Rush Transcript: CNN Reports on Egypt's Big Day
What the TV-viewing world missed while it was not watching CNN.
ANCHORMAN: I’m Michael Holmes and this is CNN International, the international headquarters of self-congratulatory bombast and the very best source of news for all of you poor bastards stuck in airport waiting areas around the world – provided, of course, you don’t have a laptop with you or enough change in your pocket to buy a newspaper. Well, it’s been an amazing day. History is in the making! At this very moment Egypt is undergoing a spectacular transformation. It’s absolutely extraordinary and it’s all happening live before our CNN cameras right there in Tahrir Square. [He is careful to pronounce Tahrir in the proper Arabic way.] At the moment we’re awaiting what we’re informed will be an extremely important speech to the people of Egypt and the world. But first these words.
COMMERCIAL: [While exotic music plays, we see gorgeously photographed shots of women in niqab, happy children flying a kite, a row of men kneeling on prayer rugs, camels, a tree, a sparkling blue body of water, a mosque, a group of modern buildings, another mosque, a bird flying over the desert, a series of men, women, and children smiling into the camera, followed by a black screen bearing the words Qatar: Heart of the Arabian Gulf.]
PROMO: AN OFFSCREEN VOICE WITH A HEAVY EAST END ACCENT: This week on Global Exchange, we’re live from Abu Dhabi, which sits at the crossroads between East and West. Yes, Abu Dhabi! This is the future – the heart of the emerging markets! Abu Dhabi – this week on Global Exchange!
MICHAEL: This is Michael Holmes again, and I’m back with my incredibly thick Australian accent, just to show how international we are. We’re still waiting for that important speech from Cairo. At this time we’ll be joining our sister station, CNN in the United States.
WOLF BLITZER: Hi, I’m Wolf Blitzer, and welcome to both, I mean all, of our viewers in the United States and around the world. I’m here in the Situation Room with the finest team of journalists in the business, at least those who haven’t yet managed to find jobs at other traditional-media operations that aren’t sinking quite as fast as we are. As I said, we’re the oldest and best in the business, and no, we’re not forgetting that we royally screwed up that Boston bombings story – but it’ll take a lot more than that to make us actually learn any lessons about the basics of journalism, let alone develop any humility. At the moment it’s late afternoon in Egypt and it’s shaping up to be an utterly amazing day in Tahrir Square. [He too pronounces it in the correct Arabic way.] I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that Egypt is undergoing an absolutely spectacular transformation. Let’s turn now to Candy Crowley, who’s been busy working her sources, while at the same time showing a large pizza who’s boss. Candy, I believe you’ve come up with a CNN exclusive?
CANDY CROWLEY: Thank you, Wolf. Yes, just a few minutes ago I had an exclusive interview with Distinguished Professor Jihad al-Kaboom of the Hassan al-Banna School for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Here’s a little bit of what he had to say.
JIHAD AL-KABOOM [ON VIDEOTAPE]: Candy, it’s an amazing day in Egypt. The country is undergoing an absolutely spectacular transformation.
CANDY: Thank you, Professor al-Kaboom.
JIHAD AL-KABOOM: Any time, Candy. [END OF VIDEOTAPE]
WOLF: Before you go, Professor al-Kaboom, may I ask you a question?
CANDY: Wolf, that was a videotape.
WOLF: Indeed it was. Folks, that was Candy Crowley in an exclusive CNN interview, held moments ago with Professor Jihad al-Kaboom of Harvard University. Let me ask you, then, Candy: what do you make of today’s events in Cairo? [He pronounces it KAY-ro.]
CANDY: Wolf, I think it’s actually pronounced KI-ro.
WOLF: Candy, you may be correct. Let me work my sources and get back to you on that. In the meantime, what do you make of today’s developments?
CANDY: Absolutely amazing, Wolf. A spectacular transformation.
WOLF: Thank you, Candy, for your insight and analysis. Just to bring our viewers in America and around the world up to speed, it’s been a remarkable day in Tahrir Square and we’re still awaiting that all-important speech from Cairo. [He pronounces it KAY-ro, then pauses and touches his earpiece.] I’m being told now by our control room that it is indeed pronounced KI-ro. KAY-ro is the city in Illinois, located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. We’ll be back in the Situation Room after these words.
