July 6th, 2010
06:48 PM ET

Nasr explains controversial tweet on Lebanese cleric

Fadlallah died Sunday in a hospital in Beirut, Lebanon.

My tweet was short: "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot. #Lebanon"

Reaction to my tweet was immediate, overwhelming and a provides a good lesson on why 140 characters should not be used to comment on controversial or sensitive issues, especially those dealing with the Middle East.

It was an error of judgment for me to write such a simplistic comment and I'm sorry because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah's life's work. That's not the case at all.

Here's what I should have conveyed more fully:

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 met Fadlallah in 1990. He was willing to take the risk of meeting with a young Christian journalist from the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation. Fadlallah was at the height of his power. As I was ushered in, I was told that he would not look at me in the eye and to make it quick as there was a long line of dignitaries waiting.

The interview went 45 minutes, during which I asked him about Hezbollah's agenda for an Islamic state in Lebanon. He bluntly told me that was his group's dream but there would be room for other religions. He also joked at the end of the interview that the solution for Lebanon's civil war was to send "all political leaders without exception on a ship away from Lebanon with no option to return."

He challenged me to run the entire interview on LBC without editing. We did.

This does not mean I respected him for what else he did or said. Far from it.

It is no secret that Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah hated with a vengeance the United States government and Israel. He regularly praised the terror attacks that killed Israeli citizens. And as recently as 2008, he said the numbers of Jews killed in the Holocaust were wildly inflated.

But it was his commitment to Hezbollah's original mission - resisting Israel's occupation of Lebanon - that made him popular and respected among many Lebanese, not just people of his own sect.

In 1983, as Fadlallah found his voice as a spiritual leader, Islamic Jihad - soon to morph into Hezbollah - bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 299 American and French peacekeepers. I lost family members in that terror attack.

And it was during his time as spiritual leader that so many Westerners were kidnapped and held hostage in Lebanon.

When the Lebanese Civil War ended in 1990 with Syria taking full control of Lebanon, Hezbollah was and remains the only armed militia in Lebanon. Under Syria's influence however, Hezbollah - declared a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union started becoming even more militant, with designs beyond Lebanon's borders to serve agendas for Syria and Iran.

Fadlallah himself was designated a terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department.

In later years, Hezbollah's leadership apparently did not like Fadlallah's vocal criticism of Hezbollah's allegiance to Iran. Nor did they like his assertions that Hezbollah's leaders had been distracted from resistance to Israeli occupation of portions of Lebanon and had turned weapons against their own people.

At first, he was simply pushed to the side, but later wasn't even referred to as a Hezbollah member. Rather, he was referred to as the scholar - the expert on Islam - but nothing more. During the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, his honorary title "Sayyed" - indicating that he's a descendant of the prophet - was dropped any time he was mentioned on Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV and other Hezbollah media outlets.

Through his outspoken Friday sermons and his regularly updated website, Fadlallah had a platform to spread what many considered a more moderate voice of Shia Islam than what was coming out of Iran. Immensely popular in Lebanon among the various religious groups, he also had followers across the region including in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and even as far as Morocco in northern Africa.

Sayyed Fadlallah. Revered across borders yet designated a terrorist. Not the kind of life to be commenting about in a brief tweet. It's something I deeply regret.

soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. jason

    He praised an attack that killed 8 israeli yeshiva students. But this cleric had praised Obama in the past year which the media hasn't reported much. He was for attacks against israeli citizens and doubted the holocaust but he wasn't really against the U.S.

    July 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tamza

      ONLY after we are able to carry on a dialog will we have true freedom of expression .. as it is we have freedom of expression, but limited freedom AFTER expression IF by chance God forbid it happens to be anti Israel. I thought this is a country of 'forgiveness' and 'compassion' > but NOT when it comes to Israel! THIS is probably why some people say we are NOT winning the wars we are fighting .. against terror > because terror is defined so narrowly ...

      July 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ira

      What the Editor said was what the State Department says about all figures. Israel is a racist state that kills Palestinian Christians on a regular basis.

