CNN suppresses its own award-winning doc on human rights abuses in Bahrain; has commercial ties to the regime

CNN sent its investigative correspondent Amber Lyon to produce an expensive documentary on the Arab Spring, including human rights abuses in Bahrain. Lyon and her crew were violently detained by Bahraini security forces, but soldiered on and made "iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring," which went on to win awards and acclaim after its sole airing on CNN.

But CNN International, "the most-watched English-speaking news outlet in the Middle East," has never aired the doc. While cutting the doc, Lyon was pressured to include statements from the Bahraini government that she knew to be lies. And CNN itself under-reported the ongoing abuses in Bahrain. Now, CNN has threatened Lyon with sanction for her continued work to uncover the reason that her doc was blackballed by the international arm of her former employer. CNN itself has been remarkably friendly to the Bahraini regime, with which it has close financial ties.

Here's more from Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian:

On 16 August, Lyon wrote three tweets about this episode. CNNi's refusal to broadcast "iRevolution", she wrote, "baffled producers". Linking to the YouTube clip of the Bahrain segment, she added that the "censorship was devastating to my crew and activists who risked lives to tell [the] story." She posted a picture of herself with Rajab and wrote:

"A proponent of peace, @nabeelrajab risked his safety to show me how the regime oppresses the [people] of #Bahrain."

The following day, a representative of CNN's business affairs office called Lyon's acting agent, George Arquilla of Octagon Entertainment, and threatened that her severance payments and insurance benefits would be immediately terminated if she ever again spoke publicly about this matter, or spoke negatively about CNN.

Why didn't CNN's international arm air its own documentary on Bahrain's Arab Spring repression? (via Reddit)


    1. Actually the literal term is “nauseated” unless you’re the thing causing nausea. (Nauseous : Nauseated :: Poisonous : Poisoned)

      Also: *barf*

      1. Wrong.  Oxford English Dictionary:nauseous |ˈnôSHəs, -ZHəs, -ēəs|adjective1 affected with nausea; inclined to vomit: “a rancid, cloying odor that made him nauseous.”

    1. I  know right… who would have thunk that privatized media outlets who produce “news” would be such a big old bucket of fail in reporting actually news?  Count me shocked too.

  1. CNN is not one of my favorite sources of news. In fact, its not a source of news for me. 

    Will FOX cover the Democratic convention?  If so, why? It is so biased that I can’t stand it even out of election season with its name calling, stupid remarks about poor people and people of color.

    1. Question: Would Ghangis Khan would rape the women and kill the men?

      Yes, Ghangis Khan is an asshole.  That doesn’t mean that Charles Manson is a good guy just because he only killed a few people.  Your “question” has absolutely nothing to do with CNN being a flaming piece of shit.  FoxNews being a flaming piece of shit doesn’t magically give CNN the right to be a flaming piece of shit.  
      Not to imply that FoxNews has any ethics or would behave any differently, but if I could pick between a news station that is openly and transparently hostile to a particular political party or one that quietly dumps award winning journalism on a massively important worlds news story in the trash and tries to cover it up, I’ll take the partisan blowhard douche bags.

      The conventions are non-news story.  They are scripted events that have nothing to do with reality.  The mother-fucking-Arab-Spring on the other hand is going to effect your grand children.  CNN should be strung up on a metaphorical pole for this.

  2. Today I Learned: Glenn Greenwald has moved to the Guardian.  It’s nice to know where to find him; I’ve been wondering why he was no longer in my Salon feed.

  3. In my opinion CNN has sold out.  What CNN does in no longer journalism but junk reporting.   Money wins over principles, over morals and over doing the right thing.  

  4. Protip: CNNNN is twice as good a news source as CNN

    PS – You know why Bahrain’s protests were so effectively crushed without the vocal condemnation of US politicians? Probably had something to do with this:

    America is no less evil than the Bahrain government when it continues to benefit from the regime’s brutal crackdowns on protestors.


    Ali Abdulemam, who ran the busy BahrainOnline discussion portal (public sphere!) single-handedly for so long, is amazing. So is Nabil R. of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. I’ll be interested to follow their doings in future; thank you for the information.

        1. What is the story. Please address the below.


          I have worked in enough Corporate messaging environments to know about the “Programming Decision BS” that the article is referring. 

          The last time some crap came like open was when Farenheit 911 was about to be released. Fearing a political fallout and hostile treatment instead of favored treatment by Jeb Bush and conservative politicians reg Disney properties in Florida, Walt Disney Company went extra ordinary steps to write off the 6M dollar investment its Miramax subsidiary made in making the movie. Also Disney feared it would jeopardize Saudi investment in the company. 

          So is CNNi willing to sell the documentary to anyone willing to sponsor 100-300K USD  the whole production costed?

          So tell us this. Will CNNi detail the affiliation with the Baharini Government or Royal family or cohorts? And how about answering the relationships other governments or lobbyists representing them in the US?

        2. Neat, Jonathan. You gonna reply to his rebuttal, too? Because I think it’s pretty damn convincing, and makes CNNi look pretty awful. Or it is not worth the trouble now that you’ve been outed?

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