A former senior CNN editor who was fired from the network for being too open about her tacit support of an Islamic terrorist has reportedly found new work with Alhurra TV, a publicly-funded Arabic TV station based in the U.S.
“Alhurra TV recently brought on Octavia Nasr, a former CNN senior editor who left the network after publicly expressing sympathies for a Hezbollah-tied cleric, as a consultant tasked with helping lead the outlet’s revamp,” Mediaite confirmed Thursday.
However, it appears the gig was only temporary.
The old CNN clip below shows Nasr speaking positively about Shariah law:
“A source who spoke … about Nasr’s role at the outlet said she acted as a producer, assisting the network with how they covered subjects and what details they decided to omit or include in their reporting,” Mediaite’s report continues.
“When reached for comment, Alhurra’s spokesperson described Nasr’s role at the outlet as ‘a consultant on technical issues,’ but claimed she has ‘completed her contract.’”
When asked specifically about her tacit support of an Islamic terrorist, the spokesperson said that the Arabic station is “an equal opportunity employer” that “does not discriminate on any basis.”
The network was reportedly founded during the Bush administration in 2004 to counteract the “negative images” about the U.S. that were being propagated by traditional Middle Eastern and North African news outlets.
“By the end of the Bush years, the U.S. government had poured $500 million into the massive operation that now broadcasts in 22 Arabic-speaking countries,” Mediaite notes.
“Alhurra’s mission statement says the network addresses ‘topics not found in other media outlets,’ provides coverage in an ‘accurate, objective and balanced’ manner, and connects ‘with Arab audiences.’”
As for Nasr, after working at CNN for over 20 years, she triggered the demise of her own career by posting a tweet in 2010 praising then-just-deceased Lebanese Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a Shia cleric linked to terror attacks.
“He was staunchly anti-American and linked to bombings that killed more than 260 Americans, a charge he denied,” The Christian Science Monitor reported at the time of his sudden death on July 4, 2010, from health complications.
He was also reportedly regarded as the “spiritual leader” of Hezbollah, a terrorist group based out of Lebanon.
“Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot,” Nasr reportedly wrote after his death.
After backlash erupted, CNN allowed Nasr to tell her side of the story in a blog post.
“It was an error of judgment for me to write such a simplistic comment and I’m sorry because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah’s life’s work. That’s not the case at all,” she wrote.
She continued by explaining how she only supported the Islamic cleric’s work that allegedly involved promoting women’s rights.
“I used the words ‘respect’ and ‘sad’ because to me as a Middle Eastern woman, Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman’s rights,” she wrote.
“He called for the abolition of the tribal system of ‘honor killing.’ He called the practice primitive and non-productive. He warned Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam.”
Nasr admitted though that she was wrong to summarize his overall life in a positive manner given the evil actions Fadlallah had been linked to, including murder.
“It is no secret that Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah hated with a vengeance the United States government and Israel,” she conceded. “He regularly praised the terror attacks that killed Israeli citizens. And as recently as 2008, he said the numbers of Jews killed in the Holocaust were wildly inflated.”
“But it was his commitment to Hezbollah’s original mission – resisting Israel’s occupation of Lebanon – that made him popular and respected among many Lebanese, not just people of his own sect.”
It was he who led the terrorist group as its spiritual leader when it committed Islamic Jihad in the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings, killing 305 people, including 241 U.S. military personnel.
Two days after Nasr posted this blog and four days after she posted her original tweet, CNN finally announced her termination.
“CNN’s senior Middle East editor, Octavia Nasr, has left the network after a controversial posting on Twitter about a Shia cleric who had longtime ties to and voiced strong support for Hezbollah,” the outlet reported at the time.
“As she has stated in her blog on CNN.com, she fully accepts that she should not have made such a simplistic comment without any context whatsoever,” Parisa Khosravi, the then-senior vice president of international newsgathering for CNN Worldwide, said in a statement.
“However, at this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward.”
Not compromising enough for Alhurra TV though, it would appear …
Below is a sample of the station’s programming:
(Source: Alhurra TV)
To this day, Alhurra TV is still funded by U.S. taxpayers.
“Alhurra is operated by the non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency,” the station’s website reads.