CNN on Wednesday removed its senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs, Octavia Nasr, from her job after she published a Twitter message saying that she respected the Shiite cleric the Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, who died on Sunday.
Ms. Nasr left her CNN office in Atlanta on Wednesday. Parisa Khosravi, the senior vice president for CNN International Newsgathering, said in an internal memorandum that she “had a conversation” with Ms. Nasr on Wednesday morning and that “we have decided that she will be leaving the company.”
Ms. Nasr, a 20-year veteran of CNN, wrote on Twitter after the cleric died on Sunday, “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah … One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”
Ayatollah Fadlallah routinely denounced Israel and the United States, and supported suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Ayatollah Fadlallah’s writings and preachings inspired the Dawa Party of Iraq and a generation of militants, including the founders of Hezbollah, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
It’s the lead on memeorandum at the moment, and the ‘sphere is reacting…
Nasr had a role that helped shape CNN’s overall news coverage of the Middle East. As a senior editor that apparently reported to a senior VP, Nasr presumably had a hand in story selection, assignment, and editing and shaping the final product from her reporters.
Neither Thomas nor Weigel had anywhere near that kind of influence over news reporting at their respective outlets, which makes the credibility issue much more serious than in the previous two scandals.
That CNN is worried about credibility is amazing.
Ed Driscoll wonders why this is a problem at CNN:
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.
I think it will be very interesting to see the reaction worldwide to this.
Tim Blair highlights some tweets on the subject:
Various instant reactions, one of them brilliant:
• Damn! 20 years in, but 140 characters and your fired!
• Shocking, Outrageous! Zionists succeed in getting @OctaviaNasrCNN fired for Fadlallah tweet
• 20 years and fired over a tweet??
• Is she joining NASA?
I’m going out on a limb to say that he likes the last one.
Don Surber gives Kudos:
Congratulations CNN for doing the right thing.
That one goes on the good side of his count.
Big Journalism gets to the heart of the matter:
As if further proof were needed that a sizable segment of the Fourth Estate is now effectively the Fifth Column, this one is right up there. Apparently it’s no longer enough that reporters and correspondents pretend to be neutral, even about the good guys — now, they’re not only not neutral, they publicly express their admiration for sheer, malevolent evil — a man who, according to the obits, was “known for his staunch anti-American stance.”
Good Lord, is this what American journalism has come to?
No this is where American journalism already was.
Pam Geller is brief:
Today the Nazi lover resigned. In a word, GOOD!
Well Pam wait till you see what the left says:
Crooks and liars plays the moral equivalence card
Evidently, if you’re CNN, it’s perfectly fine to hire commentators who refer to a US Supreme Court justice as a “goat f@$king child molester”, but God forbid an emotional, somewhat easily misinterpreted tweet should be granted similar mercy.
Apparently the difference between senior editor and a commentator is lost, but the most fun actually comes from two other sites:
I have no idea whether Nasr was any good, but it’s pretty harsh to fire someone over one tweet without a second chance.
But a twenty year run down the tubes over 140 characters?
That just doesn’t seem right to me.
Oh so 140 characters aren’t enough to get someone fired? Ok lets try this…
“Barack Obama is actually a secret Muslim who was born in Kenya and supports terrorists”
That’s 76 characters. Now myself, if the senior white house editor at CNN expressed such an opinion I’d give them the boot, but according to Balloon Juice and TPM’s arguments they should not be fired.
The real problem for CNN is how significantly the loss of Octavia Nasr effects the Hotness Gap but to paraphrase Jon Sable:
I never did like the terrorist sympathizers, not even the pretty ones.
I’m sorry positive position on Honor Killings not withstanding if you back suicide bombing you are a terrorist and no amount of side stuff will change it.