Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

June 21, 2009

CNN's Shocking Suck-Up to Iran's Fascists

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 4:52 am

I couldn’t believe it when I read it, but here it is, as it appeared on the CNN website, as an introduction to an essay by Fareed Zakaria:

“The decisive margin of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in elections last week stunned many observers and angered his opponents’ supporters, who in the ensuing days took to the streets in protest by the hundreds of thousands.”

That’s right, with NO qualification–and no evidence, and no shame–CNN declares victory for Ahmadinejad by “a decisive margin” and makes it sound like the courageous people of Iran who are even now being murdered on the streets were just sore losers.

Hey, anyone awake there at CNN? Or was this a deliberate kow-tow to the Supreme Leader. Nobody knows what the “margin” was in the election, who won or how “decisive” it was. Or did you feel compelled to accept the fascist regime’s line that it was “divinely certified” in order to maintain your good relations with the murderers in power?

How about some editing: “The decisive margin of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory–a result announced by the dictatorship before a large portion of the ballots could have been counted–stunned many observers who raised doubts about its validity and angered opponents who took to the streets to demonstrate peacefully–where they are now being beaten and murdered by thugs from the fascist theocracy.”

I think CNN should issue a correction or live forever in the journalistic hall of shame.



  1. Thankfully we have Fox News—and I’m dead serious. This is, by far, the number one TV network in the entire world. And yes, it does a pretty good job of being “fair and balanced.

    Fareed Zakaria is something of a “realist.” These are people who foolishly believe that virtually all conflicts can be resolved by soft power tactics. Hard power tactics will supposedly only make things worse. This is similar to the mindset of Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain. Adolph Hitler was initially a relatively modest problem to resolve. The appeasers of the West, however, allowed the Fuhrer to grow in stature to the point that war was inevitable. He should have been a marginalized and impotent individual by no later than 1935.

    Comment by David Thomson — June 21, 2009 @ 6:37 am | Reply

  2. […] RON ROSENBAUM: CNN’s Shocking Suck-Up to Iran’s Fascists. […]

    Pingback by Instapundit » Blog Archive » RON ROSENBAUM: CNN’s Shocking Suck-Up to Iran’s Fascists…. — June 21, 2009 @ 7:00 am | Reply

  3. Well, CNN was an apologist organization for the murderous Saddam regime just so they could maintain “access.” I don’t think the “or” is necessary in your last sentence.

    Comment by BlogDog — June 21, 2009 @ 7:07 am | Reply

  4. I’m shocked the author is shocked. An executive from this network admitted they used a soft-focus lens in Iraq for years in order to maintain access. And that is the highest journalistic standard.

    Comment by John — June 21, 2009 @ 7:08 am | Reply

  5. There is some relevant history here regarding CNN’s relationship with the regime of Saddam Hussein. See my post Media Complicity with Thugs:

    Comment by david foster — June 21, 2009 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  6. CNN did the same thing in Iraq, pre-war to gain access.

    Comment by Chris — June 21, 2009 @ 7:13 am | Reply

  7. What dictator is Eason Jordan sucking up to nowadays?

    Comment by PJ — June 21, 2009 @ 7:17 am | Reply

  8. Should anyone be surprised? This is the same news organization that hid the atrocities of Saddam Hussein to retain access.

    Comment by swassociates — June 21, 2009 @ 7:17 am | Reply

  9. Hey, if they want access to Iran, they’re going to have to suck up. We saw this with Iraq.

    Comment by ErikZ — June 21, 2009 @ 7:19 am | Reply

  10. What a shock! Who would have believed this could happen at the same network that published Saddam Hussein’s propaganda so that they could maintain “coverage” in Iraq.

    Comment by Mark W — June 21, 2009 @ 7:28 am | Reply

  11. At least they admitted their self-censorship under Saddam, after he was gone of course.

    Comment by Mike K — June 21, 2009 @ 7:30 am | Reply

  12. I can remember sitting in my university dining hall and watching CNN Headline News report the results for Saddam Hussein’s reelection before Spring of 2003. They reported it as a landslide of 99% with 0 qualifications. At that point I no longer trusted CNN and began rethinking my liberal assumptions. Maybe more college students are on that path now; may some of them arrive at PajamasMedia.

