by Ismail Salami
Intellectual terrorism applies, in the broad sense of the word, to any act of executing the spirit of truth or silencing the voice of justice.
In recent years, the mainstream media have displayed an exaggerated degree of censorship and character assassination.
One of the victims of media censorship was Octavio Nasr who served as CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast affairs until she was dismissed in July 2010 simply because she had expressed in a Twitter message her respect and sympathy for the top Lebanese cleric Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, about whom she said “He is one of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” What she did was literally described by some media as twittercide. Under the pressure of certain parties who basically exercise substantial influence of the CNN officials, Nasr was forced to swallow her words and redefine the entire situation.
On July 6, 2010, Nasr said that her tweet was an error of judgment and that Fadlallah “regularly praised the terror attacks that killed Israeli citizens. And as recently as 2008, he said the numbers of Jews killed in the Holocaust were wildly inflated.” Also, she said, “In 1983, as Fadlallah found his voice as a spiritual leader, Islamic Jihad – soon to morph into Hezbollah – bombed the US Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 299 American and French peacekeepers.” However, it was too late and her perceived remorse did not in the least affect the CNN decision makers who are themselves at the beck and call of the Zionists.
Another victim of intellectual terrorism was Helen Thomas who served as the White House reporter for several years. A lady of iron will and fiery words, she used to ask such fierce questions that some interviewees refused to answer her. Known as the grand dame of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas was eventually compelled to kiss her career goodbye after she expressed her heartfelt opinion about Palestine and the Israelis.
This was not actually the first time Thomas was being critical of the Israelis. In an interview with NPR about the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2008/9, Thomas compared the IDF action to Nazi Germany, “I mean, you can’t remain neutral. I remember the rabbi who spoke at the Martin Luther King march on Washington. Heschel had a cameo appearance, and he said, “The greatest sin of all in the Nazi era was silence.” When you remain silent to the suffering and the incredible aggression against a people, then you are culpable.”
However, her vehement expression of opinion about the Flotilla attack was apparently another nail in her coffin. In 2010, Thomas said Israel had perpetrated a deliberate massacre, international crime, and called Israel a terrorist state. In the same year, Rabbi David Nessenoff happened to see Helen Thomas and asked her opinion about Israel. She said the Jews should go back to Poland and Germany or wherever they belong to.
The rabbi, who was extremely flabbergasted, said, “Go back to Germany and Poland?? Why, Ms. Thomas? You do remember the Holocaust right? Heck you’re old enough to remember the Crusades.”
These words cost her so dearly that the old-time contrarian had to resign in June 2010.
As to the two prominent cases, the two veteran reporters lost their jobs because they either expressed aversion to the Israelis or sympathy for Hezbollah. The two cases are in one way or another related to the Zionists.
As for Press TV, it has for some time come under close policing scrutiny on the part of the so-called British Ofcom (Office of Communications). Apparently tasked with supervising the irregularities of the media in Britain, the office seems to take particularly fond interest in the activities of this television channel. As a matter of fact, it has indulged in nitpicking the channel for what it calls breach of media laws. The reasons? Well, the reasons are a bunch of flimsy pretexts concocted by the think tank of the office officials some of whom used to work for the state-funded BBC and are well-connected to the ruling betters. What is actually happening to Press TV is another instance of intellectual terrorism.
The first move by Ofcom to silence the channel concerns Mr. Maziar Bahari, a reporter who was interviewed by Press TV and other news outlets while in custody in the Iranian capital. His initial claim was that his interview with Press TV was conducted without his consent which Ofcom interpreted as a breach of privacy. However, later in an interview with the state-run BBC Persian Service, he implied unconsciously that he had agreed to conduct the interview.Seeing that the case could not reach anywhere and that the accusation was an unconvincing one, Ofcom has now decided that it should remove the channel from the SKY platform under the pretext that the content of the programs produced in Britain is supervised by the Office in Tehran. This is while Press TV, from the very outset, has announced that it is a Tehran-based TV channel.
Here’s the rub: Press TV has been critical of the brutality of the police in dealing with the student protests; 2. Press TV has been critical of the exorbitant expenditures of the royal wedding in Britain; 3. Press TV has been critical of the Zionist regime; 4. Press TV has always supported Palestine and the Palestinian cause; 5. Press TV has shown a different perspective of the events in the Middle East and the West; 6. Press TV has succeeded in influencing a lot of viewers particularly in Britain.
In the world of media mafia, Press TV is to be considered one of the few TV channels which still sets upon itself the task of reporting with precision and honesty with no fear for the Zionist influence while respecting the viewers’ intelligence.
But isn’t it a good enough reason for the British government to make every effort to silence this voice, e.g. the voice of the voiceless?
Dr. Ismail Salami (also known as Simon Lee) is a high-profile Iranian journalist and author. He has written numerous books and is the chief editor of the Press TV website.
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