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Posts Tagged ‘Octavia Nasr’

Al Qaeda Considered Offering Exclusive Bin Laden Interview To a U.S. Network For 9/11 10th Anniversary

Back in March, we linked to a Washington Post article that cited internal Al Qaeda memos seized at the home of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The memos in question focused on Al Qaeda’s media strategy, and famously said of Fox News “let her die in anger!”

This morning the Pentagon released a cache of documents seized from the compound, and TVNewser has obtained a translated copy of the media memo in question.

Among the new revelations: Al Qaeda considered going to the U.S. networks with an offer of an exclusive interview with Bin Laden, but decided against it, because “the channel that broadcast them, probably it would distort them somehow. This is accomplished by bringing analysts and experts that would interpret its meaning in the way they want it to be.” Another option proposed was recording an HD video message, and distributing it to all of the U.S. channels.

Also: Al Qaeda thought former CNN staffer Octavia Nasr worked for MSNBC (they also referred to her as “The Lebanese”), and they seemed to like Brian Ross and ABC News (“The channel is still proud for its interview with the Shaykh [Bin Laden”).

Al Qaeda also thought CNN’s English-language coverage was in the tank for the U.S. government, but praised its Arabic-language coverage: “Its Arabic version brings good and detailed reports about al-Sahab releases, with a lot of quotations from the original text. That means they copy directly from the releases or its gist.”

Read the full memo below, and we will keep looking through the documents.

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Following Roland Martin Suspension and Sky News Rules, A Look at Social Media Policies in Cable News

A pair of social media stories made news this week, and they raise questions about how TV news outlets should–and do–handle social media.

First was CNN contributor Roland Martin and his ill-advised Super Bowl tweets, which ended up getting him suspended from the channel.

Then Sky News and BBC News in the U.K. released social media policies that forbid reporters from breaking news on Twitter, and in the case of Sky, actually forbid reporters from tweeting about anything other than their beats and from retweeting anyone that didn’t work at Sky. Mind you, the rules applied to personal Twitter accounts, not just official Sky News accounts.

We reached out to the three cable news channels to see what their social media policies were.

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CNN’s Inconsistencies: ‘What Determines When Someone Gets Fired or Reprimanded?’

Roland Martin, sidelined from CNN for the time-being, will meet with representatives of GLAAD this week following their successful call to have him removed from the network for sending out Tweets they say constitutes gay bashing.

It took two and a half days, from the time the Tweets were sent during the Super Bowl, until CNN’s announcement, that Martin would be suspended. CNN says it was “giving careful consideration” to the matter. But Tampa Bay Times TV critic Eric Deggans, who calls Martin “a friend,” thinks the mess shows an inconsistency on CNN’s part:

[C]onservative commentator Dana Loesch sparked a load of criticism by saying on CNN she would have joined in with U.S. Marines captured in a video urinating on dead Afghans. Despite condemnation of the action by U.S. government and military officials and complaints about her statement, Loesch was not suspended.

But when anchor Rick Sanchez made angry comments during a 2010 radio interview which some said were anti-Semitic (he denied that interpretation), he was fired. And so was Octavia Nasr, a CNN employee who was let go after tweeting of her sorrow over the death of a leader from terrorist group Hezbollah.

It is hard to discern a pattern or set of policies in all these precedents. What determines when someone gets fired or reprimanded? Is it just the difference between who complains about the mistake?

Martin’s suspension from CNN comes as MSNBC continues to weigh the future of its longtime political analyst Pat Buchanan, who has been off the air since last Fall. MSNBC sidelined Buchanan during his book tour. In early January, network president Phil Griffin said he’d soon be meeting with Buchanan to talk about the future, adding, “Pat is a good guy. Some of his ideas are alarming.”

Daryn Kagan on Octavia Nasr Controversy: “CNN Blew It”

DKagan.jpg“CNN blew it”, former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan tweeted today.

She’s referring to the network parting ways with its senior editor of Middle East affairs, Octavia Nasr, after Nasr tweeted that she was “sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah..One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”

“I’m not here to defend Nasr’s tweet,” Kagan expounded on her blog today, “But I promise you everyone [at CNN] has views. The sooner you own that, celebrate it even, CNN just might be back on its way to success.”

Kagan continues:

Yet, fire her? Really?…Was not Anderson Cooper lauded for blasting officials during Hurricane Katrina coverage? How long did Lou Dobbs last proudly expressing his opinions on the air? How long have top executives remained in place despite rapidly declining ratings?…

As to you, dear Octavia — I promise you, there is a great chapter waiting for you after CNN.

More: Former CNN correspondent and anchor Miles O’Brien also weighed in today, tweeting that Nasr “is a great person and fine journalist. Her clarification should suffice.”

CNN Correspondent Octavia Nasr Responds To Twitter Controversy

Nasr070710.bmp CNN’s Middle East affairs correspondent Octavia Nasr got in hot water yesterday after she tweeted the following: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot..”

The tweet, praising a leader of an organization best known in the U.S. for supporting terrorism, drew criticism from many news outlets, as well as the Simon Weisenthal Center, a human rights organization that operates the “Museum of Tolerance” in Los Angeles, CA.

Now Nasr has weighed in on the matter. In a blog post on CNN.com she expands on her tweet:

It was an error of judgment for me to write such a simplistic comment and I’m sorry because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah’s life’s work. That’s not the case at all.

Here’s what I should have conveyed more fully:

I used the words “respect” and “sad” because to me as a Middle Eastern woman, Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman’s rights. He called for the abolition of the tribal system of “honor killing.” He called the practice primitive and non-productive. He warned Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam.

CNN released a statement pointing readers to Nasr’s blog post, and reiterating that it was an “error in judgment” on her part. Still, the network added that “This is a serious matter and will be dealt with accordingly.”

Update: A CNN spokesperson says that Nasr will be leaving the network. Steve Krakauer at Mediaite has the internal memo.