Peter Hasson on January 7, 2020
MSNBC gave airtime to baseless Iranian propaganda alleging the Islamic Republic had killed 30 American military members in missile attacks Tuesday night.
Iran launched missile attacks on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops Tuesday, in retaliation for the U.S. killing notorious Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani. At the time this article was published, there were no known American casualties in Tuesday night’s attacks, but that didn’t stop MSNBC from giving oxygen to Iranian propaganda claiming otherwise.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews brought in NBC News Tehran bureau chief Ali Arouzi, who repeated the Iranian claims to MSNBC’s national audience.
“We’ve just getting reports now that a second wave of rocket attacks have been launched from Iran,” Arouzi said. “The IRGC was saying that Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of this country, was in the control center coordinating these attacks.”
“This is, uh, this bit I’m not sure about,” he continued, before sharing the unverified propaganda claim. “But Iran state media is claiming that 30 U.S. soldiers have been killed in this attack. Now, this is not confirmed, this is just coming from Iranian media, but we have just stepped over the precipice, Chris.”
MSNBC did not immediately return a request for comment on the decision to air the Iranian propaganda claim.
At almost the exact same time that MSNBC aired the Iranian claims about U.S. casualties, CNN cited a U.S. official in reporting that there were zero known American casualties at the time.
As of the time this article was published, there were still no known U.S. casualties — much less 30.
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