In what appears to be one of the most ridiculous incidents in traditional vs. new media mentalities, the Senior Editor of CNN’s Middle East Affairs Octavia Nasr has been fired over a tweet she made last week.
The controversial tweet has been circulating the web for the past couple of days since Nasr tweeted her opinion of a late prominent Lebanese Shiite cleric (Octavia being a Lebanese American) in which stated:
“Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot #Lebanon”
We’re not going to get into a debate about the content of the tweet, Jillian C. York has done a wonderful job at that. But what does seem odd, is that a prominent news agency like CNN is willing to lose a 20 year CNN veteran over an opinion published out of context and in such short notice.
No one is defending Octavia’s opinion, but her right to state it should not be an exception.
The incident has started a tweet storm, so to speak, around the world and especially in the Middle East, where the Middle Eastern web icons have expressed their outrage. People including Samih Toukan (Founder of Maktoob.com and CEO of Jabbar Internet Group), Habib Haddad Founder/CEO of Yamli, and Mohamad Takriti CEO of iHorizons, the company developing most of AlJazeera’s online portal, have all voiced their disgust.
I wonder if they should fear for their jobs too after this, perhaps so should I?