Foreign Policy: Twitter Firing Was A Mistake For CNN

By STEPHEN M. WALT

CNN has fired senior editor Octavia Nasr for tweeting that she was “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah … One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” Fadlallah was one of the spiritual leaders of Hezbollah, and regarded by the U.S. government as a terrorist. More importantly, plenty of American journalists and politicians have shown “respect” (and in some cases, fawning admiration) for various world figures with hands far bloodier than Ayatollah Fadlallah — including Mao Zedong, Ariel Sharon, the Shah of Iran, or even Kim il Sung — but it didn’t cost them their jobs. And let’s not forget that plenty of American journalists treat our own leaders with plenty of deference and “respect,” even after the latter have launched unnecessary wars in which tens of thousands have died or authorized the torture of detainees.