What if I told you that one of the world's largest media networks organized not one but two primetime interviews in less than one week with the international spokesperson of a government that hangs gay men in the streets, executes high-profile citizens (without a trial) for speaking out against the government, chants death to America and spends billions of dollars every year funding terrorism around the world?
Now, what if I told you that during these interviews, the only questions asked were ones that were pre-approved by this government before they came on camera?
That's what appears to have happened last week. The media network was CNN and its willing participant was the Foreign Minister of Iran, Javad Zarif.
On Monday, Feb. 1, CNN's Christiane Amanpour did an exclusive ''interview'' with Zarif. I put quotations around the word interview because during an interview, the interviewer typically asks tough questions and doesn't provide the questions to the individual before the interview.
Unfortunately, Amanpour didn't ask any tough questions.
Amanpour should be ashamed of herself. How can she call herself a journalist or reporter? During her carefully scripted Q&A that was designed to put pressure on President Biden to quickly reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), not once did she ask any tough questions of Zarif.
Why didn't Amanpour ask Zarif why his regime is executing high profile Iranian citizens — without a trial — for speaking out against the regime. Surely Amanpour doesn't agree with these barbaric and dictator-like policies.
I've watched many of Zarif's English interviews over the years. While he typically is very cocky and overconfident, I've never seen him like this before. During the ''interview,'' Zarif took multiple shots at the American government as he dictated his terms on CNN's airwaves.
Imagine that — a spokesperson of a regime that is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism speaking down to the United States of America — on an American media network!
CNN didn't stop there. A couple of days later, CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria hosted a prime-time conversation with Zarif.
Zakaria, like Amanpour, didn't ask the tough questions. He let Zarif rant and rave about whatever was on his mind. Why won't CNN's anchors ask the tough questions? What are they afraid of?
CNN has no problem asking tough questions when they bring Republicans on their network, so why can't they do the same when they bring terrorists on?
The bottom line is this: CNN has gone off the rails again and they need to be held accountable for their actions. On their website, they state: ''We are truth-seekers and storytellers.''
They either need to start living up to this mission statement or they need to remove it from their website. Enough is enough. CNN needs to be taken to task for giving air coverage to terrorists.
How dare they call for networks like Newsmax to be removed from cable TV platforms while they give exclusive interviews to a high-profile official from a regime that chants "Death to America" and executes their citizens for speaking out?
I am calling on CNN's leadership to bring Zarif back on the air and this time ask the tough questions that Zarif hasn't approved before coming on the air.
I won't hold my breath and neither should you. CNN has shown its true colors time and time again.
Bryan E. Leib is currently serving as Chairman of HaShevet, a Jewish and Israel advocacy group. Formerly, he served as the National Director for Americans Against Antisemitism and he was the 2018 Republican Endorsed Congressional Candidate for PA-03 (Philadelphia, Pa.). He has served as a Board Member for organizations including: United Way, National Museum of American Jewish History, Jewish National Fund, the Philadelphia Young Republicans and the Camden Youth Soccer Club. He tweets at @Bryan_E_Leib. Read Bryan E. Leib's Reports — More Here.
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