Press TV, the government funded propaganda arm of the Iranian regime long ceased to be in any way a creditable media outlet. A case in point is its latest story on the Egyptian crisis:
Reports say Israel has sent crowd dispersal weapons to the Egyptian regime to curb massive protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years of authoritarian rule.The International Network for Rights and Development said that three Israeli planes landed at Cairo’s Mina International Airport on Saturday, carrying equipment for use in dispersing and suppressing large crowds, a Press TV correspondent reported.According to the report, Egyptian security forces received the cargo on three Israeli planes, which were allegedly carrying a large supply of internationally proscribed gas to disperse crowds.
Putting aside my natural skepticism of this accusation in the first place, any story that begins with the phrase “Reports say” should immediately set alarm bells ringing from a journalistic perspective. Press TV attributes these “reports” to the International Network for Rights and Development. Most credible non-governmental organizations, and particularly one with the word “International” in its name, would be expected to have an internet site. A Google search turns up no such organization and its only mention is on other anti-Israel sites peddling the same story.
In fact, the text of the story is virtually identical on a variety of anti-Israel and extremist sites offering a case study on how an unsubtantiated allegation can be spread through the internet with ease if your audience is receptive to believing anything it hears about the evil Zionist entity.
Does the INRD even exist? Probably not. More likely another example of Iranian propaganda hijacking the language of universal human rights.
And as for the story itself – interesting that “internationally proscribed gas” is specifically mentioned only weeks after Israel found itself in the spotlight falsely accused of killing a Palestinian with (perfectly legally employed) tear gas. I also wonder who spotted the Israeli planes landing at Cairo on a Saturday. Did El Al break the habit of a lifetime and start flying on the Jewish Shabbat?
This story is so preposterous that even the Daily Kos, which initially ran with it, seems to have taken it down.
Isn’t it about time that Press TV was also taken down from the living rooms of British satellite subscribers where it continues to pump out this sort of garbage?