Press TV

05Feb10

From Bob From Brockley:

The Wikipedia article on Press TV has had large sections deleted from it, and moved to a new article Press TV controversies, which has been nominated for deletion. I thought is was important to archive the deleted material, in case it is lost. Here it is.

Staff Controversy

Journalist Mark Levine says that he was promised editorial control of his show, “The American Dream”. However, in September 2007, when Levine decided to broadcast a show on Ahmadinejad’s UN visit that included noted Persian scholars who had expressed criticism of Ahmadinejad, he alleges that he was blocked from doing the program at the last minute: “One hour before the show was scheduled to air live, the show was cancelled with no explanation given. I was later told that Press TV would not allow me to discuss the topic.” Shortly after that, Levine was fired from his job.[1] Levine alleged that anti-Semitism also may have played a role in his firing: “I also believed my being Jewish may have played a role in the firing, given the shock, surprise, and horror manifested by the producer who hired me when she discovered my religious faith.”[2]

Press TV Afghanistan correspondent Fayez Khurshid alleged on Press TV in October 2007 that he was detained, tortured and threatened by American forces in Kabul.[3]

Amanda Lindhout, a Canadian free-lance reporter who had worked for Press TV as a correspondent in Baghdad, was kidnapped in Somalia on August 23, 2008. Upon payment of ransom allegedly in the amount of $600,000, Ms. Lindhout was safely released in November 2009.[4]

George Galloway’s broadcasts on Press TV have been criticized by British broadcast authority Ofcom for “breaching impartiality rules.” In its report, Ofcom cited complaints about Galloway’s January 2009 programs on Gaza alleging that Galloway’s broadcasts “failed to put both sides of the argument in relation to the situation in Gaza; constituted Iranian propaganda; and that George Galloway in particular did not conduct a balanced discussion on the issue of Gaza.”[5] In a 2008 episode of “The Real Deal,” Galloway took on David Henshaw over his documentary “Undercover Mosque,” in which British Muslims expressed the intention “to kill homosexuals and apostates” (non-believers). Galloway defended their right to make such threats on grounds of religious freedom.[6]

Nick Ferrari, a leading British radio presenter, quit his show on Press TV on 30 June 2009, following the response of the country’s authorities to protests over the disputed Iranian presidential election. Ferrari told The Times that Press TV’s news coverage had been “reasonably fair” until the election — but not any longer.[7]

In August 2009, Tariq Ramadan, host of “Islam and Life” on Press TV, was terminated from his position as a guest lecturer at Erasmus University Rotterdam, after the university’s board decided that his “indirect relationship with a repressive regime” was unacceptable. Ramadan, who also holds a position at the University of Oxford, is considering legal action against the university.[8]

Shahab Mossavat, a former CNN International anchor, hosted news updates and “4 Corners” (a daily roundtable discussion of international events) on Press TV. Mossavat was one of the most articulate and recognizable faces on the network, and served as Press TV’s spokesman beginning in 2007. His program was cancelled shortly before the 2009 Presidential election, and Mr. Mossavat was arrested the day after the election for alleged participation in demonstrations protesting election fraud. In an August 28, 2009 interview on Public Radio International, Mr. Mossavat, who now lives in London, spoke about his experiences in detention: “I saw many people maltreated – brutally treated – tortured physically, psychologically. I didn’t see any sexual abuse but I did certainly see physical abuse. I saw people whose noses had been smashed so much so that they were flattened into their faces.”[9]

In September 2009, it was revealed in a Times of London article that Hassan Abdulrahman, born David Theodore Belfield, one of the chief editors of the Press TV website from the beginning of Press TV’s news department, is a fugitive wanted in the United States. Abdulrahman, who has also used the alias Dawud Salahuddin, is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for shooting dead at point-blank range Ali Akbar Tabatabai, a former press attache at the pre-revolutionary Iranian embassy in Washington. The Iranian government provided money and airfare to Tehran to Mr. Belfield after he committed the murder. The Times of London also reported Abdulrahman’s claim that he left as chief online editor in July 2009 after the election in protest at Press TV’s skewed coverage of that event.[10][11][12] The Times quoted Abdulrahman as saying, “No, I don’t think Press TV is about [real journalism]. By its nature, state journalism is not journalism. They have some programmes on there that might be, but generally it’s not.”[10][11]

Skewed coverage

Press TV’s news bulletins often feature Iranian ministers, diplomats or government officials, or guest commentators that are able to express views consistent with the Iranian government’s “message of the day.”[13][14][15][16][17] Opposition political figures such as Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have not appeared on Press TV since the June 2009 presidential election.[18]

Press TV devotes considerable space on its website and time on air to criticism of Israel. It has been accused of promoting of Holocaust denial. On the subject of International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), an editorial on the Press TV website noted, “On this anniversary, we all need to mull over the faking of history and the Greatest Lie Ever Told.”[19] The station has been criticized for giving a platform to conspiracy theorists and radical political activists.[20][5]

  1. ^ http://radioinsidescoop.com/?p=848
  2. ^ http://radioinsidescoop.com/?p=781
  3. ^ http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?no=380643&rel_no=1
  4. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/business/media/30somalia.html
  5. ^ a b “Censured: Galloway & Press TV”. HonestReportingUK. 3 August 2009. http://www.honestreporting.co.uk/articles/critiques/new/Censured_Galloway__Press_TV.asp. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  6. ^ http://www.deconverts.com/2008/09/23/undercover-mosque-producer-attacked-on-press-tv-iran/
  7. ^ Presenter Nick Ferrari quits Iran Press TV over ‘bias’ after election, The Times, 1 July 2009
  8. ^ http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=407986&c=1
  9. ^ http://www.theworld.org/2009/08/28/iran-opposition-charges-torture/
  10. ^ a b http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6820989.ece
  11. ^ a b http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/just-another-american-hit-man-actor-and-journalist-living-in-iran/?hp
  12. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2009/09/jon-lee-anderson-hassan-abdulrahman.html
  13. ^ Dickey, Christopher (18 July 2009). “Press TV: Iran’s Intelligence Minister on the Alleged Election Conspiracy: Inte’l Minister details Iran election dossier”. The Shadowland Journal. http://christopherdickey.blogspot.com/2009/07/press-tv-intel-minister-on-alleged.html. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  14. ^ Press TV (March 1, 2009). “Interview with Norman G. Finkelstein: The First Goal of Israel Is to Restore the Fear of Israel in the Arab World”. Monthly Review. http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/finkelstein030109.html. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  15. ^ “Iran Terms IAEA Resolution “Politically Motivated””. Fars News Agency. 28 November 2009. http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8809070566. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  16. ^ http://www.presstv.com/classic/detail.aspx?id=112321&sectionid=3510302[dead link]
  17. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihXtaRQUfwM
  18. ^ “Iran Trying to Wage Media Battle Against US”. Voice of America. 16 November 2009. http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/a-13-2009-11-16-voa44-70423772.html. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  19. ^ Paul, Jonny (25 May 2008). “Iranian website promotes Holocaust denial”. Jerusalem Post. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1211434103569&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
  20. ^ T, David (19 May 2008). “Iran’s UK Propaganda Station, PressTV, Promotes Holocaust Denial”. Harry’s Place. http://www.hurryupharry.org/2008/05/19/irans-uk-propaganda-station-presstv-promotes-holocaust-denial/. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
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2 Responses to “Press TV”

  1. 1 modernityblog

    well spotted, I missed that.

  2. VRy engaging to read it


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