Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Evil Iran

Today's interview with a Tehran-based reporter, Gareth Smyth from the Financial Times is illustrative of the inherent bias in the hosts of Morning Edition. Renee Montagne was questioning the reporter about yesterday's response from the Iranian government regarding the Security Council's demands that Iran halt uranium enrichment and the EU/US/China/Russian offer of incentives for such suspension. In every question Montagne's implication was that Iran's negotiating strategy was guided by sinister motives. She asked if Iran's proposal yesterday wasn't meant to just split off the Russians and Chinese from the US/EU consensus. She also wondered if Iran isn't just trying to stall for time before economic sanctions might be imposed.

Her guest was a bit more balanced in his responses and didn't take her leads to "bash" Iran, and noticiably the interview ended without ever questioning the complexities of the issue that her guest kept referring to.

There is no problem with inquiring about possible subterfuges that any side in a conflict might be engaging in--it's just that NPR generally focuses on only on the party that the US government has identified as the "enemy" or the the "problem." This interview would have been an excellent time to discuss the maneuverings and dishonesty of the US actions during this "crisis" (for example, US demands on Iran, while ignoring Israel's huge nuclear arsena or the US insisting on a "non-starter" such as immediate suspension of enrichment verses an increased inspections regimine--or, God forbid, direct talks between the US and Iran.)

Given that there is mounting evidence that the US is planning a military strike on Iran, NPR owes it to listeners to probe all aspects of this conflict--not just the angle of the State Department, Pentagon and Bush administration.

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