Bombshell: CNN Takes Money From Foreign Dictators To Run Flattering News Stories About Them


Fred Pleitgen of the UK’s The Guardian reported that CNN refused to broadcast an award-winning documentary, “iRevolution,” that was produced in 2011. The documentary featured CNN’s on-air correspondent Amber Lyon and was critical of the regime in Bahrain for using violence against its own citizens who were peacefully protesting for democracy. The reason why CNN didn’t air their own documentary may shock you.

According to Pleitgen, “CNNi’s pursuit of and reliance on revenue from Middle East regimes increased significantly after the 2008 financial crisis, which caused the network to suffer significant losses in corporate sponsorships. It thus pursued all-new, journalistically dubious ways to earn revenue from governments around the world. Bahrain has been one of the most aggressive government exploiters of the opportunities presented by CNNi.”

Pleitgen continues, “These arrangements extend far beyond standard sponsorship agreements for advertising of the type most major media outlets feature. CNNi produces those programs in an arrangement it describes as ‘in association with’ the government of a country, and offers regimes the ability to pay for specific programs about their country. These programs are then featured as part of CNNi’s so-called “Eye on” series (‘Eye on Georgia’, ‘Eye on the Phillipines’, ‘Eye on Poland’), or ‘Marketplace Middle East’, all of which is designed to tout the positive economic, social and political features of that country.”

To the average viewer unaware of these government sponsorships, it appears to be standard “reporting” from the network.

Back to the iRevolution that CNNi never aired – it was critical of the Bahrain government for using violence against its own people. During that time, Bahrain was highly invested in CNN’s “sponsorship” opportunities even to the point that, according to Pleitgen, “official sgencies of the regime often boasted of how their extensive involvement with CNN was improving the nation’s image around the world.”

Pleitgen continues, “Beyond that, there are multiple examples of CNN International producing plainly propagandistic coverage of the regime, often without any minimal disclosure of the vested interests of its sources.”

For more of the story see The Guardian.

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