News Commentary – Oct 22, 2012
The International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat) has taken a number of Iranian channels off the air in Europe based on an order by the United States.
The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has ordered the international broadcast services provider to shut down the Iranian channels, including Sahar, Jam-e-Jam, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network and al-Kowsar.
Last week European satellite provider Eutelsat SA pulled the plug on several other satellite channels and radio stations broadcast from Iran including Press TV.
Ben Cohen writing in Commentary Magazine, described Iran’s response to being pulled off the air as “typically bombastic”.
Unsurprisingly, Cohen is none too sympathetic to Press TV as he describes its broadcast content as:
“a diet of Holocaust denial, 9/11 “inside job” theories, fawning profiles of obscurities like the American anti-Zionist propagandist Max Blumenthal, and a coterie of aspiring Lord Haw Haws”
So Press TV obviously got what was coming to them – in Cohen’s view – following months of jamming of Iranian broadcasters by European satellite companies.
The Associated Press report below doesn’t mention any of this however. Just like Ben Cohen’s comments, the AP displays the same warped journalistic balance by not mentioning the fact that Iranian broadcasters were also being pulled from the airwaves.
European broadcasters accuse Syria, Iran of jamming of news to Middle East
Associated Press – Oct 22, 2012
European broadcast officials say Syria and Iran appear to be behind the deliberate signal-jamming that has interrupted news delivered by satellite into parts of the Middle East.
The Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union alliance says the jamming that began last week is an attack on the independence of news organizations.
It said in a statement Monday that the targeted jamming cut off radio and television content by broadcasters including the BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America.
European satellite operator Eutelsat reports that the “deliberate and intermittent interference” originated from Syria and Iran.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre says the jamming incidents are an “attack on media freedom” because they deny people access to information, a universal human right and an essential component for democracy.