I am reproducing a series of comments on Scott Lucas' site "Enduring America" (?) site which I think sums up the debate nicely.
Scott, you're typically over-hyping the matter.
The two points to take away from the Leverrets' piece are
1- The totally unsubstantiated link drawn by Fathi between the executions and the Green Movement: specifically, the unsupported claim that the executions were somehow intended to suppress demonstrations — demonstrations that lately appear to have petered out on their own, leaving proponents of the Green Movement to come up with various explanations on why the movement should be considered relevant, and
2- A rather significant but entirely missing fact that should have been mentioned in the article: that PJAK is designated as a terrorist organization even by the US.
The right thing for Fathi to have done is
1- Not drawn the link between the Greens and the executions, or having done so, based it on something more susbtantive than vague claims about what is supposedly "widely seen", and
2- Not left out the bit about PJAK, and instead reported it along with whatever criticism it deserved.
That's really the crux of it. This post is a typically cherry picked effort based on hype and emotionalism. And you're playing right into the hands of the anti-Iran, bomb Iran crowd. Remember that such efforts at this type of "journalism" were what contributed to the suffering of millions of Iraqis during the Iraq War debacle. Your efforts are in line with this happening again.
Scott Lucas wrote in reply to Mark
The Leveretts were in trouble over their initial (won't use that over-hyped word "over-hyped") attack on Fathi so Cyrus tried to pull it back to the two points you posted above.
Even on that narrow ground, the Leveretts have no sources and precious little argument. Fathi didn't draw a specific link with the Greens in the article, nor did Ghaemi. That's the Leveretts' construction so they can set up their claim of "pro-Green" bias.
On PJAK, my priority the starting point is the legal process in the trials and executions -- was the claim of membership established? The Leveretts' starting point is the politics of "terrorism", so they can relegate that issue of legal process and rights and the problem it causes for Government legitimacy. I'm happy with my choice.
I think I got the irony in your last paragraph's emotional escalation over hype and emotionalism.
So back to the critique. No hype. No emotionalism. Sources. Facts. Analysis. Fair Criticism.
My reply to Scott
Oh come on Scott, Fathi's directly referenced the Greens and linked the executions to them using the "widely seen" statement. Claiming that the anti-government demonstrations WOULD take place BUT FOR government repression is a standard talking point by some people who have an agenda to insist on the continued importance of the Greens despite their lackluster performance lately, and this is precisely what Fathi tried to pass off as news.
And the Leveretts repeatedly stated in their blog post that they don't support the executions but are criticizing the coverage by Fathi, so this is not anargument over a human rights issues.
Also, you confuse the Leveretts and their blog with reporters and their newspapers. It is not the job of the Leveretts to come up with original research or find sources etc. They are in no position to know for a fact whether the Kurds were members of PJAK or not. But that doesn't mean that they can't criticize a reporter who completely leaves out a very salient fact that the executed folks were (at lease accused) members of an organization that the US considers to be terrorists. It doesn't take a lawyer to figure this out.
Scott Lucas's Reply
Fathi referred to protesters and people who might demonstrate but not Greens or the Green Movement. Nor did she claim that the demonstrations would definitely take place were it not for Government repression; she merely referred an effort to intimidate protesters from marking the anniversary of last year’s huge anti-government rallies".
But these are trifles --- the salient point is that Race for Iran tried to shift attention from the executions by setting up Fathi as the main story. She's not.
If RFI is serious about considering Iran's internal matters instead of casting unsupported judgements, then, yes, the authors should become reporters. They should assemble evidence and assess it before ripping at good journalists who --- whatever the errors they make --- attempt to do that.
And the authors should be man and woman enough to admit that the starting point for this story --- if they are concerned about Iran --- is the issues of justice and human rights around this case. It doesn't take a lawyer to figure that out.
My reply to Scott Lucas
My reply to Scott Lucas
Oh fer Chrissakes Scott, the implication was clear to everyone. Who do you think those "protesters" she referred to were?
And YOU are the one trying to shift attention by ignoring Fathi's pushing of an agenda and instead trying to make this about supposedly whether the Leveretts support human rights or not.
You yourself conceded -- after teeth-pulling -- that Fathi should not have 1- skipped over the fact that PJAK is listed as a terrorist organzation and 2- inserted what you call the "analytical statement" about how the executions were supposedly "widely seen" and those two points were precisely what the Leveretts complained about ( and your subsequent attempt to give credibility to Fathi's claim about the timing of the executions supposedly being “rushed” was also shown to be invalid.) So just give it up already. The Leveretts are not required to first disclaim any and all atrocities that happen in the world to your satisfaction, in order to critique a journalist who quite richly deserved it.