    Comment by AB — June 21, 2009 @ 7:31 am | Reply

  13. If they had written an accurate appraisal of the election, how would they get a visa for Christianne to go to Tehran and mouth more regime propaganda?

    Comment by AD — June 21, 2009 @ 7:33 am | Reply

  14. Eason Jordan may be gone, but his foul stench lingers on.

    Comment by winky the barbarian — June 21, 2009 @ 7:34 am | Reply

  15. Remember Eason Jordan and his access deal with Saddam?

    This isn’t surprising in the least. It’s CNN’s standard operating procedure when dealing with oppressive dictatorships.

    Comment by Adam Maas — June 21, 2009 @ 7:35 am | Reply

  16. #CNNFail

    Comment by 4 Borders Pundit — June 21, 2009 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  17. Best Twitter quote I’ve seen so far:

    RT @davidsteven: Remembering the good old days when Twitter was silly and CNN was credible… #iranelection #cnnfail

    Comment by 2klbofun — June 21, 2009 @ 7:47 am | Reply

  18. CNN: Eason Jordan old school. What did you expect?

    Comment by cubanbob — June 21, 2009 @ 7:49 am | Reply

  19. Well, without even remotely defending CNN’s opening comment about Ahmedinejad’s “decisive … victory”, Zakaria did in the interview go on to assert that the regime’s project has failed (and hopefully soon, the regime itself)–not at all a suck-up piece _overall_.

    Comment by John R — June 21, 2009 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  20. […] a time to get Reaganesque, this is the moment. (Also read Claudia Rosett, Richard Fernandez, and Ron Rosenbaum on the volatile and historic events unfolding in Iran.) June 21, 2009 – by Victor Davis […]

    Pingback by Pajamas Media » Why Should Obama Speak Out on Iran? Let Me Count the Ways — June 21, 2009 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  21. The suck-up is deplorable, but not shocking – CNN being what it is.

    Comment by RE — June 21, 2009 @ 7:56 am | Reply

  22. CNN has not, in the opinion of many people, left “the journalistic hall of shame” since April 2003 when the NY Times published “The News We Kept to Ourselves,” a confession by CNN’s chief news executive Eason Jordan that CNN suppressed stories about Saddam’s atrocities. Nothing has changed, evidently; CNN will still sacrifice journalistic ethics to preserve its access to despotic killers.

    Comment by Paul in NJ — June 21, 2009 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  23. With all due respect, the only shocking thing about this, really, is that anybody would be shocked by it. Remember Eason Jordan’s confession to complicity with Saddam Hussein? (Well, I’m pretty sure Jordan doesn’t think of it as complicity; but that’s part of the problem.)

    Comment by ELC — June 21, 2009 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  24. When CNN is ‘reporting news’ you have to remember that Eason Jordon sold out to Saddam so that he could get access to Iraq when no one else could. They have a track record of cozying up to Thugocracies so that they have access to the party line right from the dictators lips. A disgusting bunch at CNN, “News as you like it” should be their motto.

    Comment by ronnor — June 21, 2009 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  25. It is sad to observe that this is not the first time CNN has served as toady to a corrupt regime.

    During the first Gulf War, execs for “the most trusted name in news” admitted to reporting regurgitated propaganda — virtually unedited — that was provided to them by Sadam Hussein’s communications flaks.

    They said doing so was necessary “in order to maintain a presence” in Iraq. Maintain a presence? To what purpose?

    Comment by Mike Murray — June 21, 2009 @ 8:03 am | Reply

  26. David Thomson:

    Fareed Zakaria supported the Iraq invasion.

    He might be a ‘realist’ now — whatever that means — but like Andrew Sullivan, Joe Klein and other erstwhile war supporters whose bodies have been snatched by the International Anti-Semitic Assault Section, Zakaria has become a Jew-hating joke.

    Maybe that’s a better name. International Society of Jew-Hating Jokes.

    We shouldn’t cite these people as possessing the faculties associated with basic sanity, let alone credibility.

