where you’re coming from. Again, I must disagree. I think it is verging on the impossible to try and turn Fahmy into some kind of hero. His cameos on the news show (to me at least) an angry man filled with a sense of his own importance, demanding privileges and concessions to which he might not be entitled. Also what I see is a herd-like mentality in a media determined to get rid of Steven Harper and will use any cudgel they can fashion to do so. Stick to your knitting, Irene. I enjoy your pieces on the health care system.

          • et1014

            Actually, I think we’re more in agreement than you realize. I don’t think it’s right that this is happening, I’m just saying it’s happening. Do you remember that movie, The Year of Living Dangerously? Well, put that narrative together with the Arab Spring, and voila, you’ve got an adventure/romance. It’s that combo that’s behind the pressure being put on Harper. My opinion is that stories like this are fictional but powerful, and in cases like this, too powerful. They replace common sense. And, yes, I agree that this is one tool the left is using to hammer away at Harper.

          • Waffle

            I get that, and thank you for taking the time to clarify your position. Perhaps the Globe writer was stretching to defend an indefensible point and to deflect from the poison being directed at Harper. Unfortunately he is singing to an audience that has been primed for a long time and is too apt to “buy” what seems to be a sophisticated and learned opinion

          • et1014

            I’m just curious. What were you doing in Waco?

          • Waffle

            I had a visa to live in the US and was living in Dallas and doing some freelancing for Canadian publications when the Branch Davidian story broke, so I went down there. Everything changed when we signed NAFTA and my visa expired.

  • andycanuck

    A very good column.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    ‘Fahmy started his career in 2002 as a reporter’s assistant for the Los Angeles Times in Iraq.’
    In 2002 he would have been 28.
    Was he bussing tables until then?

    • Exile1981

      Assembling electronic devices…

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        At work I am sometimes required to assemble electronic devices.
        Other times I just have to pretend they are much more complex machines than they are so the operators will think I am Merlin.
        And then there’s times when I get called in early in the morning while I’m on standby and they really are much more complex than I thought.

  • Fran800

    Pretty good article. I agree with Waffle’s take. The key factor here is the dual citizenship.

    It used to be that if you had dual citizenship, then if you were in the country of one of those citizenships, that one counted, not the other one. Can you imagine if Fahmy had been in trouble in Canada for some reason and Egypt had tried to barge in? Ha! All those bleeding hearts would tell the Egyptians to get lost.

    I can remember during the Cold War when there were many people of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, etc. provenance and Canadian or American citizenship. If they went back to Russia, Ukraine, Poland, etc., the governments of those countries would consider them nationals of those countries, and Canadian or American diplomatic interference would have been out of the question. So Canadian, American, etc. diplomats warned those of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, etc. provenance to keep away from their historic homelands because they couldn’t help them there. And there was no way the people of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish provenance could say they “gave up” their citizenship in those countries, because those countries considered them citizens, and if they went there, they were citizens as soon as they entered even if they had never been there before.

    That view of citizenship seems much more reasonable to me. Fahmy is a Canadian citizen of convenience. If he goes back to Egypt, that’s his problem, not ours or Harper’s.