      July 8, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Matt, have you even bothered to read anything about the life of Fadlallah, or are you basing your analysis on his picture? Fadlallah was a Shiite cleric who emphatically denounced 9/11 and held progressive views on women (for an Islamic fundamentalist). He was never responsible for slaughtering women and children...you must be thinking of the CIA attempt to assassinate him in 1985, which failed, but ended up killing a whole lotta women and children.

      People like you have a very strange and inconsistent world view.

      July 8, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      John, I have to say I agree with Matt. Mr. Fadlallah supported Hezbollah all these years. provided religious legitimation for acts of terrorism, and although treated women relatively well, in absolute terms he was as misogynistic as they get.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Cherubian

      I think she really used poor judgement and as a journalist, she should have known better. As for the anti-Israeli supporters, just leave them alone, leave their land alone, and they will not bother anybody.

      Also, America has done a good job supporting Israel until we got this current president, who seems to be pro-muslim, but we always seem to brush over that. Even how the Prime Minister of Israel came to the White house this year and our dear president disrespected him.

      I am a proud American and anything that threatens our well being as Nation should be dealt with by our leaders. Israel is not a threat, they did not come over here and bomb our country, or kill our American soldiers, or danced in the streets with joy when 911 occurred. We are now cozying up and giving rights to people that hate us, what is wrong with that picture and why aren't more Americans outraged by this?

      July 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stelza

      Cherubian you knobhead Israel has been terrorizing the middle east for decades. Leave them alone & they won't hurt anybody? They invaded Palestine killing innocent women & children. Let's not forget all the times they've bombed neighbouring Lebanon under the guise of being threatened. By whom? Hezbollah? Seems odd that one of the world's largest armies is threatened by a guerilla mob defending their land. Open your eyes and see the world for what it really is: riddled with lies that uneducated people like you so ashamedly fall for. Peace.

      July 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sydney

      If Fadlallah is a terrorist, we need more of them ... it is clear that there is a Zionist agenda to bash and label anyone who doesn't agree with their viewpoint. The reality is we will get more open minded honest analysis from Israel than we do in the US. It is sad that she didn't stand by her comment, there is little integrity in journalism these days esp when it comes to Israel. I congratulate her on her momentary lapse of reason and only which she had the courage to not fear the consequences.

      July 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Jason, Jason, Jason
      What do you expect? Israel is an enemy of his country. Israel killed hundreds of women and children and destroyed lebanon at least twice in the recent history. If you have access to the internet, google the terrorism by the State of Israel. The Nazi's denied the holocaust, but it does not mean it did not happen. Don't cover you head in the sand.

      July 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Stelza, I think you're the knobhead. To say that Israel is terrorizing the mid-east is like saying the US is terrorizing the world. There are certainly some idiots that say that, but repeating this doesn't make it true. The fact of the matter is that Arabs and Muslims have tried their best to destroy Israel, but failed to repeatedly. They are still trying to, and will fail again and again. Is it odd to you that America, undoubtedly the strongest country in the world, is threatened by some cave-dwellers in the mountains of Afghanistan? In many cases, the forces of evil are smaller, since they are only dealing with their homicidal manias, and not with developing themselves or their people. These terrorists want to win, they aren't here for a constructive dialogue, and the sooner we in the west get this already, the better. God bless Israel for standing in the front-line, and hopefully all its terrorist enemies will get their 72 virgins pretty soon. Peace.

      July 9, 2010 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Bill: Mr Fadlala also denied the holocaust, I don't know where this puts him, but I wouldn't wanna be friends with someone like that.

      July 9, 2010 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Tamza – What she said was anti-American, you can leave Israel out of this topic. Praising someone from a known terrorist group, a group that killed more than 200 US Marines will surely get you into some serious hot water. CNN did the right thing, she is not the kind of person who is capable of unbias reporting on middle east affairs.

      July 9, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Ira, your comment is not very intelligent. Do you have some evidence you can provide to your provocative entry, or do you believe that merely saying that makes it free? Why don't you crawl back to the hole you came out of?

      July 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amer Haidar

      To all you zionists:

      you have won this round against humanity but you have also removed the last "fig leaf" that was disguising cnn as a respectable news organization; job well done.