    Comment by CFB — June 21, 2009 @ 8:07 am | Reply

  27. You may recall CNN’s treatment of the “election” held in Iraq in late 2002 – complete with anchorbabes announcing solemnly that Saddam’s “future will be decided” by the “Iraqi people”, etc. If I remember correctly, Saddam Hussein won 100% of the vote, up from 99.something% the last time.

    This seems like par for the course. CNN is not known for standing up to tyrants when their access is in question.

    Comment by jaed — June 21, 2009 @ 8:09 am | Reply

  28. Recall CNN’s pandering to Saddam Hussein in order to keep a bureau in Iraq. More of the same. CNN has seldom met a totalitarian regime it didn’t suck up to. If you get your news from CNN, you wouldn’t know what’s happening in the world.

    Comment by rb — June 21, 2009 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  29. Wow, horrible mangling of the definition of “realist” there, David. A realist is someone who believes that all states are driven by survival and power and exist in an Hobbesian state of anarchy. They believe, essentially, that states are amoral entities, and it doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a brutal dictatorship or a liberal democracy, they are all going to follow similar foreign policies if placed in similar situations. A realist would reject the notion of “soft power,” namely because such things are intangible, but would also believe that a nuclear Iran is not a real danger, as it would still be susceptible to deterrence. Needless to say, there are very few true realists out there. John Mearsheimer used to be a dependable voice to stake the realist position, but his recent treatment of the “Israel Lobby” can be used to attack just about everything else he had written up to that point.

    Comment by JSchuler — June 21, 2009 @ 8:12 am | Reply

  30. I think CNN should issue a correction…

    I think CNN should issue an apology.

    Comment by sirius_sir — June 21, 2009 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  31. {James Earl Jones Voice} This… Is CNN {/James Earl Jones Voice}

    Comment by Parabellum — June 21, 2009 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  32. #3′
    My first thought as well. Did they re-hire EJ?

    Comment by Chris — June 21, 2009 @ 8:29 am | Reply

  33. Remember CNN, Ted Turner and China? Just watched the horrific video of the young Iranian woman, shot and bleeding to death in the street. Events are proving a greater force than Barack Obama, who should dump the phony smoothies around him, such as Gibbs, Axelrod and Jim Jones. Smooth don’t wipe away the bloodstains, capiche?

    Comment by charlie finch — June 21, 2009 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  34. Would the network of Christianne Amanpour lie?

    Comment by HoweeCarr — June 21, 2009 @ 8:49 am | Reply

  35. I think CNN should issue a correction or live forever in the journalistic hall of shame.

    That should read “and“.

    Comment by Charlie (Colorado) — June 21, 2009 @ 8:50 am | Reply

  36. Welcome to the party, pal.

    Comment by Phelps — June 21, 2009 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  37. Time to boycott CNN and it’s advertisers.

    Comment by Rosem — June 21, 2009 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  38. I’m surprised that anyone would be shocked by CNN’s failure to report the news, since Eason Jordan admitted what CNN agreed to in order to continue reporting from Iraq.

    CNN is not a news organization. It delivers propaganda.

    I watched CNN for less than 5 minutes yesterday before switching to FOXnews, which had all day coverage of events in Iran. Whatever faults FOXnews has, it beats CNN by a mile.

    Comment by Xanthippe — June 21, 2009 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  39. Reuters did the same thing a couple of days ago:

    “TEHRAN, June 20 (Reuters) – Iran’s defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi urged Iranians to stage a nationwide strike if he was arrested by the authorities, a witness said.”

    Comment by Brian Johnson — June 21, 2009 @ 9:01 am | Reply

  40. Shocking? Two words: Eason Joradn.

    Comment by Mikey NTH — June 21, 2009 @ 9:13 am | Reply

  41. “Barack Obama, who should dump the phony smoothies around him”

    What if Barack Obama is also a smoothie? That may very well explain why he has picked such people to work in his administration.

    Comment by David Thomson — June 21, 2009 @ 9:18 am | Reply

  42. Birds of a feather…etc.

    Comment by glenn — June 21, 2009 @ 9:22 am | Reply

  43. ….or live forever in the hall of shame.

