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Published on July 5th, 2011 | by Jasmin Ramsey


The NYT on Iran in Iraq: where’s the evidence?

According to this article in the New York Times last week, Iraq is supposedly cracking down on “Iran-backed Shiite militias.” But there’s no evidence in the actual piece to backup that juicy headline.

New York city based journalist Amel Ahmed tweeted a response to this by Professor Michael Brenner:

The New York Times headline bore almost no connection to the story’s content. Its main assertion certainly was not confirmed. I doubt this was an accident. It has been a feature of the Times’ coverage of Iran on the nuclear issue as well. Moreover, these Iran stories there and elsewhere are a striking example of reporters setting aside their critical minds, and duty to their readers, in swallowing whatever is offered them by official sources. “And Iran is behind it” has become a tag-on to government statements about all troubles in the region – whether Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. It is almost like a nervous tick. Journalists have a responsibility to do do more than nod their heads in unison.

Well said.

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About the Author


Jasmin Ramsey is an Iranian-born journalist based in Washington, DC.

One Response to The NYT on Iran in Iraq: where’s the evidence?

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  1. avatar Lizz says:

    No evidence of what, specifically? That Iraq is “cracking down” or that the militias are “Iranian-backed”? When it comes to Iran, you’re supposed to believe memes just because they get repeated over and over again. And that’s all. “Iranian nuclear weapons program” is another one.

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