PREVIEW: HuffPost’s Iran Deal Propaganda
VERSION 2 – a new approach:
Post title: “HuffPost’s use of lies, deception and anti-Semitism to sell the Iran “deal”
- On the morning of May 6, 2016, the Washington Free Beacon broke the news of Ben Rhodes’s shocking admission to the New York Times, that he and the Obama administration lied to the American people about vital aspects of the Iran “deal,” and that it used gullible “journalists” to help “sell” it. Other analyses soon followed, that further explored this public betrayal.
- The Huffington Post, the world’s most widely-read online newspaper, which claims it is not partisan, published nothing about this scandal for the three days. It then posted only an obscure article, mid-way down its front page, which it removed less than 18 hours later (in contrast to how it routinely leaves nonsensical “news” stories about the Kardashians on its front page for 2, 3 or more days in a row).
- This SaveTheWest.com special report provides detailed insight into one of HuffPost’s possible motivations for essentially ignoring this story: to avoid being exposed for its consistent use of lies, deception and anti-Semitic incitement in order to help “sell” the Iran “deal.”
HuffPost’s founder and editor in chief, Arianna Huffington, claims that its ascent to become the world’s most-read online “newspaper” has been due to its adherence to its “nonpartisan” journalistic standards, and its “core values,” among which are “using storytelling to put flesh and blood on statistics,” and “finding the buried lede and moving it to the top of the page.” Whenever she or her editors find something that they view as wrongdoing, they effectively go on a “journalistic jihad,” and create shocking splash headlines such as these, to ensure that their allegations get widespread attention:
[SLIDE SHOW OF SHOCKING SPLASH HEADLINES]
At 5:00am on May 6, the Washington Free Beacon broke the story that the upcoming New York Times Magazine was going to feature an article containing a series of shocking admissions and allegations by Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, concerning the Iran “deal.” Specifically, the Free Beacon’s article revealed Rhodes’s admission that he and Obama (a) lied to America and the world about crucial aspects of the Iran “deal,” and (b) manipulated gullible, uninformed “journalists” to help them to “sell” it.
Also on May 6, the Daily Wire reported that Obama’s former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, admitted in the Times piece that the administration also lied to Israel, by falsely claiming that Obama was serious when he said he’d ensure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon. This is relevant because Iran has repeatedly said its first divine mandate is to wipe Israel, “the little Satan,” off the face of the Earth – and after that, to commit genocide against America, which it refers to as “the great Satan.” Throughout this “debate,” we’ve seen videos of mass rallies in Iran, in which its Supreme Leader and the supposedly “moderate” president, Rouhani, lead chants of “Death to America!”
In the following hours, and days, numerous in-depth analyses of Rhodes’s and Panetta’s admissions were published by Legal Insurrection, the Daily Mail and Liberty Unyielding (see a chronology of these articles here).
One might assume that if ever there was a story that would justify HuffPost embarking on one of its “journalistic jihads,” this would surely be it.
One would be very wrong. Because as you’re about to see, HuffPost:
- Completely ignored this story for more than three days; instead during this period, it littered its front page with “news” stories that it decided were more important for its global audience to be aware of, including A, B, C. (more here ).
- Only published one, obfuscated story about Times article mid-way down its front page, then removed it less than 18 hours later.
What could have caused HuffPost to ignore, then downplay and quickly remove this story of public betrayal, at the highest possible level, about a matter that may well result in nuclear war?
This special SaveTheWest.com report presents evidence that we contend exposes the likely answer: that in the wake of Rhodes’s and Panetta’s disclosures, HuffPost wanted to avoid being held to public account for three key facts:
- For two years, HuffPost employed a scorched-Earth campaign of lies, deceptions and anti-Semitic incitement, within both “news” stories and editorials, to viciously attack anyone who dared to criticize or oppose the “deal.”
- HuffPost’s “journalistic jihad” for the Iran “deal” involved presenting only the positive propaganda and spin about it, while ignoring or discrediting any reasonable, verifiable reasons to oppose it.
- HuffPost’s acts and omissions exemplify exactly what Rhodes described in the New York Times article, in which he and others in the Obama administration created a journalistic “echo chamber,” the way a ventriloquist controls puppets, to spread only the approved narrative to the general public.
In doing these things, HuffPost betrayed even the loosest standard of journalistic objectivity, in order to deceive and polarize the public, based on the false narratives that Rhodes, the Obama administration, and Iran’s propaganda machinery conjured up, to sell the “deal.”
This report presents categorized evidence that support these allegations. We then pose several questions to HuffPost’s parent company, Verizon, about this matter.
