Observing the events taking place in Iran now has taught me a few things about Iran, but also a few things about the Irish media.
The way in which the Irish media have portrayed the election and subsequent riots and protests is that they were an ‘uprising’ (As they were referred to on RTE Radio One’s Drivetime consistently during the week). Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but Mr Mousavi draws most of his support from the Middle classes and university graduates. Is this not, therefore, a downrising?
Sunday Tribune Northern Editor Suzanne Breen, speaking on the Marian Finucane Show this morning, spoke very eloquently about the “uprising”. Ms Breen made the point that if these riots and protests were on Irish streets, they would (correctly) be portrayed as the elite moving to get “their” candidate in power. Ms Breen said that the Irish media (and Western media anyway) is blindly following the Whitehouse line of “the wrong guy got in”.
A Reuters report (see here), featured on The Irish Times website today, said; “Iranian state television says 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in clashes between police and "terrorist groups" in Tehran, in an apparent reference to street unrest in the capital yesterday.” The very fact that the report found the need to use quotation marks to show the perceived fallacy of the phrase “terrorist groups” (which, as part of a quote, could have been included with “police”) shows the bias of the Western media.
The report goes on to say that some members of the exiled Mujahideen Khalq Organisation (who are actually designated as a terrorist organisation, even by the US State Department- see here- and were allied with Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party) were among those arrested.
The media needs to stop this distortion of the lines between fact and opinion in order to fulfil its duty and inform people of the news (which should always be fact).