Terror leader Qassem Soleimani’s body, or what’s left of it, made its way back to via a flight in coach (yes, that really happened) and his funeral was held with Iran’s supreme leader in attendance.
After days of hand-wringing about Soleimani’s elimination, including continual repeating of Iranian propaganda, I don’t think anyone of sound mind had high expectations that the media would show themselves well with their reporting on the event. But they may have managed to undershoot a mark that was already undeniably low.
Here are a few of the highlights, which range from cringe-worthy to just disgraceful.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wept openly at the funeral for Gen. Qassem Soleimani. His tears give insight into how the death of the commander killed in a U.S. strike is being felt personally by the supreme leader. https://t.co/JuUCNNtyxQ
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 6, 2020
We don’t need insight into the grief of an oppressive, murderous dictator. On what planet does a news editor decide it’s acceptable to release this kind of puff piece about Khamenei? Are there any standards at all when it comes to writing sympathetic articles? This guy’s personal feelings hold no relevance at all. In fact, his “grief” should be celebrated.
Good Morning America described the scene as “powerful” in their fluff coverage.
"A powerful combination of grief and anger, with shouts of 'death to America' echoing through the streets around us." https://t.co/Ho2Tizj1C6@MarthaRaddatz reports live from Iran. pic.twitter.com/kFrcKycwSg
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 6, 2020
What this fails to take into account is that much of the crowds on the street are there by force, either directly or indirectly out of fear. But certainly, in a country of 91 million people, finding a large crowd of hardliners wouldn’t be difficult. That’s hardly newsworthy, nor should a U.S. news outlet be presenting it as an organic, powerful showing. Millions showed up for Kim Jong-Il’s funeral as well. That was hardly a testament to being beloved outside of the fact that people knew they’d be killed if they didn’t “love” him.
But this MSNBC reporter took the cake in the competition of how bad the coverage could get. He actually described Soleimani as being made into a “saint.”
— Kyle Drennen (@kjdrennen) January 6, 2020
Because when I think of saint, I think of a terrorist who tortured people and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Even if this was a clumsy turn of phrase, come on, you don’t describe someone like Soleimani as a “saint.” It’s a ludicrous proposition.
In the print media corner, a journalist from The Washington Post retweeted this absurdity.
A wapo natsec columnist RTing this is why media employers will soon be forced to stop all of you from tweeting anything that’s not a link to your own edited and curated work. pic.twitter.com/Z2CE7XuXJx
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) January 6, 2020
In response to all this nonsense, an Iranian journalist wrote a rebuttal to the coverage, skewering the falsities and lack of context being provided.
Imagine if Trump had the power to compel attendance at his events. No sane journalist would then take high attendance at Trump events to mean anything. But today we're treated to an endless litany of "wow these crowds mean Iranians are united behind the ayatollah." Embarrassing
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) January 6, 2020
If you click the above excerpts, you’ll see people were forced to attend, even forced to “cry” in some instances. Contrary to the coverage by the domestic media, this was not a somber, moving occasion. It was a funeral for a madman and should be treated as such.
The truth is that most Iranians are glad Soleimani is dead. He was the cause of a great deal of their misfortune. The same goes for residents of Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. They may be unable to flaunt their joy, but it undoubtedly exists.
Ironically, those actually mourning Soleimani’s death the most appear to reside in the United States with titles like “reporter” and “analyst.”