MSNBC anchor Katy Tur expressed amazement at the size of funeral crowds for deceased Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani.
Tur’s amazement at the crowd sizes is exactly how Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad urged Western media outlets not to react.
wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Monday that the Iranian government had pressured its people to publicly mourn the terrorist’s death and chided the media’s “unwarranted gullibility” toward Iranian propaganda.
“For anyone watching, I have one piece of advice: Don’t take what you’re seeing at face value,” she wrote.
“In the city of Ahvaz, where large numbers of people turned out to mourn Soleimani, the government has forced students and officials to attend. It provided free transport and ordered shops to shut down,” she added. “According to videos sent to me by people inside the country, the authorities are making little kids write essays praising the fallen commander. First-graders who didn’t know how to write were encouraged to cry for Soleimani.”
“The media in the Islamic Republic is heavily controlled. Public gatherings are allowed only if they are pro-regime. Critics are jailed or shot. (Even I, living outside the country, have received a death threat on Iranian national TV for my coverage of Soleimani’s killing.) So it’s not hard to use all the tools and resources of the state to stage a funeral procession,” the Iranian journalist wrote later in her op-ed.
She noted that she has “received thousands of messages, voice mails and videos from Iranians in cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan, Tehran and even Ahvaz, who are happy about Soleimani’s death. Some complain of the pressure to attend services for him.”
Alinejad gave a similar warning in a Fox News interview on Jan. 3 and said, “The fact is this: many Iranians do not see him as a hero and if you go to social media, that they are very happy.”
She added later in the interview that journalists on the ground in Iran are “only allowed to cover the story where the ministry of culture tells them to cover, otherwise they will lose their connection.”
“So, for most of the media, it’s important to have connection with [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad] Javad Zarif, with our political leaders, and that is why they cannot tell you that how much people are actually angry, frustrated, because of these terrorist warmongers,” she continued.
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