The Guardian’s Matthew Cassel feels A-Jad’s pain

Chicago-born Matthew Cassel – assistant editor for the Hamas groupie site ‘electronic Intifada’, and enthusiastic supporter of BDS against Israel – complained, in a CiF article on October 18th, that “[Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad deserves fair reporting.”

He’s right of course.  The world should be made aware exactly what Ahmadinejad stands for and what he believes in. The readers of ‘Comment is Free’ should not have the Iranian president’s views censored or distorted by coy journalists.

So why does Cassel continue in the same vacuous vein as the rest of CiF’s coverage of the Iranian President’s recent visit to Lebanon which completely glossed over the content of both his major speeches?

Contrary to Cassel’s claims, some of the Western media were doing their jobs last week in Beirut and Bint Jbeil. Take this report from the Washington Post, for example.

“A crowd of thousands waving flags of Iran and Hezbollah greeted Ahmadinejad in the stadium in Bint Jbeil, where he said that the local people had given Israel ‘the taste of bitter defeat.’ ‘You proved that your resistance, your patience, your steadfastness, were stronger than all the tanks and warplanes of the enemy’, “Ahmadinejad told the throng.” ‘The entire world should know that the Zionists will disappear,’ Ahmadinejad said as a pair of Israeli helicopters flew along the border within sight of the stadium. ‘Today the Zionist occupiers have no choice but to surrender to reality and return to their homes and countries of origin.‘” “‘Rest assured that occupied Palestine will be liberated from the filth of the occupation by the power of the resistance and through the faith of the resistance,’ the Iranian leader said, bringing a roar from the crowd.”

Or this report  by the Daily Telegraph:

“Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has declared that the people who built Israel were “mortal”, in remarks that revived his charge the Jewish state should be wiped out.”

Heck, even the BBC managed to get this one reasonably right for a change:

“But Lebanon’s other Muslim sect, the Sunnis, and many of the country’s Christians, are not at all happy about the Iranian president’s visit. “Hezbollah, already the most powerful single group in Lebanon, has been given an extra swagger by the famous visitor. “Sectarian tension is high at the moment. “It is widely believed that the UN-led tribunal which has spent five years investigating the assassination of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri and others, will soon issue indictments. “The talk is that members of Hezbollah, a Shia movement, might be accused of the killing of Mr Hariri, who was a Sunni. That is political high explosive in Lebanon.”

But, alas, Mr. Cassel boldly comes to the defense of the beleaguered Iranian backed terrorist movement.

“In Lebanon…Hezbollah was born. At a time when the predominantly Shia south of the country was under attack and occupation by Israel (the US’s “special friend” in the region) those same Lebanese Shias organised and armed themselves with the aiding of the nascent Iranian regime to liberate their land.”

Yes, that’s right.  A contributor for the “world’s leading liberal voice” seems to genuinely see Hezbollah as a righteous national liberation movement.

As long as the Guardian continues to rely upon “journalists” such as Matthew Cassel, its reports will continue to resemble those of a radical chic undergraduate student rag.

18 replies »

  1. Cassel made quite a fool of himself there The comments btl have no mercy on him. cif showed extraordinarily bad judgement in letting this desperate attempt at whitewash appear.

  2. I just read the first few responses and just had to copy one of them!

    ” buckpalace
    18 October 2010 12:40PM

    Good points raised. I felt the same sentiments watching the media coverage.

    How easily the media forgets the Israeli blitz of Lebanon in 2005… …

    Hezbollah was forged out of the dust of continuous israeli human genocide.

    …If we dont like Iran now its because they dont bow down to us (unlike Egypt and Jordan – who really are tyrant countries).

    … Ah how the hypocrites will write scathing comments about Iran’s human right record but will forget the use of human shields, the attack of foreign sovereignty, the use of chemical and biological warfare on Palestinians, the torture by US soldiers.

    As for the Jewish readers, please do not misunderstand the present. Us, the European’s knew about the holocaust but ignored it until the end of the war. How can we be your friends now? we are selfish greedy people who only support Israel because it suits us.”

    We have clear admision to antisemitism by a person claiming to be European.

    This chap also confuses the Jewish people with Israelis.

    He missed up on the date of the 2nd Lebanon war, assuming that what he meant.
    Not one Israeli bombs hit any part of Lebanon in 2005.

    He seems to hint that Iran is not a “real tyrant country” and is far better than let’s say Jordan or Egypt…

    He seems to be certain that Israelis used biological weapons against Palestinians.

    He also asks how can we (europeans I suppose) can forget the use of human shields?

    We don’t, we remind them about Hamas’ and hizbulla’s actions but they keep deleting our posts.

    and finaly he/she admits of disliking the Jewish population of his/her country.

    What he also admits is the fact that the holocaust existed.
    Unlike the person this chap defends, Mr. Ahmadinejad, who denies it ever happened.

    And the Guardian sees nothing wrong with this post?
    fabrications, slander and antisemitic sentiments.

    All in the voice of Liberal Britain (maybe even Europe’s) today.

    it’s nearly time to change the clock back.
    Better take it 80 years back instead of 1 hour.

  3. CharleySays
    18 October 2010 12:46PM

    “Never mind fair reporting. The West should be providing arms and financial aid to Iran so they can stand up to the rogue nuclear power in the region.”