      July 9, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wissam

      Matt, John, Cherubian and many others... you live abroad and you get to hear what your media wants you to hear. I am Lebanese. I am Christian. I am against terror and I don't support Hezbollah in all what they are doing. However, you have shown to have very simplistic, naive and uneducated response regarding this issue.
      Israel has clearly trans-passed morals and has ignored all humanitarian rights or virtues. Its mere existence in the Middle East is a fiasco. The Lebanese government is a very peaceful one, and our country is a beautiful and thriving one. It is true we have parties who are opposed to the Israeli existence and their dehumanization of Palestinians, but in the end holding such a view is not a terrorist view. Israel is crossing our air borders daily, killing innocent people as if they were animals! However, I, as well as most Lebanese are against doing any war against Israel. We just want to live a peaceful life! Fadlallah was a moderate Shi'ite, and he held no characteristics of a terrorist whatsoever. I don't agree with Hezbollah's mission but I live with them and I know who they are and what they are much more than you do! They are educated people with morals and dignities, but they are always being triggered to react.
      Personally, I don't want to fight with Israelis and I wish we can live in harmony. But they have pushed Palestinians out of their homes into our land and now we have a problem in housing them. We need to return them back to their homes, and we want them to live a decent life like all other people.
      And pleeaaassse, nobody places a comment if he/she knows nothing or if he/she is brainwashed. I am a Christian in the Middle East... but who is looking for us Christians here? the US, hahaha what a joke! We are keeping ourselves here by our hands and no one out there is eligible to talk about any, you fools.

      July 10, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      ummm...yeah you're an idiot. Hezbollah IS AN ENEMY TO THE US AND ALWAYS WILL BE. Have you not heard of the 1983 US Marine Coprs Barracks bombingin Beirut? Done by HEZBOLLAH, they openly claimed they did and said there would be more to come.

      July 10, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Stelza

      They bombed them so they can get the hell out of Lebanon. Not just for the fun of it. Don't forget The US armed Israel for all their murderous assaults on Lebanon before that.
      I'm sure if Lebanon's military set up camp in the US they'd be killed too.
      That's a lesson the US never learns – invading every country til it breeds resentment & hate & yet you still question why Americans are the most hated race on earth.

      July 10, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Stelza

      Ignorance is bliss Amy darling, denial will catch up to you 🙂

      July 10, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sam the Troll

    I'll bet you deeply regret that tweet – for the same reason Helen Thomas deeply regrets her tirade – it has put your job and your future with CNN in jeopardy, and will stay with you for the rest of your life – as it should. You say a brief tweet is not the place to be talking about Fadlallah – but how could anyone in their right mind ever write a phrase like :

    "One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot" – that's not a lack of nuance – it's downright treasonous ...

    July 6, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Excuse me even the Israeli people revere. And respect their enemies so please go get a real job and stop being an idf troll

      July 7, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Tamza

      I wish more people in this country had the cajones to be more 'treasonous' as far as Israel is concerned > in fact those who BLINDLY support Israel ARE THE TRAITORS. We better start calling Petraeus and Mullins and McChrystal TRAITORS too!

      July 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • arnslcesc

      Helen Thomas knew she was going to retire so she spoke what she believed to be the truth. She doesn't regret it... In fact, she's right. Israel should give back the land they stole.

      July 8, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruben Misrahi

      Well said.
      You can reveal a lot with a few words and hide everything with long explanations. Nasr should become a politician. She has what it takes:SPIN.

      July 8, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sam the Troll

    "Revered across borders" – by terrorist supporters and Islamic fundamentalists all across the Middle East ...

    "Designated a terrorist" – by US and European governments for his moral support and aid for blowing up women and little children ...

    And remember, people, this is a "more moderate voice" of Shia Islam!

    July 6, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Please show one incident a Lebanese Has has killed women and children. Why not speak instead of the thousands of victims killed by the apartheid Jewish state.

      July 7, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • jad

      why ur calling us terrorists and you the people who attacked slaughter kids and occupied and stole our lands just tell me who start killing in 1948

      July 8, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Alain

    Samthetroll, take a hike a go to Israel; Octavia shouldn't even apologise, america is supposedly a free country and she had the right to say whatever she wants.

