On Friday, a Twitter account linked to by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had a message for former President Trump. The posted tweet was of a photograph of a golfer resembling Trump, wearing a red shirt and an ominous approaching shadow from above. According to a translation by Reuters, the text accompanying the photo read, “Those who ordered the murder of General Soleimani, as well as those who carried this out, should be punished. This revenge will certainly happen at the right time.”
In perhaps an attempt to ‘save face’ after banishing Trump from Twitter just days before the end of his presidency, Twitter suspended the Ayatollah’s account. Before accolades start flying for Twitter’s bravery and taking a stand for morality, it must be noted that the organization had received immense pressure to suspend the Supreme Leader long before Friday’s tweet.
Would Khamenei have experienced the same treatment had Twitter not risked looking severely biased and hypocritical for just having suspended President Trump if they didn’t? We have a pretty good idea. “Requests to ban Khamenei from Twitter for posts that called for the eradication of Israel were rejected by Jack Dorsey last year” reports Mediate. His reasoning? Because he believed world leaders should be heard.
“We believe it’s important for everyone to hear from global leaders, and we have policies around world leaders,” said Dorsey. “We want to make sure we are respecting their right to speak and to publish what they need.” Fast forward to January of 2021 and suddenly Dorsey’s moral compass had changed.
Some confusion, however, still stands surrounding Khamenei being silenced at all. The Twitter account suspended was @Khemeinei_site. Washington Post foreign affairs reporter Adam Taylor followed the incident and posted a string of updates on the matter. “Uncertain to me whether this account was actually run by the Supreme Leader but it was linked to by his official accounts” he tweeted. “Still not clear to what extent @khamenei_site was official, but worth noting the image on Khamenei’s English language homepage right now” another tweet read. The English site still had up the very same image with the text “REVENGE IS DEFINITE.”
Some users suggested Twitter only suspended the account because it was a fake account. Taylor tweeted to clarify, saying, “Looks like Twitter says @khamenei_site was not official, though it appears to have had some official backing from Khamenei’s main accounts.”
So, in summary, did Twitter even suspend the Ayatollah at all? The Supreme Leader’s official account @Khamenei_ir is still alive and well.
All in the Family? Andrew Cuomo’s Brother, CNN’s Chris Cuomo Accused of Sexual Harassment
A guest essay written for the New York Times by veteran television journalist and former executive producer Shelley Ross alleges CNN host Chris Cuomo sexually harassed her when they had previously worked together.
The alleged incident occurred when the two worked together at ABC News in 2005 and Ross now wants the host to “journalistically repent” for his behavior of squeezing her buttock without her permission.
“At the time, I was the executive producer of an ABC entertainment special, but I was Mr. Cuomo’s executive producer at ‘Primetime Live’ just before that,” she wrote. “I was at the party with my husband, who sat behind me on an ottoman sipping his Diet Coke as I spoke with work friends. When Mr. Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar, he walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock.”
Ross added Cuomo said to her, “I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss” and did it “with a kind of cocky arrogance.” Ross said she told him he couldn’t, pushed him off her and revealed her husband was right behind her, and they quickly left the party.
The party was for an ABC colleague’s departure. Later that evening, Cuomo sent her an email, which Ross printed. The email stated, “[T]hough my hearty greeting was a function of being glad to see you … christian slater got arrested for a (kind of) similar act, (though borne of an alleged negative intent, unlike my own)…and as a husband I can empathize with not liking to see my wife patted as such.”
Cuomo added he would like for Ross to pass along an apology to her “very good and noble husband,” and also “I apologize to you as well, for even putting you in su]ch a position.” He added he would remember his lesson the next time he was happy to see her.
Ross writes in her essay, “Mr. Cuomo may say this is a sincere apology. I’ve always seen it as an attempt to provide himself with legal and moral coverage to evade accountability.”
Afghan Journalists Release Photos After Being Severely Beaten by Taliban for Covering Women’s Protest
Two Afghan journalists, photographer Nematullah Naqdi and reporter Taqi Daryabi were severely beaten by the Taliban for reporting on a women’s protest in Kabul. The two were battered after being beaten with batons, electric cables and whips. The beating occurred after being detained for several hours by Taliban fighters a day earlier.
The two men, who work for Afghan’s media outlet Etilaat Roz, released photos of their bruised bodies once back in their Kabul office, after being released from Taliban custody. Naqdi told Agence France-Presse “One of the Taliban put his foot on my head, crushed my face against the concrete. They kicked me in the head…I thought they were going to kill me.”
Daryabi added “we were in so much pain that we couldn’t move.” Naqdi said he was told “you are lucky you weren’t beheaded” when asked why they were being beaten. When covering a protest on Wednesday outside a Kabul police station calling for an end to Taliban violations of women and girls, Naqdi said a Taliban fighter immediately tried to grab his camera when he began taking photos.
The Taliban were also rounding up anyone filming or taking photos of the demonstration, added Naqdi. The two say they were taken to a nearby police station where the beatings took place, only to be released after several hours.
The New York Post reports dozens of Afghan reporters have been beaten or accosted in recent weeks since the Taliban has recovered control of Afghanistan. The Taliban, however, claims that they will uphold press freedoms under their new regime. As has been proven time and time again, not much faith, if any, can be placed into anything the Taliban says or promises.
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