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Ed Driscoll

This is CNN: ‘One of Hezbollah’s Giants I Respect a Lot’

July 6th, 2010 - 9:48 pm

I must confess that as one of the vast majority of Americans who no longer watches CNN unless trapped in an airport, I hadn’t heard of Octavia Nasr, CNN’s senior editor of Mideast affairs, until I stumbled over a YouTube clip of her discussing the Gaza flotilla for today’s “Cold Civil War” video.  But, she’s now the latest CNN journalist to let the mask slip on her biases via Twitter. Or as as the URL of Daniel Helper’s post at the Weekly Standard describes succinctly, “cnn-editor-mourns-loss-terrorist:”

How did CNN senior editor of Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr celebrate July 4? By mourning the passing of Hezbollah’s Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. Here’s what the CNN editor posted on her Twitter account:

Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot..#Lebanon

I grabbed a screen shot of Nasr’s Twitter, both to illustrate this post, and because Tweets from leftwing old media figures occasionally seem to disappear from time to time. “Oddly enough,” as Reuters, a news agency with a similar worldview as CNN, might say.

More from Helper:

Fadlallah “famously justified suicide bombings,” as the New York Times recalls in its obituary for him:

In a 2002 interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph, he was quoted as saying of the Palestinians: “They have had their land stolen, their families killed, their homes destroyed, and the Israelis are using weapons, such as the F16 aircraft, which are meant only for major wars. There is no other way for the Palestinians to push back those mountains, apart from martyrdom operations.”

The Times also reports in its obit that Fadlallah is believed to be responsible for the killing of 241 U.S. Marines during the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings:

Western intelligence services, however, held the ayatollah responsible for attacks against Western targets, including the 1983 bombings of two barracks in Beirut in which 241 United States Marines and 58 French paratroopers were killed….The administration of President Bill Clinton froze the ayatollah’s assets in 1995 because of his suspected involvement with terrorists. And in 2006, Israel bombed his house in south Beirut, but he was not there at the time.

In 2008, Fadlallah said on Palestinian TV that “Zionism has inflated the number of victims in this Holocaust beyond imagination.”

Is there a chance Nasr is simply ignorant of the evils of Fadlallah? It seems very unlikely considering her biography on CNN’s website:

Nasr serves as an on-air and off-air analyst across all platforms of CNN Worldwide. She covers Middle East politics and current affairs, global terrorism and militant Islam…Nasr’s experience and deep knowledge of the Middle East put her in the spotlight during CNN’s coverage of September 11th and its aftermath. Shortly after the attacks, she spent months traveling in the Middle East region coordinating on-air appearances and forging exclusive newsgathering deals with media partners.

Talk about getting too close to one’s subject.

Heh.™

At Commentary, Michael Totten adds:

Twitter has a strict limit of 140 characters per “tweet.” It’s hardly the place for a nuanced exposé of a complicated man. There simply isn’t room to write more than one or two sentences at a time. Even so, I suspect the average American consumer of news would find it alarming that a senior editor of Mideast Affairs respects and mourns the loss of a man who supported the kidnapping, murder, and truck bombings of hundreds of her adopted countrymen — and that she said so on the Fourth of July — even if she mourns and respects him for entirely different reasons and does so despite, not because of, his positions on “resistance” and terrorism.

She owes her audience — and perhaps also her employers — a candid explanation at least.

Why? She’s merely toeing the party line at CNN, which, from Saddam Hussein to Yasir Arafat to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, has never met a terrorist or dictator the network didn’t admire and wish to prop up.

Update: The answer to this question is “very likely no;” though perhaps one could make a case that it’s a sterling example of Blair’s Law at work.

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