Friday, April 17, 2015

NPR's Selected Shorts now featuring the Iraq fictions of Greg Myre

Steve Inskeep did an important interview with Ned Parker on Morning Edition Thursday.  Apparently to atone for truth telling, NPR had to feature  Greg Myre's fiction on All Things Considered.

Just Myre.  Don't believe he's pulled a job at NPR for his wife the way he did at AP but then again she probably makes more money then he does since she's under contract with Fox News.

And for those who say it's unfair to bring up a spouse in your criticism?  They aren't just married.  For example, in 2011, they co-authored a book on Israel and Palestine.

So Greg cherry picks a tiny soundbyte -- stripping it even of the context Haider al-Abadi put it in -- to lie to NPR listeners that Haider al-Abadi is bothered by Iran's interference.

MYRE: Iran has been playing a very prominent role in Iraq, and during the recent fighting in Tikrit, a big-name Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani, was parading around getting his picture taken, and it - really showing what a big role he was playing there. So let's have a listen about what Abadi thought about that.


PRIME MINISTER HAIDER AL-ABADI: Certainly, it's a bad idea. I mean, we don't accept it. We welcome the Iranian help and support for us. To be honest with you, it's a very sensitive issue. Iraqi sovereignty is very important for us.

MYRE: He brought up sovereignty several times in his speech, and I think it really is something that strikes a nerve with Iraqis. They have the Islamic State trying to carve off part of the country in the west, many Kurds talking about sovereignty in the north, and then if you see an Iranian parading around there, that also, I think, strikes a nerve.

In Thursday's snapshot, we covered the Iraqi Prime Minister's speech to The Center For Strategic and International Studies.

I sat through that whole event (which was only an hour but felt so much longer).

That's a huge distortion of al-Abadi's remarks and his position.

What he brought up "several times" was that he wouldn't criticize neighbors in the region -- citing Iran and Saudi Arabia specifically.

As for the Iranian general (who is on the US terrorist list and has been since 2001 -- a detail Myre didn't think was important to pass on to NPR listeners -- maybe, like his wife, he'll soon have a contract with Fox News as well?), Haider al-Abadi dismissed the notion of posters of the general in Iraq saying it was important because no one there could vote for him.  He didn't name the general, you had to know the events (and that the general's poster started being displayed earlier this year around Iraq) to know what was going on.

I don't think Myre knows what's going on.  But if he does, he sure doesn't want to convey that to NPR's listeners.

Do Iranians "parading around there" bother Haider?  Or 'strike a nerve' -- to use Myer's term?

Not at all.

Haider answered that one and stated that the Iranian government says it is coordinating all efforts in Iraq with his government and so there is no problem.  If that was not the case, Haider replied, it would be a problem for his government before clarifying that it would be a problem for him.

Myre's very good at creating fictions.

We noted the reality on Iran and Haider in the event:

Responding to the first question asked by CSIS' Jon Alterman, Haider stated, "What we are facing in Iraq is a polarization of society caused by this terrorism and, of course, failure of governance, not only in Iraq but in the entire region."
That was problematic for a number of reasons.
First of all, the reply is ahistoric.  It attempts to set a mid-point as an instigating or creation point.  The Islamic State is the terrorism that Haider's referring to.
The Islamic State did not cause "polarization of society" in Iraq.
The Islamic State took root in Iraq, gained support and a foothold in the country, due to the government (led by Nouri) targeting Sunnis.
If Haider can't be honest about that, he's never going to accomplish anything.
The second biggest problem with the response is that Jon Alterman's actual question was: "I want to give you an opportunity to be critical about what Iran's doing in the Middle East.  What are they doing that they shouldn't be doing?"
And Haider took a pass -- instead noted that Iran shared in the battle against the Islamic State. 

To be very clear, Iran was all most people wanted to ask Haider about.

He had repeated opportunities to speak on the topic.

Apparently, Myre didn't hear what he wanted to hear so he just decided to create it.

I believe what Myre did usually only takes place on NPR's Selected Shorts.

However, maybe they've decided to bring fictional storytelling into other programs as well?

Haider's key moment -- and we covered it in yesterday's snapshot though Myre ignored it in his report -- was when Haider attempted to cast aspersions on Reuters' Ned Parker -- insisting he didn't understand what the fuss was about, wasn't sure that Ned had even been threatened and that Ned wanted to speak to him while he was on this DC trip but if he (Haider) couldn't even make time to call his wife, he certainly wasn't going to speak to Ned Parker.

And then he laughed -- and then some of the pathetics in the audience joined him in laughing.

Where was Myre?

To judge by his 'report,' he wasn't even present at the event.

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