LA Times Whitewashed Threatening Ahmadinejad Speech

The Los Angeles Times ran a bizarrely biased October 5 article about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Qods Day speech. The Times omitted and downplayed important remarks and outright threats in the much-sanitized speech, such as twisting Holocaust denial into just asking questions.

True to form, the Iranian president railed against the ever-oppressive and all-powerful “Zionists,” but the LAT presented his speech with a tone better suited for an Iranian audience. 

The reporters, special correspondent Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and staff writer Borzou Daragahi in Beirut, jumped right into the anti-Semitic propaganda that could just as easily have come from the Aryan Nation (bold mine throughout):

The Iranian president delivered fiery remarks today about Israel and his country's nuclear program on the occasion of Qods Day, the annual commemoration of the Palestinian fight against the Jewish state.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used the annual occasion marking the Palestinian struggle to criticize Israel's policies and the West's taboos on questioning the Holocaust. He repeated his suggestion that the West relocate Israel's Jews to "somewhere in Canada or Alaska."

Beginning with calling the Israeli/Palestinian conflict the “Palestinian struggle,” the LAT shattered US journalistic standards of neutrality. Then the Times began serious damage control with the inevitable Holocaust remarks. Would the LAT have similarly legitimized a statement about “the West's taboos on questioning the Holocaust” if it came from the former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke?

In a move designed to minimize the Iranian president's anti-Semitic and anti-Israel genocidal wishes, the article closed with recycled propaganda that Reuters debunked (h/t LGF)

The controversial president and other officials often repeat an old slogan from Khomeini that Israel should be "eliminated from the pages of time," which has been incorrectly translated as calling for wiping Israel off the map.

That's just not true. Even Reuters stands behind the original translation. January 15, Reuters explained why in a reader feedback section:

We actually had access to this speech, and heard the president's words verbatim from our own TV footage. We stand behind our translation. In this case, he used the word "mahv," which in Farsi means "wiped off": Editor

In all of this fluff, the LAT missed several newsworthy statements by Ahmadinejad, who called Israel an “insult to human dignity” and said the “occupation of Palestine is not limited to one land. The Zionist issue is now a global issue.”

"They (world powers) should not think that the Iranian nation and other nations in the region will take off their hands off the throat of the Zionists and their supporters." -- AFP

"The Iranian nation and countries in the region will not rest until Palestine is free and criminals punished," he said. --Gulf Daily News

Those were serious threats about annihilating Israel and its supporters that didn't seem to be newsworthy to the LAT.

"Iran condemns fabricating such a pretext (the Holocaust) for the Zionist regime to commit genocide against the Palestinian nation and occupy Palestine," Ahmadinejad said.--Gulf Daily News

He also called for a ``fact-finding group'' to investigate the ``black box'' of World War II, alluding to his repeated questioning of whether the killing of Jews by the Nazi regime during World War II took place. -- Bloomberg

Rather important quotations that the Times chose to omit.

This article should not have been published with this kind of bias. Who knew the LA Times was trying to pick up readers in the white supremacist demographic?


*Update: This post concerns the original article that the LA Times later significantly changed. The link is to the cached original. 

Lynn is a NewsBusters contributor. Email her at tvisgoodforyou2 at yahoo dot com.

Iran Israel/Palestine Islam Los Angeles Times Journalistic Issues Ramin Mostaghim Borzou Daragahi