7 July 2010
Less than 140 characters cost CNN’s Octavia Nasr her job after she tweeted her “respect” for a Hezbollah sheikh who died over the weekend.
Nasr, CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs, ran into hot water after she posted on Twitter that she was “sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”
Facing an immediate and harsh backlash, she backpedaled Tuesday in a blog post, saying she didn’t endorse the life work of Fadlallah – who was labeled a terrorist by US officials.
“Not the kind of life to be commenting about in a brief tweet. It’s something I deeply regret,” she wrote. Still, she praised Fadlallah for being a pioneer on “woman’s rights,” and warning Muslim men against abusing their wives.
It was not enough. On Wednesday, CNN fired her.
Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president of CNN International Newsgathering, told the staff that Nasr accepts she shouldn’t have made such a “simplistic” comment without context.
“However,” Khorsravi wrote in a memo, “at this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward.”
Nasr joined CNN in 1990 and was an on-air and off-air analyst on Mideast affairs for a variety of CNN platforms.