TV host fired for remarks

Darwish dismissed after off-color statements

Lebanese TV presenter Sawsan Safa Darwish has been axed after being caught, live on air, gloating over the assassination of a Lebanese politico.

Darwish, a presenter with NBN, was overheard asking, “Why did it take them so long to kill him?” during the satcaster’s coverage of the assassination of Walid Eido, an anti-Syrian parliamentarian, who was killed along with his son and eight other people June 13 in a massive car bombing in Beirut.

Darwish was unaware her mic was live during her outburst. She went on to say that another anti-Syrian parliamentarian, Youth and Sports Minister Ahmed Fatfat, would be next in line.

“I’m counting them off … we’ve had enough of them,” Darwish joked with colleagues, in an apparent reference to the spate of killings which have targeted anti-Syrian political figures in the country since the February 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

NBN execs moved quickly to dismiss Darwish after her comments were replayed endlessly on Lebanese and pan-Arab TV stations, also apologizing for the incident and stating the presenter’s views did not represent those of the station. Fatfat has complained to NBN owner Nahib Berri, who is also the Lebanese speaker of parliament. Fatfat filed a judicial complaint against the anchor on Friday, according to local press reports.

Berri is a prominent member of the pro-Syrian opposition, which includes Hezbollah and aspiring Christian presidential candidate Michel Aoun.

Many Lebanese believe that Syria is behind the killings, a charge the Syrian government has repeatedly denied.

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