Iranian Media Infighting Over Fabricated Morsi Quote

Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.

Today’s Top Stories:

1. Western papers are picking up on Morsi’s office denying he was interviewed by Iran’s Fars News. Meanwhile, Radio Free Europe says Fars is engaged in a separate war with Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.

But perhaps more significantly, Iran’s official state-run news agency, IRNA, was also quick to cast doubt on the interview. The incident provides the latest example of how the ongoing power struggle in the Iranian establishment has apparently pitted IRNA, which is pro-President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, against Fars, which is said to be affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

. . . IRNA also claimed that an audio file of the alleged interview made available by Fars on its website was not Morsi’s voice at all.

Fars had quoted Morsi saying he wanted to reconsider Camp David and improve Iranian ties.

2. An internal BBC report slams its Arab Spring coverage. The Daily Mail writes of David Mortimer’s report:

Head of news Helen Boaden admitted that her journalists got carried away with events and produced ‘over-excited’ reports.

She told a BBC Trust report that in Libya, where reporters were ‘embedded’ with rebels, they may have failed to explore both sides of the story properly.

Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen was among those criticised in the study into coverage of the uprisings, which found that ‘excitement’ did sometimes ‘infect’ the reporting, which some viewers described as ‘too emotive’ and ‘veering into opinion’.

Unlike the Balen report, the full Mortimer report’s  available at the BBC Trust.

3. The family of the late journalist, Anthony Shadid, dropped a bombshell lashing out at the NY Times. The LA Times writes:

“It’s not the rosy picture, I’m trying to say, that was portrayed,” Ed Shadid said of the New York Times’ depiction of his cousin’s decision to go into  Syria . . .

“The phone call the night before he left, there was screaming and slamming down the phone in discussions with his editors. … It was at that time that he called his wife and gave his last, haunting directive: That if anything happens to me, I want the world to know the New York Times killed me.”

Have Morsi on Egypt

AP: As Gaza’s celebrations for Muslim Brotherhood fade, reality sets in. Who knew “the world’s largest concentration camp” was good for the Palestinians?

A complete opening of the Gaza-Egypt border, including trade, would also have the unintended consequence of deepening the separation between the West Bank and Gaza . . . .

• The IDF’s deploying radar along the Egyptian border to detect rocket attacks. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The decision to deploy the radar systems along the border comes amid concern that terror groups operating in Sinai will escalate their rocket attacks against Israel. The IDF believes that groups based in Gaza are operating freely in Sinai and in some cases even activate local Beduin to carry out attacks on their behalf

• Morsi advisor to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour:

Deif said one of Morsi’s first steps will be to appoint a vice president who is Christian and another Vice President who is a woman.

No political comeback for Ahmed Shafiq. Mubarak’s former Prime Minister who lost Egypt’s presidential elections fled the country “hours after the prosecutor general opened an investigation into allegations he wasted public funds during his 8-year term as a civil aviation minister.”

For more commentary/analysis see Bret Stephens (Wall St. Journal, click via Google News), Elliott Abrams (who expands on Stephens’ column),Yossi Klein Halevi (Globe & Mail), and the Daily Telegraph‘s Con Coughlin. For staff-eds, see the NY Times, Toronto Star, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Continued on Page 2