PROMO: This week on CNN in the Middle East, we go waterskiing in Tunisia and visit the very best restaurants in Yemen with Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Brought to you by CNN in association with the Qatar Foundation – wink-wink!
COMMERCIAL: [While exotic music plays, we see gorgeously photographed shots of women in niqab, happy children flying a kite, a row of men kneeling on prayer rugs, camels, a tree, a sparkling blue body of water, a mosque, a group of modern buildings, another mosque, a bird flying over the desert, a series of happy men, women, and children smiling into the camera, followed by a black screen bearing the words Bahrain: Small Is Beautiful.]
PROMO: Hello, this is Christiane Amanpour, host of Amanpour, and on tonight’s Amanpour I’ll be explaining what kind of accent this is supposed to be. That’s tonight’s Amanpour, only on CNN.
WOLF: Welcome back to all our viewers in the United States and around the world. We’re still awaiting that big speech from Egypt. We’ll now be rejoining our sister network, CNN International.
ANCHORWOMAN: Hello, I’m Fionnuala Sweeney and this is my incredibly thick Irish accent. Are we international or what? I’m honored to be sitting here with the distinguished, award-winning journalist Asma Attaq, a leading supporter of President Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and fashion editor of al-Qaeda’s in-flight magazine, Insight. Thank you for being here, Asma, on this astounding day when we’ve seen such a spectacular turnout in Tahrir Square. [She is careful to pronounce Tahrir in the proper Arabic way.] What do you make of today’s developments?
ASMA ATTAQ [in full burka]: Well, I have to say, with a heavy heart, Fionnuala, that the fall of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood makes this a deeply tragic day for me and for all of my fellow true believers in Allah and the Holy Qu’ran who are fervently consecrated to the cause of armed jihad in the name of our beloved Prophet – peace be upon him – and to the sacred struggle to bring the entire population of the earth under the rule of sharia law, thereby overcoming the tyranny of America, the Great Satan, and of Israel, whose inhabitants are the descendants of pigs and dogs.
FIONNUALA: Thank you very much, Asma. Well said. Let’s bring in my other guest, Ali Frazier, who is on the other side of the issue. You see, folks? We’re balanced! Mr. Frazier?
ALI FRAZIER: Well, for my part I’d say this is a promising day for all of us who are opposed to the violence of jihad and the intolerance of sharia law.
FIONNUALA: Mr. Frazier, with all due respect, I can’t sit here and allow you to make the frankly appalling suggestion that anything but a vanishingly tiny minority of the supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are motivated by intolerance or violence. Asma?
ASMA ATTAQ: Yes, this is the kind of ugly bigotry with which I and my fellow Muslims must constantly contend.
FIONNUALA: Thank you very much indeed, Asma. It’s been an honor to speak with you, and I’m sorry you had to listen to those truly ill-informed and offensive remarks. Now, while we’re still awaiting that important speech from Cairo, let’s pause for these words.
COMMERCIAL: [While exotic music plays, we see gorgeously photographed shots of women in niqab, happy children flying a kite, a row of men kneeling on prayer rugs, camels, a tree, a sparkling blue body of water, a mosque, a group of modern buildings, another mosque, a bird flying over the desert, a series of happy men, women, and children smiling into the camera, followed by a black screen bearing the words Come to Iran and Spend Your Dollars and Take Pictures of the Scenery While We Execute Apostates, Gays, Rape Victims, Drinkers of Alcohol, Political Opponents, Etc., Etc., You Spineless, Self-Hating Dhimmi Nitwits.]
FIONNUALA: Welcome back. We’ll now be joining that important speech in Cairo, which I’ve been told is already in progress.
EGYPTIAN MILITARY LEADER: [voice of English interpreter] …and may Allah shower his blessings upon the people of Egypt.
FIONNUALA: Well, it looks as though we missed that speech. Shame, that! We’ll right be back after this message from the Saudi Arabian tourist board. Their slogan: Come to Saudi Arabia – come stay with fiends!
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