Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Why no Iranian guests on Sunday talk shows

with 3 comments

It’s very strange that Sunday talk shows, ostensibly to explore political questions, never have an Iranian as guest. Glenn Greenwald reports at The Intercept:

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”:todd-540x135

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 aloneMeet 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 aleading 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 2014, Face the Nation interviewed Netanyahu five times and featured his “faithful stenographer,” Goldberg, three times; in 2015, the CBS show just last week interviewed Netanyahu and has already hosted Goldberg four times. ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos actually features supreme neocon propagandist Bill Krsitol as a regular “ABC News Contributor” and has also interviewed Netanyahu. And that’s to say nothing of the “hawkish”, AIPAC-loyal and/or evangelical members of the U.S. Congress who are fanatically devoted to Israel and appear literally almost every week on these programs.

But as these shows “cover” the Iran deal, one thing is glaringly missing: Iranian voices. There has not been a single Iranian official recently interviewed by any of these Sunday morning shows. When I raised this issue on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, a Meet the Press Senior Editor, Shawna Thomas, said the show had “put in a request” with Iran for an interview, while MSNBC’s Chris Hayes also suggested that it can be difficult to secure interviews with Iranian government officials.

That may be, but even if it is difficult to obtain interviews with Iranian government officials, it is extremely easy to interview Iranian experts, scholars, journalists and other authoritative voices from Tehran. Last week, Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez  hosted a fascinating hour-long discussion about Iran with Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former nuclear negotiator for Iran who was Iran’s Ambassador to Germany from 1990 to 1997, and now teaches at Princeton. Just this week, CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed Tehran University Professor Sadegh Zibakalam about Tehran’s views and actions in the Iran deal. Beyond those in Iran, there are Iranian-American groups and Iranian-American experts who actually speak Farsi who don’t see the world the way Jeffrey Goldberg and Lindsey Graham do. Outside the Sunday shows, Iranian officials have been interviewed occasionally by U.S. media figures.

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, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

11 April 2015 at 1:31 pm

3 Responses

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  1. 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)

    At the end the US voters not speaking up can cost lives on the other side of the planet, so it is important that they are not only informed by pictures that “sell good” on TV.

    Like

    socialinform

    12 April 2015 at 4:38 am

  2. Reblogged this on 100words.

    Like

    socialinform

    12 April 2015 at 9:33 am

  3. It’s particularly galling when people like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) speak up and show either astounding ignorance or astounding bad faith, as well as an incredible callousness, to say that “It will just take a few days of bombing.”

    Like

    LeisureGuy

    12 April 2015 at 9:55 am


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