January 1, 2018
US news channel CNN came under strong criticism for its coverage of the Iran protests after posting an article on a pro-government rally while ignoring the anti-government protests all over the country.
Republican senator Ted Cruz attacked the news network on twitter for ignoring the uprising and likened them to the Soviet Union’s communist party newspaper, Pravda.
“Guys, when you’re being accused of being fake-news propaganda, maybe try not to write stories that read like Iranian Pravda…. (or the Onion!)” Cruz tweeted.
On Saturday, CNN posted an article titled “Iranians hold pro-government rallies”, describing the pro-government protests as peaceful.
CNN has since updated its article, now titled “Iran’s Government Warns Against ‘Illegal’ Gatherings After Protests.”
Commentators on social media also called out the news network on its coverage. Christina Sommers, Resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, tweeted: “Dear CNN : What is happening in Iran is not about Mr. Trump. It’s about Iranian liberty”.
Meanwhile, the New York Times coverage was also called out by Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington DC.
Abrams, who supervised US policy in the Middle East for the White House during the administration of President George Bush and also served as deputy national security advisor said that the Times reached a conclusion in their coverage that contradicted the facts on the ground.
The story published by Tehran bureau chief, Thomas Erdbrink, titled “Scattered Protests Erupt in Iran Over Economic Woes” described the events in Iran as an economic issue and not a political one, wrote Abrams on the Council on Foreign Relations webpage.
“Note the Times title again, telling you these protests are all about the economy — a conclusion contradicted by the words being shouted by the protesters, as the BBC tells us. In fact, buried down in the Times story we do find that in Kermanshah “protesters shouted anti-government slogans like ‘Death or freedom,’ ‘Care for us and leave Palestine’ and ‘Political prisoners must be freed’….” Does that sound like a protest over economic woes?” Abrams wrote.