    July 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Londongirl

      You are a complete knob head, go troll someplace where people can understand what you're on about. Idiot;.

      July 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alain

      you're a dimwitted fool who just felt she had to comment to make herself feel smart; see, try diversifying a bit londontroll.

      July 8, 2010 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Yashar Reuven

      Alain – you are correct. In this country she can say whatever she wants – and her employer can realize that she is no longer fit to represent them.

      Didn't Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah mastermind the killing of Israeli athletes in Munich? Wow. that was a moderate action on his part.

      July 8, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Stelza

      Yashar – get your facts right. Seems you need to go back to sixth grade & read some history books. Oh wait, Jews have rewritten history in their favour haven't they? Funny that a group of Palestinians called Black September claimed responsibility for that attack, & we all know what happened to them. I think if Fadlallah masterminded it, his brains would have been long fried.

      July 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sam the Troll

    If people like Octavia Nasr are editing CNN's reporting on the Middle East, some of the biased and misleading reporting is beginning to make sense:

    Several CNN articles on this topic – covering his death, his burial, and now this inexcusable tweet – have all implied that he has distanced himself from Hezbollah – and therefore he is kosher somehow ...

    They fail to mention that he merely disagreed with the group's affiliation with Iran – not that he disavowed terrorism or Holocaust denial ...

    July 6, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      It certainly does explain a lot; I feel a little silly for thinking that the Saudi takeover was the problem – it's actually been bad for much longer than that!

      July 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alain

      Yes susan, your right they ARE out there and they ARE looking for you.
      Sleep tight, preferably underwater.

      July 8, 2010 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sam the Troll

    @Alain – and I don't? Perhaps you would like to invite Ms. Nasr to return to Labanon, where her interests clearly are? She can go back with Helen Thomas – they are both Lebanese ...

    July 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Perhaps you and your neo-colonial settler friends can heed Helen's advice and go back to Poland so that the natives you forced out 60+ years ago can finally return to their homes.

      You know, it disgusts me to read you accuse others of terrorism...as if we all forgot about the IDF's slaughtering of 9 humanitarian aid workers in international waters, and the abuse, kidnapping and detention of the other passengers of the flotilla. The flotilla was headed for Gaza, the world's largest open air prison, where 1.5 million (half of them children) are trapped on a narrow strip of land because they are the wrong kind of human. You see, if there were simply 1.5 million Jews in Gaza, the Apartheid state of Israel would welcome them with open arms, and probably subsidize their resettlement in the mostly empty lands that they had been forced out of by the creation of the racist state of Israel in 1948.

      But alas, they're Palestinian, not Jewish. Therefore, it's okay to place them under an illegal siege then destroy their infrastructure, homes, schools, hospitals and mosques, kill 1400 in a couple weeks–mostly civilians, and a third of them children–then go around calling anyone who dares speak out against you a terrorist.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. @SamtheTroll

    So what happened to freedom of speech? Neither Helen Thomas or this person said anything wrong because to some people what they said was offensive, and to others, was okay. In the end, who's right and who's wrong? Is there a right or wrong at all? Just because you don't agree with what either of these two persons said, doesn't give you, or anyone else, the right to dictate that they are "wrong" or "should be regretful."

    July 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      You terrorist supporters always scream "freedom of speech" when your evil ways slip out, but you forget that your audience knows very well it has nothing to do with that. Not only does no company have to put up with having a terrorist supporter in their midst, but CNN is SUPPOSED to be a news organization. If they keep this open terrorist supporter on their news staff, they will be exposed themselves. Then again, it's not like it's any secret how biased they are: their foreign edition is in Arabic & they refuse to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. For starters!

      July 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Susan, read a book. Preferably one not written by Glenn Beck.

      You would be doing us all a favor.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Stelza

      Susan, remind us who first reported about the 9/11 bombing? Who aired Osama Bin Laden's "cave threats?" Funny that this news organization bows to terrorists & willingly airs their staged performance, only heeding to their desire for publicity, thus creating fear in ignorant people such as yourself who jump at the sight of a shadow. It's called sensational journalism. Off course, no one does it better. And hey, they make some dough out of this "exclusive". So do us all a favour, head to LA and produce a "terrorist video" demanding teen girls hand over their lipstick or face being stoned to death. Hell, I bet L'Oreal would even give in.