HuffPost’s brief, downplayed coverage of Rhodes’s admissions
HuffPost’s use of lies
HuffPost’s use of deception
HuffPost’s use of anti-Semitic incitement
HuffPost’s brief, downplayed coverage of Rhodes’s admissions
This is first item HuffPost published that in any way referenced Rhodes’s allegations. Note that this nebulous headline avoided any mention of the lies about the Iran “deal” that are at the root of this scandal. HuffPost published the story at 1:56pm on May 9, more than three days after the story broke, and positioned it mid-way down its front page.
We contend that one likely reason is that from 2013 through its consummation in September 2015, HuffPost acted as the Obama administration’s most vicious yet influential online attack dog, which engaged in a scorched Earth campaign to vilify and discredit anyone who dared to question or oppose the premises upon which the Iran “deal” was being sold to America and the world. Specifically, as this report documents, HuffPost consistently employed lies, deception and anti-Semitism to help Rhodes and Obama (and Iran) sell this “deal.”
a rabid attack dog for the Obama administration and Iran, betraying even the loosest possible interpretation of jounalistic standards
Those claims have been revealed as lies, however, by numerous watchdog organizations, and most recently in SaveTheWest’s recent documentary about HuffPost’s endemic anti-Semitic bias and incitement. Anyone who follows HuffPost knows that when its leaders are outraged about something, they effectively go on a “journalistic jihad” against whoever or whatever they decide to target, against whom they to whip up hatred against.
Anyone who has followed HuffPost knows that had this outrage been perpetrated by a Republican administration, HuffPost would have gone on a jihad to investigate and expose every conceivable angle of the story, 24-7, with its notorious, inflammatory splash headlines (like this). Yet HuffPost was effectively mute about this scandal.
“Too many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”
– Arianna Huffington
2.1: HuffPost falsely accused Senators who were critical of, or opposed to the Iran “deal,” of wanting to push America to go to war with Iran
Early on in the Obama administration’s efforts to sell the Iran “deal,” in 2013, it conjured up a narrative that the only alternatives facing the U.S. government and Western nations were (a) to support this “deal,” or (b) go to war against Iran. As an extension, the administration began falsely claiming that any Congressional representative or Senator who expressed criticism of, or opposition to the “deal” was, therefore, advocating war with Iran.
Even senior Democrats in Congress were outraged by this false dichotomy, including Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House Minority Whip, who said this on January 14, 2014:
“I think that is absolutely untrue, [an] irresponsible assertion, and ought to be clarified and retracted by those who have made it within the administration. Nobody believes, as far as I know, that going to war with Iran is anything but a dangerous objective that none of us would seek.”
None of these elected representatives wants America to go to war with Iran, whose leaders have repeatedly said has a divine mandate to destroy both America, and Israel. To the contrary, every one of them said that their criticism of the “deal” was intended to help prevent a war – or at least delay it for as long as possible, if they determine that the “deal” (despite Obama’s assurances to the contrary) will, in fact, enable Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
HuffPost, however, ignored this reality. Instead, from mid-2013 through the “passage” of the Iran “deal,” HuffPost embarked on a “journalistic jihad” of shocking, above-the-fold splash headlines such as these, that advanced the demonstrable lie that any Senator who opposed the “deal” did so because he or she wanted the U.S. to go to war with Iran. And it perpetrated this lie despite the fact that Arianna Huffington publicly claimed in 2010 that she prohibited the use of “inflammatory claims and conspiracy theories” at HuffPost:
HuffPost even went so far as to claim that those who oppose the Iran “deal” are just like the genocidal anti-Semitic murderers who are in control of Iran:
2.2: HuffPost’s lies about, and incitement against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
Since Netanyahu has been Israeli’s Prime Minister, HuffPost has been engaged in a “journalistic jihad” against him, as well, which reached its climax in the “debate” over the Iran “deal.” The following are just some of the bombastic, lie-filled headlines that HuffPost published to discredit and incite hate against him – especially using the false allegation that he was trying to get the U.S. go to war against Iran:
3.1: HuffPost falsely depicted discredited Iranian propagandists as nonpartisan “Iran experts” to launch a scorching, false attack on a critical Senator
One notable incident of HuffPost’s effort to deliberately deceive the world public in regards to the Iran “deal” occurred on December 18, 2013, , when it published this splash headline, accusing Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) of being a “saboteur Senator,” who is “launching (a) war push” against Iran:
HuffPost based this outrageous premise on what it claimed was a (presumably nonpartisan) “report” by one (presumably nonpartisan) group of “Iran experts.” As exposed by The Algemeiner, however, HuffPost knew, or should have known, that these “experts” (a) were proven to have intimate ties to Iran’s mullahs – and (b) sued a blogger who exposed this, only to have their case thrown out of court, more than a year earlier:
Huffington Post Serves as Promoter for Iranian Front Group, by The Algemeiner, December 26, 2013. Excerpt (emphasis added):
From the [HuffPost] article:
Numerous Iran experts have decried the Senate’s attempts to impose new sanctions as a possible death blow to the first detente between the U.S. and Iran over its nuclear program.
