Lit / News

Octavia Nasr Canned by CNN

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Depending on which report you read, CNN’s (now former) senior Middle East editor Octavia Nasr has either left the station or has been fired following her controversial Twitter post that read as follows:

Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot..

“As she has stated in her blog on, she fully accepts that she should not have made such a simplistic comment without any context whatsoever,” said Parisa Khosrav of CNN Worldwide.

A shame that Nasr made such a massively poor judgment call. Her Twitter page (as of July 11, 2010) displays the following message:

Regret tweet about Fadlallah death bc I didn’t explain specific respect for standing up for Muslim women.

Additionally, she provides a link to a brief letter detailing her experiences with Ayatollah Fadlallah, and expands on the work he did to aid Muslim women, while elaborating that she did not admire, in totality, his life’s work — you know, she creates a real piece of journalism. Tweets are not tools to create journalistic content  — they’re 140-word grammatical disasters meant to be used as plugs to get people to read the actual stories (or to shill products, or talk about #thingsudontsayinbed LOL). Nasr’s firing is a wake-up call. There are certain things that shouldn’t be over-simplified or provided without context, and with the credibility of pundits and prime time news networks already shaky, Nasr’s faux pas is something that just isn’t acceptable.