Greenwald: Iranians are much talked about on Sunday morning TV, but never heard from

The usual suspects speak again . . . and again, and again . . .

Glenn Greenwald provides clear-headed analysis and incisive commentary on the one-sided propaganda about Iran that is served up on US television as ‘journalism’.


Sunday morning news television is where Washington sets its media agenda for the week and, more importantly, defines its narrow range of conventional, acceptable viewpoints. It’s where the Serious People go to spout their orthodoxies and, through the illusion of “tough questioning,” disseminate DC-approved bipartisan narratives. Other than the New York Times front page, Sunday morning TV was the favorite tool of choice for Bush officials and neocon media stars to propagandize the public about Iraq; Dick Cheney’s media aide, Catherine Martin, noted in a memo that the Tim-Russert-hosted Meet the Press lets Cheney “control message,” and she testified at the Lewis Libby trial that, as a result, “I suggested we put the vice president on Meet the Press, which was a tactic we often used. It’s our best format.”

Over the last couple months, the Sunday morning TV shows – NBC‘s Meet the Press, CBS’s Face The Nation, ABC’s This Week, Fox’s News Sunday, and CNN’s State of the Union – have focused on a deal with Iran as one of their principal topics. In doing so, they have repeatedly given a platform to fanatical anti-Iran voices, including Israeli officials such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They have sycophantically interviewed officials from the U.S.-supported, anti-Iranian Gulf tyrannies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan; two weeks ago, Chuck Todd interviewed Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Adel Al-Jubeir and didn’t utter a word about extreme Saudi repression, but actually did ask this “question”:

Chuck Todd: What is the, do you believe the United States needa to do more to support the Saudis right now? Or do you think they’re doing everything that we’ve been doing for years and years?

Are the foot rubs we Americans are giving to you to your liking, Mr. Saudi Ambassador, or do you feel that we must make them more vigorous? In the last three weeks alone, Meet the Press has interviewed the Israeli Prime Minister, the Saudi Ambassador, and the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.

Meanwhile, their “expert media panels” almost always feature the most extremist “pro-Israel,” anti-Iran American pundits such as Jeffrey Goldberg, who played a leading role in spreading false claims about Iraq under the guise of “reporting” (and only became more beloved and credible in DC for it), was dubbed Netanyahu’s “faithful stenographer” by New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, and even joined the Israeli military in his young adulthood.

[ . . . ]

In sum, the only way to exclude Iranian voices is if you choose to exclude them. That’s exactly what Sunday morning television programs have done, and continue to do. And it matters a great deal for several reasons.

For one, excluding the Iranian viewpoint ensures that these shows spew propaganda to the American public. Iran is talked about, almost always in demonic terms, but is almost never heard from. That means that these shows, which endlessly boast of their own “objectivity,” are in fact far more akin to state media.

Read the full column at The//Intercept


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Categories: Iran, latest, Media Criticism
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Apr 12, 2015 4:45 PM

From the article: ‘Last week, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez hosted a fascinating hour-long discussion about Iran with Seyed Hossein Mousavian’ Just been to the Democracy Now website and scanned their ‘Topics’, their ‘Columns(p1)’, their ‘Top Stories’, their ‘Web Exclusives’, and nowhere have I noticed a single article or interview about the situation in Ukraine. Is this the ‘power of leaving out’ (Patrick L. Smith) operating in the alt media? Is this the power of the ‘troll’ label in stopping DM (and others) from questioning the mainstream narrative? I write this because The Intercept has produced just 5 (to my knowledge) pieces that relate to Ukraine and I think that it is fair to say that those 5 do not present a balanced or accurate account of what is going on. 5 pieces seems few when, ‘…the Ukrainian crisis has grown, I think it should be clear to… Read more »

Doug Salzmann
Doug Salzmann
Apr 12, 2015 5:00 PM
Reply to  Mog

“Just been to the Democracy Now website . . . and nowhere have I noticed a single article or interview about the situation in Ukraine.”

Here ya go: https://www.google.com/search?q=democracy+now+ukraine&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

When you finish reviewing some of that coverage, look around for an easy introduction to Internet research. You obviously need it.

The rest of your silly and irrelevant sniping isn’t worthy of comment.

Apr 12, 2015 6:17 PM
Reply to  Doug Salzmann

Doug, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I assumed that it was obvious from the ubiquity of web search engines in modern life that my statement about DM referred to a scan of the web content presented to the reader upon visiting. I didn’t mean to imply that DM hadn’t covered Ukraine at all, only that it is far from the top of the headlines there and in many places like it. I should have made that more obvious. Elsewhere on this site: ‘ I have to say that in all these years I can’t think of a time when there has been a [media] groupthink as single-minded as the one we’ve seen in the past year or so regarding the Ukraine crisis […] I’ve never seen a moment when so little questioning had occurred about something as important as whether or not there will be a second Cold War, whether… Read more »

Apr 12, 2015 6:21 PM
Reply to  Mog

That’s DN (Democracy Now), in error written DM twice.

Apr 12, 2015 7:55 PM
Reply to  Doug Salzmann

To further my point: I followed your link to the page, Topic: Ukraine at Democracy Now, it lists just three articles in the past six months. The D.N. headline Aug 29 2014 reads, ‘Ukraine Crisis Escalates as Russian Forces Cross Border, NATO Moves to Expand in Region’. Yet we have no evidence to back such an incredibly serious claim, and now read counter narratives even from within the NATO elite : http://offguardian.org/2015/04/11/french-intelligence-russian-intervention-in-ukraine-is-a-myth/ All I am saying is that we are in danger of creating a sacred cow out of the alternative media, and when you look closely at what they produce on some subjects, you sometimes see the same journalistic omissions, spin and bias that this website was set up to highlight, only in a place where- on the whole -more discerning readers check their news. A good track record on most subjects could even create a misleading aura of… Read more »

Apr 12, 2015 11:33 AM

Great post. Americans should offered some more insight about Iran. The US TV has not changed it stance on Iran for that last 35 years. Even though the vast majority of Iranians (70%) are younger than 35 years. They were not even born during the hostage crisis, which manifested Iran as arch enemy for the US TV.

Americans should take a look at posts as these and question their stance on Iran, and evaluate how much they really know about it:
http://theotheriran.com/category/usa/ (just scroll down and browse over this set of articles)