“This would be a direct violation of the Geneva deal which would cause the collapse of the talks not due to Iranian sabotage, but American foul play,” said Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, which advocates better relations between Iran and the West. […]
On Wednesday, the NIAC released a new report examining the roots of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recent outreach to the west — and its fragility.
But wait – who is Trita Parsi, and what is the National Iranian American Council (NIAC)? The Legal Project, a nonprofit that helps defend anti-terrorism researchers from retaliatory lawsuits by radical Islamists, claims Parsi and NIAC have “deep and incontrovertible ties to high-level agents of the Iranian regime,” and that this assertion was proved accurate in a September 2012 U.S. federal district court ruling:
The case reached national prominence when Parsi’s e-mails (produced during discovery) not only confirmed his ties to the mullahs but also that he has delivered lectures to the CIA, briefed Secretary Hilary Clinton and visited the Obama White House starting in 2009. […]
Furthermore, as court records show, a lawsuit filed by Parsi and the NIAC against a blogger who exposed all this was not only thrown out of court, they were ordered to pay fines for failing to comply with the discovery process.
Even though that ruling occurred more than a year earlier, HuffPost disclosed none of this to its readers; to the contrary, it continued allowing Parsi and others at the NIAC to write editorials, under the presumed auspices of being nonpartisan “Iran experts,” including the following lie-filled screeds:
To Netanyahu, Peace Is an Existential Threat (March 2, 2015)
The Summer of War or Peace With Iran (May 13, 2015)
HuffPost also repeatedly resorted to anti-Semitic bias and incitement in order to help sell the Iran “deal.” Below are but several of these incidents:
4.1: HuffPost editorial: Israel “fantasizes” about getting the U.S. to go to war against Iran
HuffPost posted this editorial on its front page for three straight days (March 16-18, 2015), the last of which it was at the very top of the page. The writer, Michael Brenner, employed the classic anti-Semitic libel that Jews (in this case, Israel) “fantasize” about getting nations to go to war for their benefit. He went on to claim that the U.S. might be justified if in shooting down Israeli jets if they’re deployed to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Excerpts:
If Israel fails to get Washington to go to war with Iran, it will have lost a very big bet. More fantasizing will not get it out of that hole. […] There also is the possibility of Israeli attack aircraft being shot out of the sky by the United States as they overfly Iraq or even approach Iran from a circuitous route via Saudi Arabia. It strikes me that a compelling case can be made for the United States to do just that.
Were HuffPost and Prof. Brenner unaware of the fact that Iran has repeatedly said it has a divine mandate to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth? That it has consistently lied about and concealed its development of nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them?
4.2: HuffPost claimed that Hasan Rouhani is a “moderate” – long after it knew, or should have known, he was a supporter of genocidal anti-Semitic terrorists, and said he will help destroy America, and Israel.
HuffPost published the following splash headline on June 15, 2013:
“Saying ‘Death to America’ is easy. We need to express ‘Death to America’ with action. Saying it is easy.”
– May 8, 2013
“The beautiful cry of ‘Death to America’ unites our nation.”
– May 1995
“If your definition of terrorist groups are Hezbollah(*) and Hamas, they are not terrorists. They are the kinds of groups who are fighting for the freedom of land.”
– September 12, 2002 *Hezbollah is the Iran-funded terrorist group that murdered 241 American soldiers in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon. Both it and Hamas have openly declared their intention to destroy America and Israel.
4.3: The Simon Wiesenthal Center and the American Jewish Committee blasted HuffPost’s headline that Israel was pushing the U.S. to go to war against Iran
Two of the largest Jewish groups in America, the American Jewish Committee and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, also blasted Huffpost for this splash headline, which, as documented in . According to The Algemeiner (emphasis added):
Jewish Group ‘Appalled’ by Huffington Post Article, SWC Says it Paints Jews as Warmongers, The Algemeiner, December 20, 2013. Excerpt:
Both the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) criticized the article, headlined “Saboteur Sen. Launching War Push,” which featured a picture of New Jersey’s Senator Robert Menendez addressing pro-Israel lobby the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
In the article, the publication attacked Senate leaders who backed a bill which calls for new sanctions against Iran in response to the country’s nuclear program. The bill threatens “to push the United States toward war with Iran,” the paper claimed.
Confident that the choice was a deliberate “editorial decision,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center sharply criticized the presentation as reminiscent of anti-Jewish tropes. “It goes back to the age old canard,” he told The Algemeiner, “that certain people have never seen a war that they can’t find a way to blame on the Jews.” “Conscious or subconscious it just screams out ‘there they go again,’ meaning Jews, ‘they are bringing the country to war,’” he added.
