Yellow journalism and fake news the yummy scapegoat of the mullahs’ regime
“For decades, Tehran’s theocratic rulers have gone to great lengths to make inroads in Western media outlets once notable for upholding commitments to journalistic independence,” writes professor Sheehan in his article “Tehran’s Influence Operations a Threat to Journalistic Independence”. Yellow journalism and fake news is what we have been witnessing for decades being used by the mullahs’ regime and its proxies as well as its lobbies, as a tool to demonize the legitimate alternative to this regime, NCRI, and its core organization the MEK/PMOI.
The leading media outlets to fulfill this intention for the mullahs in the west are The Guardian, Channel 4 from Britain, Al-Jazeera English, The Independent, and MSNBC. These organs either use former journalists who previously worked for regime-controlled media or are in its payroll. Through these journalists, the regime pursues its Yellow Journalism and fake new against its opposition. As an example as professor Sheehan puts it: “Note that Marathi, who wrote the libelous report slandering the MEK, previously served as a Tehran-based correspondent and has been known to lavishly praise the regime’s illiberal President Hassan Rouhani.”
But why are this yellow journalism and fake news so yummy for the mullahs’ regime?
Especially from December 2017 when the vast demonstrations formed in Iran in defiance of the current regime, we are witnessing that protests and strikes have not halted even for one day throughout 2018. The demonstrations which seemed to start because of poverty swiftly turned to huge protests with political demands from their first days.
The main slogans were: “Down with dictator,” “death to Khamenei,” and “hardliners, reformists! It is over”. These slogans showed the deep wish and demand of the Iranian nation: this regime must go and freedom and democracy must turn back to Iran.
One might say: So what’s the relation?
The resistance units in Iran, members of the MEK network inside Iran are the ones who incite this courage amongst the nation. By posting the images and saying of the leaders of the resistance Mr. Massoud Rajavi and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi (the president-elect of the National Council of the Resistance of Iran, NCRI), by writing these slogans and many more on the walls of different cities, by setting the posters of Khamenei and Khomeini (the founder of IR) ablaze, by setting fire to the entrances and billboards of Bassij bases (Khamenei’s suppressive militia) and by participating in demonstrations paving the way for the people to cry out loud their true demands and wishes for a free Iran. And all these on the cost of getting arrested, and tortured.
This is where the yellow journalism and fake news steps forward: “Demonize the MEK/PMOI and give me the scapegoat,” is what regime proceeds.
What are the allegations?
The MEK has no base in Iran, they are terrorists, they have killed Kurds, they are sects (read we cannot infiltrate them), they have killed Americans and etc. These allegations have been ruled out times and again in several courts of justice in Europe and US.
Once again as professor Sheehan has put it: “Though some of these journalists do, from time to time, reference human rights abuses in Iran, seldom – if ever – do they contradict the regime’s fundamental positions in critical areas such as the potential for regime change via domestic protests, the effect of sanctions in fueling anti-regime demonstrations, or the role of the organized opposition in advancing grassroots change.”
Don’t these journalists know these facts, or can’t they conduct research regarding the allegations to find out the truth? Of course, they do. But what can a regime on the brink of downfall do other than suppressing the people inside the country and demonizing its true alternative both in the country and abroad by clinging to yellow journalism and fake news?
We have a saying in Persian: “He is whistling in the dark (to show he is not afraid)”. This is exactly the case for the mullahs’ regime in Iran that sees its downfall ahead and is whistling with yellow journalism and fake news to cover its fear of its main opposition.