After 20 year career, CNN Middle East correspondent canned for controversial tweet

But Mediaite is publishing a response from a CNN official, who said essentially of the 20-year CNN employee, you blew it:

From Parisa Khosravi – SVP CNN International Newsgathering

I had a conversation with Octavia this morning and I want to share with you that we have decided that she will be leaving the company. As you know, her tweet over the weekend created a wide reaction. 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. However, at this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward.

As a colleague and friend we’re going to miss seeing Octavia everyday. She has been an extremely dedicated and committed part of our team. We thank Octavia for all of her hard work and we certainly wish her all the best.


You can bet that some Arab-American groups will be up in arms about this.  Off the top of my head, I'm not sure I know of too many reporters who have been canned for a tweet (though I'm not saying it hasn't happened).  For CNN viewers, Nasr has been a familiar face, whether it was to interpret an Osama bin Laden video, or scanning blogs in the Middle East about the sentiments of the citizens over there in regards to a particular situation.

CNN this afternoon fired their Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs, Octavia Nasr, following a controversial tweet that she posted earlier this week where she praised Hezbollah leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.

Nasr had written about Fadlallah that she was "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot.."

That earned her the rebuke of from some news outlets, as well as the Simon Weisenthal Center, who called on the cable news network to "repudiate her remarks."  Repudiate, mind you, not terminate.

After she realized that the tweet was being taken with offense, the CNN reporter wrote on her blog to elaborate why she praised the leader of a group that is considered a terrorist organization, though it is also a major player in Lebanon politics.

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.

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