The AJC said it was “dismayed” and “appalled” by the article, and spoke out in defense of Senator Menendez. “The Huffington Post has launched a shameful, unjust assault on Senator Menendez,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Why this incendiary attack on a respected and experienced legislator, who has every right to express his viewpoints, without being depicted in such toxic terms?” Harris continued. “Senator Menendez believes, as do many of his Senate colleagues and a majority of the American people, that the best way to reach a diplomatic solution with Iran is through a hard-nosed, clear-eyed approach to a dangerous and wily adversary. So do we.”
Other examples of HuffPost’s anti-Semitic incitement during the “debate” over the Iran “deal,” often by casting Israel as the cause of all the problems in the Middle East and depicting Prime Minister Netanyahu as a terrorist and a monster – the exact same narrative employed by Iran, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas and Fatah:
Bibi, Buji Both Want Israel to Keep It All, by David Hearst, Huffington Post, March 17, 2015. Excerpt:
The essential precursor to any solution — a will to recognize the equal rights of non-Jews in any of the five states that Israel controls — is absent.
Ayatollah Khamenei and Netanyahu: Two Sides of a Coin, by Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, Huffington Post, August 1, 2014. Excerpt:
The main purpose of Ayatollah Khamenei’s recent call to arm the Palestinians is to bring the West Bank under the control of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and do away with the more moderate PLO. His attempt to exploit the unimaginable suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza is a reflection of his doctrine of ‘victory through terrorization’ (al-nasro-belrob). From my point of view, this is the same policy that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pursuing by inflicting such horror on the people of Gaza.
It appears that the Washington Free Beacon broke the story of Ben Rhodes’s shocking admissions and allegations in the New York Times Magazine interview, via this article, published at 4:59am on May 6. It was followed a few hours later, in this article by Legal Insurrection, at 8:30am, and in this article by the Daily Mail, at 1:38pm.
Articles re Ben Rhodes’s admissions and allegations
The following articles and analyses are presented in the chronological order in which they were published.
The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru: How Ben Rhodes rewrote the rules of diplomacy for the digital age, by David Samuels, The New York Times Magazine, May 5, 2016.
Ben Rhodes, Liar: The man who creates the White House’s own reality, by Aaron MacLean, the Washington Free Beacon, May 6, 2016 4:59am EST.
Grand Deception: How Obama and Ben Rhodes Lied Us Into the Iran nuke deal, by David Gerstman, Legal Insurrection, May 6, 2016, 8:30am EST.
White House BRAGS about how it tricked reporters into cheerleading for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal by creating a media ‘echo chamber’, by David Martosko, Daily Mail, May 6, 2016, 13:38pm EST.
Obama’s Former Defense Secretary: Yeah, We Lied To The Israelis That We’d Stop Iran From Going Nuclear, by Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire, May 6, 2016.
Of pride, falls — and Obama’s foreign policy, by Richard Cohen, The Washington Post, May 9, 2016.
Journalists Dispute Claim They Helped Sell White House Iran Deal, by Michael Calderone, The Huffington Post, May 9, 2016, 01:56 pm ET.
The Obama-Rhodes mind-meld: A foreign policy tale told by an idiot, by J.E. Dyer, Liberty Unyielding, May 11, 2016. Excerpt:
I have four tasks here. One, to take you briefly through the most important foreign-policy information the Samuels article conveyed. Two, to show how the Obama-Rhodes mind-meld framed our security priorities exactly backward from what they actually are. Three, to briefly address some significant changes that have already occurred in the Middle East because of Obama-Rhodes. And four, to disabuse your stubborn mind of the notion that there is a U.S. “military option” left against the Iranian nuclear program now.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Meets With European Bankers in Iran-Business Push, by Felicia Schwartz and Margot Patrick, Wall St. Journal, May 12, 2016. Excerpt:
Mr. Kerry and other U.S. officials have crisscrossed the globe in recent weeks in an effort to meet with banking and business leaders to promote investment in Iran, a country with which the U.S. has no diplomatic ties. But many European banks have been wary of doing business involving Iran while U.S. sanctions are still in place and a ban remains on dollar-denominated transactions. “They [the Iranians] have an expectation that the sanctions that are supposed to be lifted are in fact lifted.” Mr. Kerry said Thursday.
Iran: U.S. Encouraging Islamic Republic to Keep Illicit Missile Tests Secret; State Department declines to respond, by Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon, May 16, 2016, 1:56 pm ET.
HuffPost’s anti-Semitic incitement
Bibi, Buji Both Want Israel to Keep It All, by David Hearst, Editor, Middle East Eye, March 17, 2015. Excerpt:
There are five states of Israel, only two of which are going to the polls today. There is the Jewish state, which is a democracy for its Jewish citizens only.
HuffPost’s comparison of opponents of the Iran “deal” to Iran’s genocidal tyrants
Four Ways Iran’s Hardliners Are Just Like Their Western Counterparts, by Joshua Hersh, Huffington Post, October 24, 2015.