Saturday, November 21, 2009

Leftist Media Bias of the Day

On November 13th, an Eli Lake Washington Times story accused the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act and various lobbying disclosure laws and rules. Essentially, the article claims NIAC was unlawfully lobbying for Iran. I take no position on whether those charges are true.

This post is about a (controversial) writer for NIAC's blog, Artin Afkhami. Or should I say former writer. He's not listed on NIAC's "staff" page. And, as Michael Rubin notes on The Corner, Afkhami's Linkedin profile now is fairly anodyne. However, the cached version lists Afkhami as:
  • Research Associate at Princeton University

  • Iran Analyst at The New York Times

  • Iran Blogger at NIAC
Question: Why was the New York Times using an analyst from an organization whose admitted goals were "advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community"?

Michael Rubin asked that of the Times, which responded:
Since July, Artin Afkhami has worked for The Times part time, on a freelance basis, providing translations of articles and speeches and monitoring news reports from Iran. He does not write for The Times.

We are reviewing his other affiliations to determine whether any of them pose the possibility or the appearance of a conflict.
Expect reports on the results of this investigation to be delayed until the Times prints at least a half-dozen more articles slamming bias on FOX News.

Conclusion: Western media reports on Middle East issues are particularly slanted because of the press' predilection for employing locals with an anti-American or -Israeli agenda. They rarely disclose the fact--until they're caught. And they often ignore contrary views. So much for leftist media objectivity and ethics.

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