    For a majority of viewers they’ve been in that hall for a long time now. Their share of the viewing public has continued to decline and they deserve every minute of it along with the other MSM news branches which have become paid advertisement operations for the administration. Obama wasn’t kidding when he implied that Brian Williams was in bed with him. He was and is.

    Comment by Walt K — June 21, 2009 @ 9:23 am | Reply

  44. To CNN it’s just a little “vigorous debate.” Florida 2000, now *there’s* a stolen election — just ask Jack Cafferty.

    Once their very own “Supreme Leader” finishes his ice cream and gets tougher come Mon/Tues (“Now I’m very VERY troubled”) they will adjust their “coverage” accordingly. To the Situation Room!

    Comment by Lightnin' Hopkins — June 21, 2009 @ 9:24 am | Reply

  45. I don’t believe that A-jad won his first election. Remember his amazing out of nowhere victory? Why isn’t somebody calling for a review of that election as well?

    Comment by Jason — June 21, 2009 @ 9:31 am | Reply

  46. I guess I don’t see why this is shocking.

    Turner married a traitor. She went to Vietnam and support North Vietnam during the war then, why is it so strange that they are doing the same thing now?

    Both Fonda and Turner are left wing elitists who have made it very clear they do not support the principles of freedom for other people, merely themselves.

    Still, it is nice to have you on board, even if a little late to the party.

    Comment by D — June 21, 2009 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  47. Hobbesian state of anarchy… sort of an oxymoron isn’t it?

    Hobbs did after all believe in absolute government.

    Comment by D — June 21, 2009 @ 9:50 am | Reply

  48. CNN is going to bring Peter Arnett out of retirement for a special assignment to Iran to reveal how the protesters destroyed a milk factory.

    Comment by Karllafong — June 21, 2009 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  49. “Journalistic hall of shame”; they have been there for awhile.

    Comment by Dean Kennedy — June 21, 2009 @ 10:13 am | Reply

  50. And if you think CNN’s bad, you should see CNN International.

    Comment by Fen — June 21, 2009 @ 10:15 am | Reply

  51. he’s a smoothie and he is not what everyone thinks he is, I’ll leave it at that, if he ever came out as who he really is and not the Chicago manufacture, he would break even more taboos and be the AfAM Jefferson, but for it to happen, he has gonna have to be pushed by events until he ceases to be “fly” and the world becomes his fly

    Comment by charlie finch — June 21, 2009 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  52. Why shocking? They did the same for Saddam. Kissing up to dictators is the only thing they know how to do.

    Comment by ic — June 21, 2009 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

  53. Go all the way back to 1986 — the year after Jesse Helms was calling for Ted Turner to buy CBS and fire Dan Rather — when Turner stunned everyone by getting CNN to be the first news organization to have a regular bureau in Cuba. The quid pro quo was CNN treated the Castro regime with kid gloves, in order to retain their favored access.

    That’s what’s going on in Iran, and what has gone on with CNN for the past 23 years. Given the choice, they prefer to have access to the inside of countries running despotic regimes to actually reporting the truth on those regimes, because to do so would cost them that access. And if you scratched the surface of a CNN executive, like Eason Jordan, they’d throw out some moral equivalency BS in order to justify in their minds why its OK to uncritcally report on the Iranian regime, as they did with Saddam, as they have done with Casto, as they would do with Kim Jong Il, if he wasn’t so paranoid and would just let them into North Korea to prove themselves.

    Comment by John — June 21, 2009 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  54. […] the other hand, he is getting cover from the other side and a little bit from CNN, so perhaps he’ll be able to step over the broken Iranian bodies without any real […]

    Pingback by Despite Murder and Brutality, They Still March in Iran : The Sundries Shack — June 21, 2009 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  55. Zakaria has been an apologist for Islamic terrorism and thuggery since the day he picked up a pen.

    Comment by Frank — June 22, 2009 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  56. F.Zakaria? & credibility?
    Please read this article Newsweek to understand his expertise.
    Part of the article.
    Everything you know about Iran is wrong, or at least more complicated than you think. Take the bomb. The regime wants to be a nuclear power but could well be happy with a peaceful civilian program (which could make the challenge it poses more complex).

    Comment by JJKnight — June 23, 2009 @ 3:31 am | Reply

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