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CNN fires Middle Eastern editor over tweet

CNN issued a statement on Tuesday calling it an error in judgment for Nasr to write such a simplistic tweet

  • AP
  • Published: 08:17 July 8, 2010

Octavia Nasr
  • Image Credit: CNN
  • Octavia Nasr later apologized for her tweet, but CNN's senior vice president for international newsgathering, Parisa Khosravi, said Wednesday that Nasr's credibility had been compromised.

New York: CNN has fired an editor responsible for Middle Eastern coverage after she posted a note on Twitter expressing admiration for a late Lebanese cleric considered an inspiration for the Hezbollah movement.

Octavia Nasr later apologized for her tweet, but CNN's senior vice president for international newsgathering, Parisa Khosravi, said Wednesday that Nasr's credibility had been compromised.

The Atlanta-based Nasr worked at CNN for 20 years, starting as an assignment editor on the international desk. Her job was mostly off the air, but she occasionally would appear as an onscreen analyst during discussions of Middle Eastern news.

Lebanon's Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussain Fadlallah died Sunday after a long illness. He was staunchly anti-American and linked to bombings that killed more than 260 Americans, a charge he denied.

In a Twitter posting over the weekend, Nasr said she was sad to hear of Fadlallah's death. She called him "one of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot."

CNN issued a statement on Tuesday calling it an error in judgment for Nasr to write such a simplistic tweet.

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Nasr later said in a blog that she had been referring to Fadlallah's attitude toward women's rights. The cleric had issued edicts banning so-called "honour killing" of women and giving women the right to hit their husbands if attacked first.

She wrote that Fadlallah was "revered across borders yet designated a terrorist. Not the kind of life to be commenting about in a brief tweet. It's something I deeply regret."

But Khosravi said in a memo on Wednesday that she spoke with Nasr and "we have decided that she will be leaving the company."

Comments (19)

  1. Added 09:19 July 9, 2010

    Its sad that she has been asked to leave its just the way the world is going.

    michael, u.a.e, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 21:38 July 8, 2010

    We should never misuse freedom of speech. There is a way to put a statement and especially when it gets published on the paper through the media. Check it out . in every company there are certain code of ethics to be followed and that has to be adhered to strictly. it spoils the respect and integrity of the company. There are millions of people reading world wide so I am glad that atleast now Nasr realized her mistake and wont repeat it again. Always think twice before you talk any thing.

    Mathew Litty, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 21:20 July 8, 2010

    This clearly proves that US Media is biased againt Arabs and Muslims in general.

    Mohsen, jedda, Saudi Arabia

  4. Added 17:08 July 8, 2010

    If she had praised Israel then would she be fired? may be promoted then, you guys even don't want to listen the truth by labeling such truthful statements as offensive and ignorant comments. Don't try to hide behind technicalities of freedom of speech, if you are starting firing people on expressing their opinion then this is the biggest punishment for a free speaker. Open your eyes and understand the people and the world outside USA.

    Reply to Anonymous, Sydney, Afghanistan

  5. Added 17:06 July 8, 2010

    They have fired an Army General in Afghanistan for the sole crime "freedom of speech", let alone a News Editor!!!

    Vicky, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 16:13 July 8, 2010

    We all now know that Freedom of Speech is only allowed if it suits the ideals and objectives of the certain few.

    Asad Bukhari, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 16:04 July 8, 2010

    Media should always be neutral. There can be investigative reporting; narrative reporting events analysis; issues presentation. But they cannot compromise by stating personal opinion in public. Lest he or she will be labeled as "bias". In my opinion, freedom of speech is when somebody talks of his legal rights; or if coursed through the media, then credibility of the source and issue should be investigated first prior to airing or publication. That's why they use the words "according to", "allegedly", etc. to avoid legal complications.

    Marvin S. D., Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 15:48 July 8, 2010

    For all you folks crying about freedom of speech, let me clarify. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences of saying offensive and ignorant things. It simply means that there is no legal framework to prosecute these people or imprison them. Nasr will not go to jail or go to court, so there is no conflict between her dismissal and her right to free speech. She is not a victim here.

    Jay, Oakland, Afghanistan

  9. Added 14:47 July 8, 2010

    So much for freedom of speech!! the name "Khosravi" states it all!! Nasr made a mistake when she apologized!!

    Manal, Dubai, Palestinian Territory, Occupied

  10. Added 14:32 July 8, 2010

    Ridiculous – he was an extremely senior cleric who was very liberal compared to most of today’s clerics, who are stuck in their CULTURAL interpretations of Islam and do not truly interpret Islam as Allah or his Prophet (PBUH) intended, and he did a lot of good in Lebanon and across the world by pronouncing edicts that he saw compatible with Islam and yet equal to the West’s standards of human rights by his edicts supporting Women’s’ rights to defend themselves and seeing them as absolutely and entirely equal and as able as men in taking senior positions in government, judiciary, executive, etc. positions! This is why I listen and watch the BBC!

    Seerwan Jafar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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