You’d think journalists would know not to simply repeat what they hear on Iranian state TV, but this is The New York Times we are talking about.
A reporter named Farnaz Fassihi rushed to Twitter to assert that Iran had launched a full-scale attack, complete with “ballistic missles,” in retaliation for the killing of designated terrorist Qassem Soleimani.
Maybe let’s not use this website for unconfirmed reports about Iran stuff pic.twitter.com/o3M9lR7PKs
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) January 3, 2020
A quick look at basically any reliable source would have shown the claim to be false. The reason Fassihi was so susceptible to fake news here is that she’s an Iranian shill who writes about the country for the Times. Iran wants to appear powerful and needs to save face. They are doing so by pumping propaganda into the public stream. Fassihi was more than happy to repeat it despite admitting it was unconfirmed.
— Mayukh Ranjan Ghosh (@mayukhrghosh) January 3, 2020
Further, does anyone really think Iran is going to launch ballistic missiles at a U.S. military base? The Mullahs know how to push buttons, but they aren’t stupid. They know that such a brazen action would lead to their heads being separated from their bodies within hours.
But perhaps worse, Fassihi is the same reporter who shared this love letter to Soleimani yesterday after he was killed.
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) January 3, 2020
This would be the equivalent of taking the time to share Hitler’s paintings the day he blew his brains out. You just don’t do something like that. Soleimani is not someone who needs to be humanized, nor is there any softer side Americans need to see. He was an evil, murderous man who’s violence led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, either directly or indirectly.
Meanwhile, Fassihi hasn’t even deleted her original, false tweet and it’s still racking up the retweets. She’s made herself a literal conduit for Iranian propaganda and her employer is apparently just fine with that. Whether it’s The New York Times doing this or The Washington Post taking the side of the Mullah’s, these “news” organizations are just garbage.