      July 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wissam

      Samthetroll, you are getting on my nerves!!!!! Where are you bringing all that rubbish from? Did they teach you that in school? Go read more real news and facts about what's going on in the world and don't just rely on your constrained scope of knowledge that they offer you. Know the truth before saying any other word. Plz, speak no more as long as you are very far from being knowledgeable!

      July 10, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sam the Troll

    @ the previous post –

    That's just silly. If someone spews a racist tirade like Helen Thomas, the deserve to lose their positions of privilege among the White House correspondents. If someone praises a terrorist who encourages suicide bombings and denied the Holocaust, they also deserve to be held accountable.

    This is not about the 1st Amendment – which applies only to government action. Sure – these two Lebanese women can say almost whatever they want when it comes to racist and terror supporting speech – but they should be held accountable by their employers and the private citizenry for their outrageous statements ...

    Especially when it comes to reporters – because blatant bias undermines objectivity and destroys public faith ...

    July 6, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sam the Troll

    Really, I am rereading this and it's downright insulting ... Okay – we have someone who:

    1) encourages terrorist attacks against civilians by providing spiritual and moral cover for suicide bombers.
    2) effectively denies the Holocaust – "mitigating" genocide by quibbling about numbers instead of educating his flock on the dangers of irrational anti-Semitism.
    3) continues to destabilize the region by railing against the Israeli "occupation" of a couple square kilometers of territory that Israel disputes as its own.

    But this guy redeems himself in this reporter's eyes by coming out against honor killings and warning Muslim men not to beat their wives?

    I just don't get it – I don't see how this is defensible at all ...

    July 6, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • StarofDavid

      Isreal invaded Lebanon killed thousands with high tech American weapons, occupied Lebanon from June 6 1982 till 2000 and during that time Israeli leaders commuted astrocities in Lebanon, khayam concentration camps, kana massacre twice, sabra & shatila massacres, damaged Lebanese infrastructure in billions of dollars without compensations, conducted war crimes against civilians during this occupation, and never compensated the people of lebanon for anything but repeated the same in 20006 and left millions of mines in villages.

      July 7, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Perhaps you should take off your blinders and learn to read what she wrote objectively, since she addressed a number of your "issues" in a completely different way than how you interpreted them.

      July 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hasbara Buster

      @StarofDavid The funny thing is that if Octavia Nasr praised Israel's war crimes in Lebanon – the 20,000 dead in '82, the torture in Al Khiyam, the kidnapping of Lebanese civilians (it happens on a regular basis, use Google), the targeting of Lebanese civilian infrastructure during each of its wars – you wouldn't hear a peep. There would be absolutely no controversy.

      July 8, 2010 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
    • StarofDavid

      Hasbara Buster
      I agreed. Arab blood is cheap and Muslim blood is kosher. So as long as you use the right labels; terrorist, fundementalist, anti west, Muslim group, and my favorite anti semite, u still wouldn t here a beep or any controversy.

      July 9, 2010 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. @SamtheTroll

    Of course that's true. The manner in which Helen Thomas expressed her opinion was unprofessional, but she stood for a controversial cause. The article's author mentioned that she did not support Fadlallah for his sympathy for terrorists, etc. So that is out of the question. Actually there is bias in everyone's mind since she had to write an article explaining her tweet. So from the beginning, there was nothing wrong with what she said and meant.

    July 6, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sam the Troll

    @ previous comment – see my previous post – her admiration for this guy in indefensible, as nuanced as it is ...

    July 6, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sam the Troll

    Now CNN has a bigger problem on their hands – she can explain away her tweet all she wants – but it really undermined the public's faith in her ability to report in an objective, unbiased manner. People will say anything to protect their jobs.

    It's hard to imagine how anyone can use "admire" and "Hezbollah" in the same sentence unless your name is Osama bin Laden ...

    It's one thing if Ms. Nasr covered the foreign desk in Iceland. But she reports on the Middle East, so this is a real problem ...

    July 6, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hasbara Buster

      Oh, like the objectivity of Wolf Blitzer, former AIPAC emlpoyee and an ardent opponent of a Palestinian state?

