NYT on the Other Neda

This story in today’s New York Times caught my attention: Mistaken as an Iranian Martyr, Then Hounded.

Iranian intelligence officials, Ms. Soltani said, pressured her to come forward publicly to show that she was alive and denounce the shooting as faked, and threatened her when she did not comply.

The Iranian secret police seem oddly inept in some of their propaganda efforts. There was that obviously photoshopped image of the rockets being test fired, for example, where you could clearly see where the billowing smoke clouds had been cloned to make it look like there were more rockets than there actually were. Or this story, in which they took an unrelated English-literature teacher and, after Western media sources mistakenly identified her as the woman shot and killed in that heart-breaking YouTube video, pressured her to participate in their weird propaganda effort to undercut the video’s impact.

These days Neda (the Neda who was not shot and killed), with the help of Amnesty International, has fled to Germany, where she has been granted political asylum. But she’s “haunted”, says the NYT:

“Both sides have destroyed my life, the Western media and the Iranian intelligence,” said Ms. Soltani, staring out the window of her apartment. “But I still have the hope that at least the media will realize what they have done.”

So: lessons for today:

1. Crappy journalism, even in the days of the Web when no one really expects journalists to have professional standards, has a price, and it’s paid by people like Zahra “Neda” Soltani.

2. The Iranian intelligence service are the Keystone Kops of government propaganda. But maybe they don’t care. Maybe, like the people pushing global warming denialism, it doesn’t matter if their shtick is ludicrous and transparent to anyone with an active bullshit detector. Because people with active bullshit detectors are not their intended audience. They’re looking for the low-hanging fruit: people who want to believe what they’re pushing, and won’t bother checking the facts.

6 Responses to “NYT on the Other Neda”

  1. shcb Says:

    Facts????????? the graph you posted was a bald faced lie, but you are to wrapped up in the emotional aspect of if man do it, it must be bad to see it objectively. You could have used the real data and still made your point, just not as easily. Sometimes smart people are so stupid.

  2. Smith Says:

    If I keep presenting my opinion that the “hockey stick” is a lie as though it were a fact, everyone will believe me without question. Fox News has trained me well.

  3. shcb Says:

    Opinion? You guys are unbelievable.

  4. Smith Says:

    “You guys are unbelievable.”

    Oh come on now. Based on the nonsense you spew here, I’m pretty sure you’ll believe anything (especially if the radio tells you to).

  5. enkidu Says:

    or the voices in his head

    the funniest thing about ol wwnj is he thinks he wins every ‘discussion’ hands down (etc) Facts and reality be damned.


  6. NorthernLite Says:

    Interesting debate.

    Here’s another one I found quite interesting…


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