Telemundo’s Soleimani Coverage Resorts to Bomb Scares and Pro-Iranian Propaganda

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The coverage accorded to formerly-alive IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani by the mainstream media mirrors that given to former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. That is, reverential to the point of elegy. And as Telemundo shows, a willingness to parrot the regime’s talking points.

Watch below as Telemundo morning kaffeeklatsch Un Nuevo Día (“A New Day”) pushes the idea that Soleimani was “revered”, before proceeding to Cold War-era bomb scares:

BARBARA BERMUDO: Iran announced this Sunday as you know, via state television, their withdrawal from the international agreement that limited its nuclear program, citing the reasoning for this decision as being due to the assassination on Thursday, of top general Soleimani in a bombing.

[…]

STEPHANIE HIMONIDIS: I know that the funeral of this general was held this weekend in Iran and there was a lot of tension and protests in the streets, and a lot of people are also very upset at the President of the United States.

BERMUDO: It seems that they were very divided.

SUÁREZ: In Iran, he was like an idol. People over there loved him very much, and so now they are obviously furious with the United States.

[…]

ADAMARI LÓPEZ: Look, the scenario seems to have changed and a lot of questions come up, and one that concerns us all, is whether Iran already has the atomic bomb.

[…]

NICOLE SUAREZ: But you also have to wonder what effects an atomic bomb explosion would have in the United States.

[…]

SUÁREZ: And even if it's in another part of the world, it obviously affects us here because as you can see, an atomic bomb can wipe out entire cities.

Apparently, this is what passes for serious political analysis on Telemundo. This segment ran for close to five minutes. There was no mention whatsoever of Soleimani’s record as the Ayatollah’s right hand overseas, of his extensive terrorist record or of the hundreds of American lives lost (and thousands of others maimed) at his direction.

The segment instead delved into an extension of the “revered patriot” narrative snaking its way through the rest of the media- pure Iranian propaganda- and then proceeded to go into a bomb scare so detailed that the hosts began speculating as to what cities the Iranians might level and how many might die as a result.

It was in the midst of this bomb scare that co-host Adamari López delivered some unintended yet genius-level comedy:

ADAMARI LÓPEZ: And they can choose what city to do it to (drop an atomic bomb), like perhaps Los Angeles, Washington, New York, some of the cities, but it could happen anywhere so we should also bring on an expert and see how we can protect ourselves in the event of an atomic attack.

Had they brought an expert for this segment, perhaps they could have avoided exposing Telemundo’s viewers to five minutes of ridiculousness and cringe. This unfortunate segment further proves the urgent need for a Spanish-language news alternative.

Click “expand” to view the full transcript of the aforementioned report, as aired on Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Día on Monday, January 6, 2020:

NICOLE SUÁREZ: And now I join the family of Un Nuevo Día to talk about another important subject: The crisis in the Middle East.

BARBARA BERMUDO: Thank you very much Nicole and well- I know you´ll be joining us here. There's definitely an issue that's on everyone's lips and we're concerned that Iran announced this Sunday as you know, via state television, their withdrawal from the international agreement that limited its nuclear program, citing the reasoning for this decision as being due to the assassination on Thursday of top general Soleimani in a bombing. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, as you know, had already unilaterally withdrawn from the deal in May 2018, that's when he did so, and yet the treaty signed in July 2015 by his predecessor, Barack Obama, was still backed by Russia, China as well as the European Union.

STEPHANIE HIMONIDIS: That's right, Iran had agreed to restrict its nuclear production for ten years, closing thousands of uranium centrifuges and had pledged that under no circumstances would they seek to develop or acquire any nuclear weapons in return. Obviously, trade sanctions worth billions of dollars were lifted and this could be about to change.

ADAMARI LÓPEZ: Look, the scenario seems to have changed and a lot of questions come up, and one that concerns us all, is whether Iran already has the atomic bomb. Well, it appears that they don ́t, but how long would it take for them to develop it now that they have abandoned this nuclear agreement? There are experts mentioned in Newsweek magazine, and also The Wall Street Journal, who say that Iran would need about a year to be able to manufacture enough enriched uranium to make that atomic bomb although they could also buy it and seemingly, that would reduce the term to three months, according to The New York Times.

SUÁREZ: But now Ada, they would also have to place this bomb on a ballistic missile which could take another year. North Korea, for example, has between 20 and 60 atomic bombs and claims to be able to mount them on intercontinental missiles capable of reaching the United States, although that does not seem to be true. But you also have to wonder what effects an atomic bomb explosion would have in the United States. There is a scientist, Alex Wellerstein, who has developed a tool that calculates the radius of destruction and victims of a nuclear explosion in the United States. For example, he did it in New York with a 150 kiloton bomb and that says it would wipe half of Manhattan Island off the map, in Los Angeles it would kill 240,000 people and injure 630,000 more, and in Washington, DC, there would be more than 260,000 dead and 440,000 wounded, so the situation could be very serious. We don't really know what to expect in the future.

LÓPEZ: That could be the immediate damage that an atomic bomb explosion could cause, but all the aftermath that would bring and the people who would get sick, or how it could develop again, who knows, is very difficult.

SUÁREZ: It's an extremely dangerous war between powers, because neither the authorities here in the United States nor those of Iran are taking calm measures, tensions are high.

HIMONIDIS: I know that the funeral of this general was held this weekend in Iran and there was a lot of tension and protests in the streets, and a lot of people are also very upset at the President of the United States.

BERMUDO: It seems that they were very divided.

SUÁREZ: In Iran, he was like an idol. People over there loved him very much, and so now they are obviously furious with the United States.

BERMUDO: It's really something that I can't believe we're talking about at the beginning of the year, when we hope that all the news is good, however, it's something that we have to worry about, that we have to stay informed about and that we must be aware of every detail, because they make these kind of decisions in a minute but we suffer the rest.

SUÁREZ: And even if it's in another part of the world, it obviously affects us here because as you can see, an atomic bomb can wipe out entire cities.

ADAMARI LÓPEZ: And they can choose what city to do it to (drop an atomic bomb), like perhaps Los Angeles, Washington, New York, some of the cities, but it could happen anywhere so we should also bring on an expert and see how we can protect ourselves in the event of an atomic attack.

HIMONIDIS: And our president, Mr. Trump, has been actively talking about this issue on social media. We invite you to stay tuned to Telemundo newscasts for more information on this issue.

 

 

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