ABC and the (Still) Growing Iran Threat

ABC World News was responsible for a flagrantly propagandistic report about Iran on January 31.

They’re still at it.

At the top of the March 5 report, anchor Diane Sawyer announced that Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were talking about “the growing nuclear threat from Iran.” Sawyer warned that it might be the “last chance” for the two to meet face to face before a possible Israeli attack.

The two agreed, as Jake Tapper put it, that Iran “cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.” And what if they did? Jake Tapper asks, “What might result?” And then he provides this answer:

A nuclear arms race in one of the most unstable parts of the world. An attack on Israel. And/or terrorism.

Those could be three possibilities. But there’s also at least one other possibility–that none of those things would happen.

The piece includes some warnings about Iran’s response to an unprovoked attack (which, news outlets like ABC should tell viewers, would be an brazen violation of international law). For that perspective, we get former U.S. counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, who says this:

If the Iranians use the terror weapon in retaliation, they use it against Israelis, they use it against Jewish institutions throughout the world. If the United States gets involved, then they use it against Americans and American facilities.

So an illegal attack on Iran is something we talk about as a matter of timing, consequences, and so forth. If Iran responds to that attack, it’s described as the unleashing of a “terror weapon.”

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.