Well-known talk-show host Khairy Ramadan resigned on air on Thursday night, citing interference from CBC channel administration, after his guest Hamdeen Sabahy was banned from the studio.
“Out of respect for my profession and my guest, I resign” Ramadan said on air.
Sabahy, leader of the Popular Current, was to be the guest of last night’s episode of Mumkin, which is aired daily on CBC channel. He was banned from the studio. The channel’s administration said it was because they were not informed of his appearance.
“The channel’s administration called me and asked me not to have Sabahy as my guest… I’m a media professional not a politician, and for the standards of the profession, I apologise for not continuing the program” Ramadan said.
Heba Yassin, media spokesperson of the Popular Current, a coalition of several Nasserite parties, said that the channel asked him to appear and comment on current events.
“Ramadan’s resignation came right after Morsy’s speech, in which he talked about democracy and dialogue but also tacitly threatened the opposition” Yassin said. She added that news of an attempt to arrest Sabahy as he left CBC was not confirmed.
“Some people said there was an intense security presence around the building to arrest Sabahy, but he was able to leave safely” she said.
Sabahy released a statement, late Thursday, saying that he was surprised by Ramadan’s resignation.
“CBC’s administration prevented me from appearing on air which turned out to be through orders from a sovereign body” the statement read. Sabahy said that the incident showed President Morsy’s call for dialogue with the opposition was a hollow gesture.
“Morsy restrained freedom of media and expression. He is trying to prevent opposition leaders from talking to the public” the statement added.
Yassin said that Morsy was implementing Mubarak’s policies against freedom of expression, “he wants only his voice to reach the people.”