(2/3 articles about media mouthpieces in the service of Hezbollah’s propaganda system – Hosein Mortada )
Hosein Mortada was born in 1972 in the town of Hermel. He holds a degree in political science from the Lebanese University. He began his journalistic career as a broadcaster for Lebanon’s “Voice of the Oppressed”, and in 2002 moved to Tehran, where he was one of the founders of the Iranian news channel “al-Alam”, employed there as a reporter. He later moved on to manage “al-Alam’s” office in Damascus.
As part of his work during the Syrian civil war, Hosein Mortada accompanied and covered the battles of the Syrian Army, Iranian militias, and Hezbollah. During such journalistic work he was injured several times; on one occasion he was transferred to a hospital in Beirut to undergo surgery. Mortada is known as a controversial media person. On one hand, he gained widespread popularity among loyalists of the radical Shi’ite axis. On the other hand, he acquired hatred and resentment among opponents of the axis due to his videos on the news pages and those he uploaded to his social networks. The content he published was filled with incitement, provocation, and ethnic conflicts as part of radical propaganda and information warfare. For example, he reported from the city of Aleppo, where he mocked the displaced people who had to board buses assigned to them by the Assad regime for their expulsion from the city after the recapture of Aleppo. Mortada also used to dress up in military uniform and carry weapons to join the fighting alongside Hezbollah, pro-Iranian militias, and Assad’s fighting forces. Hosein Mortada is known for holding prominent attitudes of extremism in favor of the radical Shiite axis led by Iran in general and Hezbollah in particular.
Hosein Mortada’s sympathy and support for the pro-Iranian militias culminated in June 2014, when he posted a picture on social media of him next to his son Ahmed in front of the road sign “15 km from Qusayr” next to Homs. Hosein Mortada stated in this post that he was proud of his son, Ahmed, who enlisted as a new fighter (age 15!) alongside his brothers in the city of Homs. The post won much appreciation from Hezbollah loyalists and the Syrian regime.
In June 2019, Hosein Mortada submitted his resignation from the “al-Alam” channel, after the channel decided to merge several channels under Iranian management. He explained that he planned to return to Hermel his hometown in the Lebanese Beqaa with his family and children and that he had no professional projects.
The great loyalty that Hosein Mortada had demonstrated for 8 years to Iran and Hezbollah raised questions upon the breaking of the news regarding his resignation from the channel. As far as we know, Hosein Mortada did not resign, but was fired and deported from Syria, and was even banned from working in Syria again in the future. Apparently, the “al-Alam” channel expelled the famous reporter, forcing him to submit his resignation from the station after years of working as a field reporter and manager, who accompanied the members of the radical Shiite axis led by Iran in their battles in Syria. The reason for his embarrassing dismissal was the revelation that Hosein Mortada stole and embezzled more than $36,000 by falsifying accounts while he was running the channel in Damascus. Those close to Mortada also complained about his misconduct towards employees and journalists, stating that he always took more money than he was entitled to.
Made his name in Syria but couldn’t control his urges…
Moreover, a leaked audiotape, in which a former Lebanese broadcaster from the “al-Alam” channel can be heard, revealed additional reasons for Hosein Mortada’s dismissal from the channel’s management. The reporter, Hanadi Ibrahim, is heard talking about Hosein Mortada’s inappropriate relationship with the channel’s female employees in Syria, which he sexually exploited in exchange for sending them to work in the channel’s head office in Iran. In addition, according to Ibrahim, there are figures in Hezbollah who are dissatisfied with Hosein Mortada and have a negative attitude towards him. Hanadi concludes his opinion regarding Hosein Mortada by saying that Hosein Mortada is one of the dirtiest and most immoral people in the Syrian TV office.
Even after being ousted from “al-Alam”, Hosein Mortada continues to be loyal to the radical Shiite axis and tends to attack members of the media on social media who speak out against Hezbollah. Hosein Mortada runs an active Twitter account, Facebook profile, and web page as a freelance journalist. His Twitter account has about 440,000 followers and Facebook about 82,000 followers.