    And they call us war mongers….

  4. But this has to top it all!
    This is from Martyn who seems to think he is in Europe!

    “Ahmadinejad deserves fair reporting?

    We all deserve fair reporting, and (apart from media like The Guardian) we’re getting very little of it.

    Good article, Matthew. “

  5. And finaly!

    A man who speaks what other shrug.

    18 October 2010 12:53PM

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of Israel’s actions; and no matter how justified anti-Western feeling may or may not be; there is absolutely no excuse, none, for anyone who subscribes to left-wing liberal principles to side with reactionary religious fundamentalists, homophobes, and anti-Semites.

    I have been on the Left now for many, many years now, and I am ashamed to see the sort of company so many ostensibly on my side appear to be keeping these days.”

  6. Ahmadinajad is using the classic anti-Semitic ploy of diverting attention from problems at home by attacking the Jews:

    But back home, especially after it was reported that Tehran would give Lebanon a $450 million long-term loan, both rivals and supporters of the Iranian president were up in arms.

    How is it possible, they wanted to know, that Iran is going to help Lebanon while people stand in line in the streets of Tehran to fill reserve containers with gasoline in anticipation of the expected cut in government fuel subsidies.


  7. ItsikDeWembley

    There was more than one response to the latest BTL attempt to rewrite history:



    18 October 2010 1:22PM

    This is the sort of comment which reveals just how ignorant some of the anti-Israeli crowd who post here day after day really are:


    18 October 2010 12:40PM

    Good points raised. I felt the same sentiments watching the media coverage.

    How easily the media forgets the Israeli blitz of Lebanon in 2005,

    I assume, since there was no “Israeli blitz” in 2005, you are referring to the Israeli response to the unprovoked attack by Hizbollah on an Israeli patrol inside Israel in 2006, killing several soldiers and abducting two wounded soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

    How easily some of those commenting here airbrush their version of history when it comes to Israel.

  8. Can anyone explain why comments like this one are still standing?

    hinting to poisoning an entire population? (sarcasm?)

    ” VictorKahn
    18 October 2010 1:49PM


    I do wonder about the version of history you have read.

    The roots of the 67 conflict were when Israel attacked Syria in 1965 and are related to water.

    The misplaced belief that Israel is under attack is more of a mental condition rather than something grounded in fact. If you simply created a chart listing Israel on one side and the rest on the other and then populated it with whenever each party attacked the other, you’d find the vast majority of the attacks were orchestrated by Israel (under the usual mantra of we felt threatened).

    Perhaps the solution is to mix prozac in their water supplies?”

  9. AKUS,

    My Iranian colleague speaks very harshly on the Iranian people’s anger at these “gifts” to lebanon.

    He says they often chants in farsi “no Libnan, no gaza, my heart is for Iran”.

    People are starving in Iran and the prices rise WEEKLY yet Mr. A finds the money to splash it in donating large sums to Lebanon southern districts.

    I wonder how many Christian Lebanese will see a penny from it…

  10. Israelinurse

    Well done spotting that Cassel works for ElectronicIntifada.

    This inconvenient fact was somehow overlooked in the little bio the Guardian provided of this apparently unbiased Western reporter:

    Matthew Cassel is a journalist and photographer from Chicago currently based in Beirut, Lebanon. His website is

    The Guardian has turned the re-writing of its contributors’ bios into somewhat of an art form, cleaning them up for Western consumption and constantly hiding the real connections and agendas the contributors have as they push their product to market on the Guardian’s website.

  11. By playing to emotion rather than reason, GeraldKreeve, CiF almost invariably shows extraordinarily bad judgement.

    What would be “fair reporting” about Iminadinnerjacket?

    That he’s a danger to his people because he’s divorced from reality? It has been reported, from more reliable sources than the Guardian, that he believes he is the twelfth imam (note not among the twelve imams) who will usher in the hidden Mahdi and take the world to hell in a blaze of fire;

    He’s a liar (now THAT really would be fair reporting in the Groan and electronic intifarter but they couldn’t stand the cognitive dissonance it would involve);

    As to why Cassel doesn’t recognise this, well, he’s as reality-challenged as the others on electronic intifarter and at the Groan. And he hates Israel because his monkey-faced hero does, and probably hates Jews too.

    Mass medication of Imadimnutjob and his followers, or mass pre-frontal lobotomies may be the best answer….

  12. sarahLeah,

    “It has been reported, from more reliable sources than the Guardian, that he believes he is the twelfth imam (note not among the twelve imams) who will usher in the hidden Mahdi and take the world to hell in a blaze of fire;”

    Please, would you have these sources at hand?

  13. oyvaoy that is the malicious Martyn who keeps posting new pics of his chosen avatar. The last I noticed had his head cocked coyly to one side: still no prize for beauty though

  14. Akus – just to put things in proportion, let’s not forget that the Guardian for some reason also considers eI a ‘useful link’.

  15. What do you really expect from the Guardian… haa? There are all… hamas now. They won’t change or budge… ever.

    That’s exactly the reason why we should pull together toward one simple thing: putting al-Guardian-iya out of business altogether. Nothing less would suffice.