Octavia Nasr, who has 20 years of experience reporting on the Middle East at CNN, was canned today over a tweet saying that she “respected” a Hezbollah cleric who died Sunday. Here’s her more-than-140-character explanation:
I used the words “respect” and “sad” because to me as a Middle Eastern woman, Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman’s rights. He called for the abolition of the tribal system of “honor killing.” He called the practice primitive and non-productive. He warned Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam.
I have no idea whether Nasr was any good, but it’s pretty harsh to fire someone over one tweet without a second chance. People typing a sentence or two on the fly are going to fuck up once in a while. If I worked for CNN, I’d tweet a hell of a lot less after this incident.
On the bright side, when Sarah Palin wins in 2012, her whole SOTU is going to be a couple of tweets and a Facebook status update, and I’ll expect CNN to hold her to the same high standard.