On Tuesday night, Iran fired 15 missiles at two different bases being used by U.S. forces in Iraq, Ain Assad Air Base and a base in Irbil.
There were a variety of false media reports.
One of the basic rules of thumb for journalists in such situations is not to run with unconfirmed rumor and definitely don’t run propaganda for the other side.
But apparently, no one told MSNBC that or they just decided it was better to run with the more disturbing claim.
Their NBC News Tehran bureau chief Ali Arouzi spread a false story from Iranian media that the missiles had killed thirty Americans.
From Free Beacon:
“The IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] was saying that Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of this country, was in the control center coordinating these attacks,” he told anchor Chris Matthews during a broadcast of Hardball on MSNBC. “This bit I’m not sure about but Iran state media says 30 U.S. soldiers have been killed in this attack.
“This is not confirmed, it’s just coming from Iranian media.”
Do they even ask themselves, given the circumstances, how would Iran even know that?
Arouzi then jacked up the drama.
“We’ve just stepped over the precipice,” Arouzi claimed. “We have entered a very unpredictable time.”
“This is drawing people from all sides into this what is potentially the beginning of a war, Chris,” Arouzi said. “I don’t know how this is going to go in the coming hours, but it’s not looking good from the rhetoric that came out from President Trump earlier today saying that he will retaliate against any retaliation from Iran. I think we can expect an attack on Iran imminently.”
At almost exactly the same time, U.S. officials were announcing in initial reports that there were no casualties.
US official tells CNN that are no reports of US casualties at this time but an assessment is still underway. Reports @barbarastarrcnn
— AnneClaire Stapleton (@AnneClaireCNN) January 8, 2020
Others picked up the story and even added more nonsense to it, claiming the U.S. was “caught unaware.”
30 US soldiers killed in Iraq ballistic missile attacks: Iran state mediahttps://t.co/ogOWcFPPa5
— Raw Story (@RawStory) January 8, 2020
They got justifiable flak.
MSNBC pushed Iranian propaganda tonight by reporting that Iran killed 30 Americans tonight even though the Pentagon said that that was a lie and that no Americans were killed.
Fake News is the enemy of the people!
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) January 8, 2020
MSNBC gave airtime to baseless Iranian propaganda alleging the Islamic Republic had killed 30 American military members in missile attacks Tuesday night.
NBC News Tehran bureau chief Ali Arouzi repeated the Iranian claims to MSNBC’s national audience.https://t.co/B1utxcF1o2
— johnny dollar (@johnnydollar01) January 8, 2020
This is why you should never do that:
Can y’all stop posting unconfirmed casualties. My wife is over there.
— Tightjumpa (@tightjumpa) January 8, 2020