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Journalists trust Iran and its front groups, but do not verify it



There is a bizarre phenomenon among American journalists, in which they address US politicians and politicians with the greatest cynicism, but take foreign foreigners such as Iran and his deputies at their word. The polarization of national security and US foreign policy after 9/11 has only exacerbated this trend.

Following the speech by President George W. Bush on the "Axis of Evil," for example, New York Times "Neil MacFarquhar wrote that one million people attended a rally against the United States in Iran "Every time we face international problems, democracy ends," said Ali Reza Haghighi, a professor of political science, "now the whole discourse against the Americans must be." Khatami strove, his reformist Keeping the agenda alive. "The pressure on democracy is the soul of the Islamic revolution."

The only problem?

The figure of 1

million was an estimate of the Iranian government. However, Iranians attending the rally estimated that no more than 200,000 were present, many of whom were forced to attend.

MacFarquhar also hid the true allegiance to his source: Haghighi was both a government official and a professor. Instead of reporting honestly or critically on Iran, MacFarquhar allowed the Iranian government to use it to reinforce its official propaganda line.

Unfortunately, this type of coverage is not an outlier. The Western press regularly treats Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with the same credibility. Zarif's word is said to be trustworthy, although his decade-long success story suggests he is a reckless liar.

In 2003, for example, Zarif – then the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations – secretly negotiated with senior State Department and National Security Council officials. The group reached an agreement whereby Iran agreed not to infiltrate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Iraq when the US invaded the country.

The details are summarized here and in Dancing with the Devil a history of US diplomacy with Iran and other "rogue regimes", which deals in more detail with Zarif himself Iranian press has lied. He saw his promises as a means of reassurance and distraction rather than an obligation to actually implement them.

This was not the only time that Zarif publicly and clearly lied.

At the height of Syrian President Bashar Assad's murder campaign against not only Syrian opposition activists, but also Syria's majority Sunni-Arab population, Zarif repeatedly vowed [Iran] to have no military role in Syria. Even the Iranian press regularly objected to Zarif's spinning-up of American officials and journalists . And although Zarif has fooled US journalists several times, he remains a star in Iran, whose words and remarks are passed uncritically and unrelated.

The acceptance of Zarif by journalists is probably due to the hostility of the liberal media to the Trump administration and generally to the republican foreign policy establishment. Sure, Trump is lying and lying repeatedly, which the press constantly emphasizes. It is rightly the task of the press to illuminate the President's lies or to call them in some other way .

The only question is why Zarif, the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, or the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei,

did not represent the same standard of crash of Israeli drones in Beirut. The New York Times referred to its report on the origin of the drone openly from Hezbollah sources, without mentioning the earlier unreliability of this terrorist group.

In fact, Hezbollah initially said it shot down the drones before other sources said they had crashed by themselves. While Israel has recognized strikes in Syria and the US government has confirmed Israeli strikes in Iraq, both the Israelis and the US remain the mother of events in Beirut. Hezbollah also wants foreign journalists to trust but not check. Instead of simply securing the wreck, Hezbollah hurried to quarantine it.

Images and other evidence could easily have proven the origin and production of the drones, and journalists should have been required to see them. Perhaps the drones were Israeli, but they may well have contradicted Hezbollah and the New York Times (19459005) narrative (locals in Beirut suggest they have Iranian markings).

Given that both Iran and Hezbollah have used Lebanon as an operational base and have previously bragged about suicide drones (usually not Israel's Modus Operandi), the possibility might have existed of events in Beirut a work were place & # 39; -Incident should be considered at least in initial reports. The New York Times publisher of AG Sulzberger said that his work will not affect the coverage of Trump. It should not.

But the New York Times and other newspapers should keep all politicians – regardless of party, nationality or ideology – at the same standard, including foreign regimes. The fact that the Islamic Republic's regime fixers, their senior officials, and even certain terrorist groups are given a freer press review than US politicians, suggests that the journalistic method is deeply broken.

Michael Rubin ( @ Mrubin1971 ) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner blog Beltway Confidential. He is a resident scientist at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official.


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