Thursday, July 08, 2010

Senior CNN editor sacked for praising the late Shiite cleric

New York, Jul 8-  A senior editor with the CNN has been sacked for praising the late Shiite cleric Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah on Twitter.

Octavia Nasr, a senior Middle East editor, was fired after she expressed her respect for the late Islamist Hezbollah leader Fadlallah, who figured on a US terrorist list.

Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah...one of Hezbollah giants I respect a lot, the tweet said.

Parisa Khosravi, the senior vice president of international news gathering for CNN Worldwide, said in an internal memo that after speaking with Nasr we have decided that she will be leaving the company.

At this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward, said Khosarvi.

Fadlallah was a Hezbollah cleric and the organisation is considered a terrorist group by the United States.

Nasr later apologised for what she had written.

Reaction to my tweet was immediate, overwhelming and a provides a good lesson on why 140 characters should not be used to comment on controversial or sensitive issues, especially those dealing with the Middle East, Nasr said in a blogpost.

It was an error of judgment for me to write such a simplistic comment and I'm sorry because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah's life's work. That's not the case at all, said Nasr, who joined CNN in 1990.

Nasr also explained that she used the word respect because Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman's rights.

He called for the abolition of the tribal system of honour killing. He called the practice primitive and non-productive. He warned Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam, she said.

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