      July 8, 2010 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Osama bin Laden is a Sunni fundamentalist who believes that Shiism is heresy. He is no fan of Hezbollah.

      Please, continue to make yourself look stupid.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Brian Moser

    Ma'am, with ALL DUE RESPECT, your apology, for me contains insufficient information to explain the "tweet" away, much less your sediment therein. As a 40-50 yr old, law abiding, flag defending, tax paying, middle income American, with prior military combat service and whose son is NOW serving in the Marines as we speak) who has defended your right to say want you want, (just one of MANY MILLIONS OF VETERANS) if your not fired I will never watch CNN AGAIN. I understand the complexities, the semantics, and the politics of your comment and my disagreement therein has nothing to do with my feelings of why you should be fired. I can disagree with your personal position, b and I am still capable of appreciating great, or even good non-biased reporting, but after this insult I wish to hear nothing further from you. Your failure to explain and fully apoligize for your remarks, which you are able to say by OUR (middle american vets) collective blood, sweat, and tears makes OUR contributions and deaths to preserve your freedoms trivial...therefore please find other work, not in the public eye, your reporting or supervision of others reporting has no merit for MIDDLE AMERICA from this point on......Good Luck in your future endeavors....

    July 6, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • gigglebot200

      With all the bashing going on in these comments about grammar, I'm surprised this one slipped past the radar so far...

      Look, I appreciate the apology. I don't think it is right to revel in the death of anyone, regardless of affiliation or background. The person who died is always going to be someone's son, someone's daughter – a brother, a sister, cousin, friend, parent, aunt or uncle, mentor. That person will always mean something to someone, and is going to be missed. Is someone else's grief something to enjoy? That aside, however, showing respect to someone who, regardless of other terrible things, showed just a little goodness can be respected. The racist who fought for women's suffrage. Do you doubt that they existed in THIS country a hundred years ago? And that those people did not on occasion delight in hearing about horrible things committed in the name of their chosen master race – a few well-placed lynchings or cross burnings? Yes, Fadallah had a heck of a lot more power and position than a few Suffragettes, but in the end acknowledging the impact he had on the development of someone's life and career is worthwhile. Apologizing because it was not done properly is also fantastic.

      Relax, get off your soapbox, reign in your high horse. Take a breath, too. If you're really that bothered by it, go watch MSNBC, Fox News' equally fair and balanced counterpart. You'll return to CNN soon enough.

      July 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ximenya

      Brian, if your statement is all true, then perhaps we should not hire people who were born or are from middle east as CNN anchors.

      Black people said things that involved racism against others, so did the white people and vice versa; especially people who have or are in powerful positions. But did we fire them? No. I think Octavia should be just warned and should have kept her job. It's ridiculous, especially in America.

      July 8, 2010 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Alain

      Wow, a real live drama queen; so i take i Octavia no longer has your blessing your highness>?

      July 8, 2010 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
    • True American


      As an American tax payer, how is paying for your son to practice shooting and NOT defend my freedom, I suggest that you watch Foxnews from now on. It seems that red neck, biggot channel fits you very well.

      July 8, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. A Simple Apology Isn't Enough...

    Frankly, I find your apology ridiculous. You are, whether you realize it or not, a national figure as you are a representative of a major news organization. What you do and say, by that point alone, holds you to a higher standard. You also mentioned that you lost family members in the 1983 bombing (for which I am truly sorry); how, after that, you can still mourn the passing of the man who many hold accountable for this horrible atrocity is absolutely absurd and completely disrespectful to your loved ones. There are many other women's rights advocates that aren't terrorists which you could sing the praises of and use your position to bring to the forefront of the media.
    And on another note, it is greatly advised that the next time you post something on the internet, you first read it over to ensure no grammatical mistakes.

    July 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Well said. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist, period.

      July 8, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Alain

      speaking of which, you must be having yours, right now.
      adversely A fool is a fool is an american.

      July 8, 2010 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. A Simple Apology Isn't Enough...

    I'm also curious to know how you explained this incident to your daughters... Did they just take your every word with full acceptance because you are their mother? Or did they, too, question your stupidity?

    July 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
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