CNN fires Octavia Nasr for her pro-Hizbullah Tweet

Last week, at the death of one of Hizbullah’s spiritual mentors, Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, Octavia Nasr, CNN’s special consultant on Arab culture sent out a tweet expressing her sadness.

nasr's tweet

The tweet caused a great stir, especially among those familiar with both Fadlallah career and statements – he approved Palestinian “martyrdom operations” targeting civilians, denied the Holocaust, and may well have masterminded the attack on the US barracks in 1983 – and Nasr’s widespread knowledge of the issues.

This prompted a rapid apology/explanation from Nasr: I didn’t approve of his hatred of the US and Israel and approval of terrorism, but he was good on women. (Wouldn’t that be considered dual loyalty? Sure he’s a hateful guy when it comes to the US and other democracies, but hey, he was okay on the subject of my gender.)

Not surprisingly, perhaps, this is not a slip in terms of Nasr’s sympathies. Her coverage at CNN is shot through with support for Arab anti-Zionism, a support which she translated into (scarcely) impartial language.

Here she is, discussing the social networking about the flotilla. Her approval of the “Pro-Palestinian side” is obvious not only in her comments, but her smile and tone.Note her posting of Didi Remez’s tweet at 4:03. Note also that she admits that the IDF has posted footage (clearly indicating that their soldiers had been attacked), but rather than explain that to her listeners, she prefers to feature “prominent” Israeli journalists and to repeat the claim that “nothing can justify” these deaths.

Here she is during operation Cast Lead, explaining the anger of the Arab world.

She clearly sides with the street crowds (aroused by their own media’s gruesome images) against both Israel and the Arab leaders for their inaction. She’s cleaned up their message by paraphrasing it as “Help Gaza, do something.”

It’s too bad it took CNN so long – Nasr worked for them for twenty years – to realize that they were basically giving a platform to someone who approved of the most violent anti-Israel sentiment in the Muslim world and sympathetically reported it to CNN’s audience.

The good news? She went the path of Helen Thomas. CNN has “removed her” from her position.

Of course, CNN’s relative probity should be compared with the stunningly approving obituary produced at the – surprise! – Guardian.

21 Responses to CNN fires Octavia Nasr for her pro-Hizbullah Tweet

  1. Eliyahu says:

    obviously CNN knew who and what she was and what she was saying and claiming. Like Obama sitting in a pew at Rev Wright’s church for 20 years, Octavia Nasr was at CNN for 20 years. They had to know what she was doing. Unfortunately for both Octavia and CNN, she gave herself away too blatantly. Her open adoration of Fadlallah, a fanatic Judeophobe, was too blatant to not damage the whole network’s credibility.

  2. Augean Stables » CNN fires Octavia Nasr for her pro-Hizbullah Tweet…

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  3. […] Augean Stables » CNN fires Octavia Nasr for her pro-Hizbullah Tweet […]

  4. Cynic says:

    British diplomat eulogizes Fadlallah

    In personal blog, Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon calls Hezbollah spiritual leader ‘decent man’


    “Between the phrase: ‘Hezbollah spiritual leader’ and ‘decent’ lies a moral and political ocean. We believe that the spiritual leader of a terror group such as Hezbollah, which publicly calls for Israel’s annihilation, kidnaps people, fires thousands of missiles at women and children, and carries out murderous terror attacks in Lebanon, the Middle East, and the entire world, is unworthy of any praise or eulogizing. If Hezbollah was firing missiles at London and Glasgow, would this leader still be called ‘decent’?” official asked.

    Obviously we know what the British Foreign Office has been and is.

  5. incognito says:

    Totten on the Nasr incident:

    I am puzzled by the firing though: why would CNN deem her comment as cause for firing her? CNNers have been doing much worse without being fired.

    I would not be surprised if she popped now working for one of the arab channels.

  6. […] View post: Augean Stables » CNN fires Octavia Nasr for her pro-Hizbullah Tweet […]

  7. Augean Stables » CNN fires Octavia Nasr for her pro-Hizbullah Tweet…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  8. Richard says:

    It’s because she was caught out acting independently of her employer. She was actually saying this in a private capacity, which meant she couldn’t hide behind the “journalist” defence. CNN would then have had to justify employing someone who was a terrorist supporter.

