CNN’s reporting on the Iranian uprising is drawing fire for obscuring the dictatorial government’s brutal repression of a pro-democratic movement with roots in the 2009 “Green Movement.”
While President Obama refused to support the Iranian people who desired freedom and a reprieve from the terrorism-exporting Islamist government, until well after its historical moment had passed, current President Donald Trump has vocally backed the latest democratic uprising.
Even the president’s support was mischaracterized by CNN as an expression of “anti-government” solidarity, a weasel term that elides support for freedom and democratic reforms.
“Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching!” the president tweeted, echoing a White House statement given earlier in the day.
Street protesters have been bravely confronting the Iranian regime despite the obvious dangers.
All over Iran, many people were on the street demanding accountability for rampant corruption.
Similar to the 2010 tea party protests in the United States, however, the US media have either blacked out coverage or have been largely unsympathetic.
The US media’s coverage on Iran has been largely uncritical of the mullahs stemming back to Obama’s ten-day blackout on mentioning the 2009 Iranian uprising through the present day. A bombshell Politico report the prior administration directed US law enforcement to quash investigations hostile to terror group Hezbollah, because they might imperil the former president’s “legacy” nuclear deal with the Iranian regime, has largely gone unreported in the mainstream media.
This includes CNN, which has mentioned it zero times.
Meanwhile, CNN was drawing false equivalence between protests for reform and government-organized counter-protests, which were pre-planned Potemkin villages “celebrating” the government’s bloody quelling of the 2009 uprising.
“Crowds of pro-government supporters demonstrated Saturday in Iran after two days of rare anti-government protests which spread to a number of cities,” CNN reported.
“Nearly 2,000 people gathered peacefully in the capital, Tehran, in support of the government’s policies, an eyewitness there said. State-run Iranian broadcasters showed demonstrators waving the Iranian flag at the pro-government rally, which had been scheduled before the anti-government protests broke out. Meanwhile, coverage of the anti-government protests was very limited on state-run media, which referenced them only in passing,” it continued.
The striking lede to the story, in particular, being the vital section that many readers will skim before moving on, left many critics bewildered:
— Tyler Amick (@MickTy96) December 30, 2017
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) December 30, 2017
— Andrew Comings (@AndrewComings) December 30, 2017
The CNN report as a whole smacks of false equivalence and an editorial fear of being on the same side of an issue as President Trump, while leaving readers to draw the inference that former President Obama was wrong for not supporting the pro-democratic forces in Iran.
CNN has editorialized extensively on White House matters such as President Trump’s Jerusalem decree, staking out a largely negative and critical tone consistent with its animosity to the democratic and pro-Western state of Israel. Yet here it is refusing to back anti-dictatorial forces in Iran, essentially painting a picture that the Iranian mullahs and democratic protesters are morally equivalent.
Once again, the network tries to have it both ways: Feigning dispassionate and objective analysis when vigorous critique and aggressive reportage are required, and going on the offensive against benign and even benevolent policies on the domestic and world stage, typically for partisan purposes.
Its what CNN leaves unsaid in its reportage that often speaks the loudest: For example, refusing to condemn Palestinian terrorism and violent attacks on innocent Israelis as important context in its Middle Eastern reportage.
It goes to show once again why the American people have lost trust in the mainstream media, and in this one regard, CNN is leading the way.
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