Think cable news shouters have demeaned the state of political debate in the United States? Well, they may scream, but they have never (yet) pulled a gun on live TV.
That's exactly what happened in Jordan on Thursday when a member of Parliament, Mohammed Shawabka, whipped out his pistol and aimed it at opponent Mansour Seif-Eddine Murad during a live TV talk show. That's after he threw a shoe at him -- a grave insult in the Arab world. The incident was uploaded to YouTube.
No shots were fired, and it is unclear whether the gun was loaded, but Shawabka could face attempted murder charges as Murad has filed a formal complaint against him, according to the Times of Israel. Shawabka has also been accused of libel and slander, the paper reported.
According to multiple reports, both men became angry after a round of name-calling. The BBC said that Shawabka called Murad, a former Palestinian guerrilla, an Assad spy, referring to the president of Syria. Murad then responded saying the lawmaker was a spy for Israel's Mossad. It was at that point that Shawabka threw his shoe at Murad and brandished a pistol he took from his waist.
He was going to shoot me and he should be punished for that, Murad told the Associated Press.
Host Mohammed Habashna had to get between the two to try and calm them.
I couldn't believe my eyes, Habashna told the AP. It was like the Wild West, but we needed horses in the studio.
A prosecutor told the news organization that a court is deciding whether there is enough evidence to bring the charges against Shawabka. Prosecutors are also trying to determine how the gun was brought into the studio.
Had he pointed the gun at Mr. Murad's head, it would've surely been a good case of attempted murder, the prosecutor, who asked to remain anonymous, said.