Back in March 2011, CNN sent a four person team to Bahrain to cover the Arab Spring. Once there, the crew was the subject of extreme intimidation amongst other things, but they were able to record some fantastic footage. As Glenn Greenwald of the UK’s Guardian writes in his blockbuster article from September 4th 2012:
In the segment, Lyon interviewed activists as they explicitly described their torture at the hands of government forces, while family members recounted their relatives’ abrupt disappearances. She spoke with government officials justifying the imprisonment of activists. And the segment featured harrowing video footage of regime forces shooting unarmed demonstrators, along with the mass arrests of peaceful protesters. In sum, the early 2011 CNN segment on Bahrain presented one of the starkest reports to date of the brutal repression embraced by the US-backed regime.
Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNNi.
Having just returned from Bahrain, Lyon says she “saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.”
Here is a segment of the Bahrain report that Amber Lyon and her team put together. CNNi refused to allow it to air because the Bahrain Government had paid them not to show it.
When Amber Lyon recognized the extent of the reasoning, she challenged CNN. CNN told her to be quiet and began to view her as a risk. She knew, and found out, too much.
In the video below Lyons describes what happened in Bahrain and how CNN suppressed the documentary because of pressure from their Bahrain paymasters.
Lyon says CNN produces infomercials for dictators. They broadcast what they are paid to broadcast by governments. She says CNN violates every principle of journalistic ethics.
Lyons says CNN violates every principle of journalistic ethics. They are supposed to be watchdogs on these governments we are not supposed to be allowing them to be paying customers as journalists.
Watch the video:
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