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.”
“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.