Double Standards in the Media: Tweet and Get Fired

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AJE’s Listening Post has an excellent report on the firing of CNN’s Middle East editor Octavia Nasr for Tweeting the ‘wrong’ thing…

It has been a communication tool in many a recent political protest, it is a PR tool for numerous celebrities, but for Octavia Nasr, CNN’s former Senior Middle East Affairs Editor, Twitter was a career-ender. A tweet expressing her sorrow following Lebanese Shia cleric Ayatollah Fadlallah’s death set off a storm amongst many conservative and pro-Israel groups in America.

Sheikh Fadlallah’s opposition to Israel’s occupation of South Lebanon, his ties with Hezbollah and his designation as a terrorist by the US government made him hugely controversial in the US. But Ms. Nasr’s tweet was a reflection of the respect Sheikh Fadlallah commanded in Lebanon and the wider Arab world for his spiritual learning, his advocacy for women’s rights and the influence he had over so many.

CNN was not willing to accommodate the nuances of the Ayatollah’s persona in its assessment of Ms. Nasr’s offending tweet. In our News Divide this week we look at what the firing of Ms. Nasr reveals about CNN and the editorial limitations of reporting in the American media.

This comes not long after veteran Whitehouse correspondent Helen Thomas had to resign over something she said…



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