CNN Mideast Affairs Editor Fired Over Hezbollah Tweet

July 8, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Octavia Nasr, CNN’s Mideast Affairs Senior Editor for 20-years was fired for a controversial tweet, remarking on the death of Lebanese Shiite cleric, the Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. Nasr expressed sadness over his passing and mentioned that she respected the late cleric. But Fadlallah is considered a terrorist by the U.S. and other Western nations for his support of Hezbollah’s violence and suicide attacks against Israel. The reaction from supporters of Israel was angry and swift. And by Wednesday, Nasr was asked to leave, with CNN citing damage to her “credibility.”

After receiving criticism for her short tweet, Nasr posted an explanation on her blog.

The tweet read: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah … One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”

Nasr later clarified her statement, noting that she respected Fadlallah only for his support of women’s rights in the Muslim world and not for his activities with Hezbollah, an organization committed to the destruction of Israel:

“In a follow-up blog post on Tuesday evening, Ms. Nasr said she was sorry about the message “because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah’s life’s work. That’s not the case at all.”’

“She said she used the words “respect” and “sad” because “to me, as a Middle Eastern woman, Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman’s rights. He called for the abolition of the tribal system of ‘honor killing.’ He called the practice primitive and nonproductive. He warned Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam.”’

She continued, “This does not mean I respected him for what else he did or said. Far from it.”

However, her superiors at CNN were not appeased by her explanation, noting that Nasr’s Twitter post did not meet the cable station’s editorial standards and she was gone.

Photo Source: CNN


4 Responses to “CNN Mideast Affairs Editor Fired Over Hezbollah Tweet”

  1. Middle East editor Nasr leaves CNN – CNN on July 8th, 2010 1:16 pm

    […] Firing: Should CNN Also Axe Anyone Who Praises the Pope?AOL -Foreign Policy -ChattahBoxall 411 news […]

  2. Dennis Pettigrew on July 8th, 2010 2:13 pm

    So much for fair and balanced reporting at CNN. The firing of Octavia Nasr illustrates that CNN has lost any credibility as an independent news organization.

    I watched in amazement in the days after Helen Thomas was run out of the press while CNN gleefully reported it’s biased views on a woman who stood up against a near constant barrage of lies & deception that CNN now puts out constantly – now this.

    With the firing of Octavia Nasr CNN has demonstrated it’s total loyalty to who is paying their bills – or who can intimidate them the most. They should change their name to CPN – Cable Propaganda Network. Your organization lacks the integrity to maintain a free society.

  3. Nikos Retsos on July 8th, 2010 5:45 pm

    It has actually nothing to do with Twitter and Twitting. There is a bigger picture in the murky world of some Western Media organizations, and that is “censorship!” Reporters are fired if they dare to say anything other than vitriolic words against the enemies of the U.S. and Israel, and intellectuals -like myself- are banned from submitting any comments, after a submission it wasn’t to their liking. I, for example, am banned from submitting any comments to CNN, ABC, Chicago Tribune, and some other media organizations. The reason? I am an anti-war and human rights activist, and I have criticized the U.S. killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Israeli killing of civilians in Gaza! And the U.S. and Israeli controlled media don’t want to talk about the innocent victims of their wars, or about the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese children born with defects from the millions of tons of Agent Orange chemical the U.S. dropped there to defoliate the Hon Chi Minh trail. They want to keep the attention of the global audience on Al Qaida, and Muslim insurgents, and dehumanize them and their supporters.

    Is the U.S. a country where “Free Speech” is protected by the Constitution? Can Octavia Nasr sue the CNN in a U.S. Federal Court for violating her constitutional right of “free speech” and force CNN to hire her back, or to settle her claim for for a few millions? Not really. The CNN message to Octavia Nasr and to other reporters in other media organizations who were either fired, demoted, or re-assigned to dead-end assignments after daring to portray an enemy of the U.S. and/or Israel as human, is clear: Our news mission is to bash and dehumanize the enemies of the U.S. and its allies, and any deviation from this policy will be considered as providing comfort to our enemies. And humanizing our enemies is, therefore, subversive to the U.S. foreign policy and interests.

    Here is a blunt truth about this fact: The U.S. has designated Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists organizations, and has publicly called any government or any person who supports them ” a supported of terrorism.” And that is why many Arabs and Muslims support Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Taliban clandestinely: To avoid being put themselves in the U.S. list of terrorists supporters, and probably have a U.S. Predator drone target them with a Hellfire missile. And with this threat, the U.S. can claim that Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organization, and they are isolated by the international community.

    But the recent killing by Israel of civilians taking food to Hamas in Gaza proved otherwise. Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan openly challenged the U.S. propaganda that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and called Israel “a terror state.” Did the U.S. dare to call Turkey or Mr. Erdogan “a supporter of terrorism,” like it calls Iran who support Hamas? Of course not. Turkey is an ally; Iran is a foe.

    In the murky field of global enemies and friends, therefore, the “terrorist” of one side is the “hero” of the other side. And the game is to slam the enemies of your country as “terrorists” and praise those who slam your enemies as heroes. Even Osama Bin Laden was a “freedom fighter” and he was funded by the CIA to blow up Soviet troops carriers, and kill Russian soldiers in Afghanistan. But when he made a U-turn against the U.S., he was labeled “a terrorist” and U.S. enemy No. 1!

    Octavia Nasr violated this cardinal rule by daring to utter the word “respect” for a dead Lebanese religious leader. It is common in all Eastern religions, Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Buddism, etc., to forgive and praise everybody – even your enemy- upon their death, so they can rest in peace. It is the last show of mercy that we are supposed to accord even to our enemies: bury any lingering hatred along with the departed dead, and try to live our lives without hatred as we walk away from the grave site.

    Octavia Nasr deserves respect for following this global tradition, and CNN ‘s action would certainly be seen as shameless in the Eastern and the Muslim world. And the global outrage after the killing of the Gaza humanitarians showed, the global audience is not gulping the U.S. propaganda on face value. CNN, therefore, has just exposed itself as a propaganda media network ready to use the funeral of U.S. opponents for bashing and revenge even in their after-life.

    Demonizing U.S. foes, like Mohammed Fadlallah, is a U.S. media tradition. It happened to the father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and to China’s, Mao Tse-Tung, who were demonized in the Western media until the U.S. defeat in Vietnam, and until the U.S. recognition of China in 1971. And it will go on as long as the U.S. warmongering creates widespread hostility around the world, and its media try to contain it with censorship and firing of reporters who dare to say that U.S. opponents are humans too!
    Nikos Retsos, retired professor

  4. Crisis Assistance : : July 7-9 - Cancer Health Center on July 14th, 2010 6:21 pm

    […] CNN Mideast Affairs Editor Fired Over Hezbollah Tweet – Octavia Nasr, CNN’s Mideast Affairs Senior Editor for 20-years was fired for a controversial tweet, remarking on the death of Lebanese Shiite cleric, the Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. […]

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