Sunday, July 11, 2010

Arab Americans protest CNN's firing of senior editor Nasr

Arab-Americans have expressed their anger over CNN firing its Senior Middle East News Editor Octavia Nasr.

Nasr's 20-year career at CNN ended Wednesday after a tweet mourning the death of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a Lebanese Shiite cleric whom she called "one of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot."

Facing a rash of criticism, she explained her tweet in a blog post, saying her respect was based on Fadlallah's advocacy for women's rights.

But by then, it was too late. CNN put out a statement a few hours later, saying her "credibility" had been "compromised."

Politico quoted Arab Americans as saying that they saw the sacking as a reflection of the double standards prevailing in the American media when it comes to coverage of the Middle East.

"This is unbelievable what is happening in the United States of America," said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News.

He added: "You can say anything you want - except when it comes to Israel."

Liberal voices such as Salon's Glenn Greenwald said that it sent out a signal that a single tweet could end a career, which was disgusting.

Marc Lynch, an associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and a blogger at Foreign Policy's website, tweeted: "I'd threaten to stop watching CNN if I ever watched CNN, but sadly CNN's programming put an end to that long ago." His colleague at FP, Harvard professor Stephen Walt, called CNN's decision "spineless."

However, conservatives such as Newsbusters' publisher Brent Bozell called it a "step in the right direction." (ANI)


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