Octavia Nasr's New Start Disappoints Some

Octavia Nasr was in the UAE yesterday to market her new consultancy venture but apparently the audience was not very receptive:

A journalist walked out of the room as a sign of protest after Octavia Nasr refused to comment on her forced resignation from CNN.

[...]

Many of the audience members said they left the lecture disappointed because they wanted to listen to her experience as an Arab who worked in the American media, and whether she could confirm that the Western media were biased against the Arab world.

Other audience members also protested that she only came to promote her new business and said they were upset that she declined to get into a discussion of the politics surrounding Western media.

Octavia, however, defended her actions:

“People came here to gossip and had an agenda that was different to mine. To repeat things that you already know is a waste of time, and what they wanted to hear was out there already,” said Octavia, speaking on the sidelines of a lecture she gave last Tuesday evening at the Sharjah International Book Fair.

Though I believe the audience’s actions were quite rude, it important that Octavia speak out about what happened only to effectively put it to rest. “Lying low” and preferring to be away from the limelight will not help put the past behind her.

Octavia Nasr | Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Octavia Nasr | Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

3 Comments
  1. Once more, we assert the fact that we DO NOT have smart, objective and analytical media in the region. We’re rather a bunch of tabloid paparazzi looking for a scoop… By hook or by crook!

    Why don’t they leave these tactics to politicians? Oh yes, I forgot, they don’t “dare”. They only dare with people like Octavia Nasr. YES, she clearly said that she’s on tour in the region to promote her new company. What is wrong with that? And why does it disappoint the press?

    There are by far more interesting stories than Octavia’s leaving CNN to write about. All they have to do is look around them!

    Bottom line, they are dragged by their nose to get to the ultimate statement that their editor in chief, who is guided by some dictator, is fishing for and I quote “…confirm that the Western media were biased against the Arab world.”

    What a shame to bring our stupid paranoia to the limelight and let the whole world read about it!

  2. agree 100% with Eby King, the topic has already been covered to exhaustion, and she was very smart by not bad mouthing CNN. you bury the hatchet and move on.

    Everyone already knows wat happened, and these so called journalist were probably there just to hear her bashing the “western media” which she was part off!

    • Eby, Simon, Thanks for the comments and I’ve also read Octavia’s response to this post (via Twitter). What the journalists did was wrong – they should have known why they were invited to attend in the first place. Nevertheless, I still strongly believe in addressing this issue and it could be done without passing all encompassing comments against CNN or the Western Media, heck use it as an opportunity to alter misconceptions. I’m sure Octavia will have many more speaking opportunities in the Middle East and we are all fully aware of the region’s love with sensational journalism, I just believe that it would have been a good opportunity to nip it in the bud and then effectively bury the hatchet.

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