Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been making moves to become a media darling here in the U.S., but Iran's state media agency thinks we're screwing up his coming out party.
Fars News Agency, which claims to be Iran's leading "independent" news outlet (but isn't), is very unhappy with CNN right now. They say that the network purposely fabricated remarks made by Rouhani during an interview aired Tuesday.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked Rouhani about the Holocaust, and the translated response they gave was thus (emphasis, FNA):
"I've said before that I am not a historian and then, when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect on it. But in general I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime that Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews is reprehensible and condemnable. Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn, the taking of human life is contemptible, it makes no difference whether that life is Jewish life, Christian or Muslim, for us it is the same, but taking the human life is something our religion rejects but this doesn't mean that on the other hand you can say Nazis committed crime against a group now therefore, they must usurp the land of another group and occupy it. This too is an act that should be condemned. There should be an even-handed discussion".
"I have said before that I am not a historian and historians should specify, state and explain the aspects of historical events, but generally we fully condemn any kind of crime committed against humanity throughout the history, including the crime committed by the Nazis both against the Jews and non-Jews, the same way that if today any crime is committed against any nation or any religion or any people or any belief, we condemn that crime and genocide. Therefore, what the Nazis did is condemned, (but) the aspects that you talk about, clarification of these aspects is a duty of the historians and researchers, I am not a history scholar."
Still, the FNA takes issue with all of the headlines we're publishing since the interview aired. Things like: "Iran's President Rouhani Calls Holocaust 'Reprehensible' Crime Against Jews," and "Rouhani Recognizes the Holocaust as Crime against Jews."
What's interesting about the FNA's protest against CNN is that they don't seem to care so much about the outright fabrications in the translation, but about the "alteration" of Rouhani's message.
Of course, they neglect to detail the exact difference they so fiercely protest, so we're left to assume they mean that Rouhani feels bad for Jews but not that bad, okay?
Kind of a strange reason to get bent out of shape. Whenever the media alters tape, it's usually to make someone look worse, not better. What do you think about CNN's alteration/fabrication of the Hassan Rouhani interview?