Monday, July 12, 2010

Octavia Nasr fired from CNN for Twittering condolences on death of Hezbollah founder

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Shades of Gray: Ray Hanania's Comic Strip
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July 12, 2010 Octavia Nasr fired
CNN Senior editor Octavia Nasr is fired because she expressed condolences on the death of Lebanese cleric Ayatollah Fadlallah. Fadlallah was a founder of Hezbollah, an avowed enemy of Israel and denounced as a terrorist organization by the United States. But Hezbollah was founded in 1980 in part by Fadlallah in response to Israel's vicious military assault and occupation of Lebanon. Later, Fadlallah distanced himself from some of Hezbollah;s policies, but was a leader in championing the rights of women, calling for the abolition of laws and practices called "Honor Killings" where the murder of women accused or rumored to have brought shame to their families would be hailed as a male right with the perpetrators not serving any time in prison. The outcry against Nasr originated with American Jewish organizations, such as the Simon Weisenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League (the latter saying it accepted Nasr's apology for using Twitter, which restricts postings to 140 characters (or 35 words), to express a feeling that required more context. She was the second senior American Arab journalist to lose her job in two months. Only many weeks before, Helen Thomas was fired from Hearst Corporation for criticizing Israeli policies in the West Bank, comments distorted by anti-Arab activists in the United States and Israel who claimed she was anti-Semitic.