In a special segment of MediaBuzz on Fox News this weekend, press watchdog Howard Kurtz took MSNBC to task for their reporting on the night of the Iranian missile launches into Baghdad. Kurtz accused the network’s Tehran bureau chief Ali Arouzi of recklessly parroting claims made by Iranian state TV, a notoriously unreliable source that is set up to transmit the government’s propaganda and has little or nothing to do with news. As such, Kurtz said, it had no business being freely echoed on an American cable news broadcast.
“Arouzi saw fit to report what turned out to be complete bogus Iranian propaganda,” Kurtz said, playing a clip in which Arouzi told viewers that Iranian state-controlled media was reporting that the missiles had killed 30 U.S. troops.
“Yes, Arouzi offered the caveat that he wasn’t sure about, but then why report it at all?” Kurtz asked. “And Chris Matthews said nothing, offered no qualifiers. Imagine if you had a loved one in the military serving on one of those bases and heard this fabricated report designed by the Iranians to scare the American public? And MSNBC repeated this several times.”
Kurtz then returned to the soundbite from Arouzi’s reporting, where the journalist informed MSNBC viewers that the Iranians were claiming to have “leveled” Al Asad Airbase in Iraq with their missiles. Of course, that – like the claim of 30 dead troops – turned out to be complete fiction.
“Leveled the entire base?” Kurtz asked. “I mean, come on. How do you put that on the air without evidence?”
“Now, it’s not unusual for news outlets to report conflicting death tolls from U.S. adversaries or conflicting claims about civilian casualties after an attack, but why would anyone air this garbage from Tehran’s state-controlled media during an attack? That’s just beyond me,” Kurtz continued. “Iran lied about this just as it lied, including to its own people, in denying it shot down that passenger jet headed for Ukraine.”
It has been incredible (and quite sad) to watch the left-wing news media gleefully carry water for Iranian propaganda over the last couple of weeks. If they aren’t blaming Trump for the downing of that commercial jet, they’re pulling our heartstrings with a tearful Ayatollah Khamenei. If they aren’t telling us how “revered’ Soleimani is by the people of Iran, they’re giving the Iranian foreign minister softball interviews in which he’s allowed to lie to the American public.
None of this particularly surprises us, mind you…but the mere fact that it doesn’t is really the saddest part of the whole thing.