Glenn Greenwald notes that unnamed sources told Chris McGreal Israel controls CNN. So, it must be true!

H/T Margie

In his latest CiF commentary, ‘CNN and the business of state sponsored TV news‘, September 4th, Glenn Greenwald argues that CNN compromises its journalistic integrity by engaging in financial arrangements with the same repressive ‘Gulf states’ that the network covers.  

Greenwald’s piece follows up on a post he published on the same day, ‘Why didn’t CNN’s international air its own documentary on Bahrain’s Arab Spring repression?‘, in which he claimed that the network’s business relationship with Bahrain influenced their decision not to air a report titled ‘iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring’. (Greenwald fails to mention that the Guardian itself completely removed a commentary from their site for over a month which was critical of Bahrain, evidently after legal threats.)

Greenwald, towards the end of his latest post, threw in the following:

“Amber Lyon [the on-air correspondent for iRevolution] insists that CNN journalists and producers complained relentlessly about the type of business-driven censorship she now vocally claims was prevalent at CNN.”

Then Greenwald added:

“Back in 2004, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal reported on the network’s Middle East bureau: “CNN sources say the network has bowed to considerable pressure on its editors. Israeli officials boast that they now have only to call a number at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta to pull any story they do not like.” “

Who was the source for this ‘shocking’ revelation?  Well, McGreal doesn’t say. 

Further, if you go back to McGreal’s 2004 report you will see the following passages which Greenwald did not include: 

“The network’s former Middle East correspondent, Jerrold Kessel, who was widely respected for his informed and nuanced reporting, said that while doubtlessly there was pressure on his editors to get him to modify his coverage, he regarded it as irrelevant.

“The less notice one takes of pressure, the less pressure one invites on oneself,” he said. “If you get into a mind where the pressure is a factor, you get into the mind of worrying about what the effect of the pressure is going to be.” “

So, the entirety of Greenwald’s supposition that the Israeli government can kill stories they don’t like simply by dialing CNN’s offices is based on an anonymous source – a characterization which was dismissed by the network’s former Middle East correspondent.

This is what passes for journalism by the Guardian’s latest U.S. correspondent. 

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