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       Newsweek's Howard Fineman Wrong on Iran

"...the fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other." - Edward R. Murrow, October 1958

Howard Fineman, Newsweek magazine

Howard FinemanIt's common for American journalists to distort the character of the Mossadegh government, thereby making Operation Ajax seem like not such as an evil act after all. That appears to be the view of the corporate media's Howard Fineman, Newsweek's Chief Political Correspondent, Senior Editor and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief, NBC News TV analyst, and regular guest on Don Imus' radio show (before the disgraced "shock jock" was fired for spewing racist and sexist comments). 

In his column, "Persian Chess" [November 15, 2006], Howard Fineman makes a bizarre reference to Iran's young parliamentary democracy of the 1950's. The way he describes it, Mossadegh had overthrown the monarchy, which he seems to imply was the legitimate regime at the time. Furthermore, he characterizes the government who "overthrew" the Shah as "socialist revolutionaries!" 

When the history of America at the turn of the millennium is written, Iran will loom larger than we are willing to admit. As with the Greeks 3,000 years ago, Persia is the classic antagonist of a fractious democracy. We didn’t like the fact that socialist revolutionaries overthrew the Persian monarchy in the 1950s; the CIA successfully replaced that regime with a re-established Shah of Iran. Some 30 years later, the revolutionaries struck back—only this time they weren’t secular socialists, but Muslim fundamentalists. Jimmy Carter lost the presidency as a result; George W. Bush is mired in the region as a result.

Howard Fineman's understanding of Iran is weak. He claims that Iran's "goal—aside from humiliating Americans—is clear: to destroy Israel." [Iran just wants to be left alone. And someone needs to send Fineman the article "WIPED OFF THE MAP" - The Rumor of the Century]. His statement that "Persia is the classic antagonist of a fractious democracy" does not even make any sense whatsoever. 

All these years later, enemies of Iranian democracy continue to slander Mossadegh with Cold War era rumors, and these lies are casually spread in mainstream media channels like Newsweek magazine to the masses. Note that Fineman's two major employers, Newsweek and NBC, are owned by the same parent company (General Electric), and even the "Imus in the Morning" show Fineman frequented was owned and broadcast on MSNBC by the same monolithic corporation. MSNBC is the cable news channel and website partnership formed by Microsoft and NBC Universal, another corporate union.

Despite these gross inaccuracies, Fineman apparently does understand that the coup was detrimental to U.S. interests, and continues to haunt Presidential administrations to this day. 

related links:

Christiane Amanpour [CNN] on Iran

Ted Koppel on Iran

Bill Moyers [PBS] on Iran

Carl Rowan on Iran

Christopher Hitchens on Iran

Robert Scheer on Iran

David Ignatius [The Washington Post] on Iran


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