  9. incognito says:


    But OTOH CNN is now accused of caving in to the jews,
    which insofar as CNN is concerned, is probably much worse than her indepedence on the side of terror.

  10. Lorenz Gude says:

    There is a new media angle here – people of many stripes on many different issues say things in email, on twitter and facebook. Ms Nasr felt safe to express her private view when she was actually standing on a soapbox in the public square. Like Hellen Thomas or General McChrystal etc etc. McLuhan points out that new technologies are extensions of ourselves. AND THAT THOSE EXTENSIONS CAUSE US TO GO NUMB. I’m sure Ms Nasr when she was 7 knew, as little girls generally do by that age, when it was appropriate to whisper, but all grown up and a hot shot journalist and she is just another fool on Twitter.

  11. incognito says:


    Indeed, the atmosphere is now such that Nasr thought she could do that, just like Helen Thomas, Christoff and many others did. And when these people do, they empower others to follow. That’s how momentum is built. Release everybody from any inhibitions in expressing anti-jewish sentiments they.

    At least she is arab.

  12. RedPencil says:

    I noticed an encomium for Fadlallah on Daily Kos as well (quoting, surprise, Juan Cole).

    From the Comments on Daily Kos:

    the loss of an important moderate shiite is very sad for all of us.

  13. RedPencil says:

    Oh and Daily Kos also threw a well rec’d Pity Party for Nasr (a follow up to several pity parties for Helen Thomas, some stomach churning).!!!!!!!-(Updated)

    From the Kos diary:

    get a load of this one from neo-CNN, as they fired one of their longtime respect [sic] Middle East international correspondents.

    “So, as Jamal Daljani says so well on Twitter:

    AIPAC @wolfblitzercnn is Kosher for CNN, but @octavianasrCNN is not.


    Because MSNBC and neo-CNN sure wanted to exhibit on July 7 how they desire so much to be just like their loving friend Rupert and his lackeys.

  14. incognito says:

    Which only reinforces the puzzle as to why they fired her,knowing this was gonna be the reaction.

  15. Eliyahu says:

    because her naked partisanship embarassed cnn so much among the general public. And the Hizbullah is notorious for the slaughter of US marines in Beirut in 1983. Of course, huffington post readers are it seems not so well informed.

  16. incognito says:

    because her naked partisanship embarassed cnn so much among the general public. And the Hizbullah is notorious for the slaughter of US marines in Beirut in 1983. Of course, huffington post readers are it seems not so well informed.

    Embarassd? You gotta be kidding. Marines dead? Nah.

    They’re OK with them being accused of caving in to Islam, but caving in to jews, no, no way they’ll expose themselves to that.

    There was something going on there, but I DK what.

  17. incognito says:

    Good ole Fisk, you can always count on him to pass by a mirror and see others in it.

    Of course: it’s grovelling to the jews, not the grovelling of the media to the jihadists. After all, it’s the jews who are scary, no?

    Upside down and backwards, as usual.

  18. Eliyahu says:

    Fisk’s logic escapes me. Maybe he is more aware of moral reality than we give him credit for, although –if I am right– then he is just as dishonest as we always knew him to be.

    Note that in his repulsive rant in the Independent, another pro-Nazi British rag, apparently appealing to the middle class, not the working class to be sure [note the distinction, Paul Halsell], Fisk compares Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman to Iran’s Ahmadinejad in order to show how bad a bad guy Lieberman is. But Fisk’s whole piece is devoted to defending the late Fadlallah as really a good guy. Yet Fadlallah and A-jad were buddies, maybe not as close as Frankie and Johnny or Damon and Pythias, but good guys on the same wave length. They were both admirers of Khomeini, haters of Israel, supporters of Hizbollah, friends of the Assad clan of Syria, and so on and so forth. So if A-jad’s deeds and views make him a bad guy worthy of being used as a moral equivalent of foreign minister Lieberman, then why didn’t Fadlallah’s similar deeds and views and loyalties make him a bad guy too?? Can Fisk grasp the logic here? Can the editors and owners of the Independent comprehend that as long as Fisk writes his gutter tirades on their pages, their paper is worth little more than fish wrapping.

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