CBS News Gives Saudi Crown Prince a Platform to Lie

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CBS News Gives Saudi Crown Prince a Platform to Lie

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Last November, the NYT tried reinventing the ruthless Saudi dictatorship through its interview with crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) by pseudo-journalist Thomas Friedman – a disgraceful exercise in deception.

Riyadh is the Arab world’s most ruthless regime, a despotic crime family, masquerading as legitimate governance – its rule absolute, no opposition tolerated, no civil or human rights afforded ordinary Saudis, no speech, media or academic freedoms, nor right of assembly, association, internal movement, foreign travel, or religion.

Saudis have right to choose their government or have easy access to education, healthcare, public housing, legal services or social ones. Political parties are banned. So are collective bargaining rights and Internet access.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions are commonplace. So are state-sponsored kidnappings and disappearances – due process and judicial fairness denied. Torture and other abuses substitute.

Besides its oil, Saudis are best known for public beheadings, whippings, torture, political imprisonments, sponsoring terrorism, wars of aggression and other lawless actions.

They’re honored guests in Washington, other Western capitals, even Israel, praised by US media scoundrels, ignoring their high crimes.

60 Minutes is CBS News’ premiere newsmagazine program – its longest-running one, aired since 1968. The NYT once falsely called it “one of the most esteemed news magazines in American television.”

None exist today. The era of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite ended long ago – no one in US electronic or print media approach their stature today.

CBS News disgracefully gave MBS a platform to lie. He took full advantage, falsely claiming Obama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11.

He was dying in a Pakistani hospital months before the incident. Western media, including the NYT, BBC and Fox News, reported his death in December 2001 – repeat December 2001. Obama didn’t kill Osama, as falsely claimed.

CBS correspondent Norah O’Donnell perpetuated the myth of responsible Saudi reforms, saying “it looks like what you’re trying to do is change things here at home” – giving MBS a chance to misportray reality in the kingdom.

It’s run by Islamic extremists. Not according to MBS, blasting Iran, calling its government a dangerous “Islamic theocracy next door,” claiming Saudis “liv(e) very normal lives like the rest of the Gulf countries,” adding:

We’re “just normal people developing like any other country in the world until the events of 1979,” meaning the Iranian revolution – failing to explain the Islamic Republic is the region’s leading peace and stability champion, neither attacking or threatening other nations.

MBS claiming he’s involved in “taking Saudi Arabia back to what we were, a moderate Islam” belies its regional and domestic ruthlessness, its support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, its imprisoning, torturing and tolerating no opposition to its tyrannical rule.

King Salman, MBS, and other Saudi officials want information about their ruthless agenda suppressed.

MBS turned truth on its head claiming the kingdom believes “in many of the principles of human rights. In fact, we believe in the notion of human rights.”

Its tyrannical record speaks for itself. Human and civil right in the kingdom have always been nonstarters.

MBS is no political reformer. As defense minister, he orchestrated naked aggression on Yemen, along with Washington and Britain, supplying the kingdom with most of its weapons and munitions, supporting its illegal blockade – the war creating the world’s gravest humanitarian crisis.

MBS lied claiming Yemeni Houthis use Iranian missiles against the kingdom. Blockade prevents any weapons from entering the country, along with enough food, medical supplies and other essentials to life.

He lied calling Ayatollah Khamenei “the new Hitler,” a disgraceful remark.

He lied claiming Iran “wants to expand…in the Middle East very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time.”

The Islamic Republic seeks no territorial expansion. It wants regional peace, not wars the Saudis support with Washington. It wants a nuclear-free Middle East, these devastating weapons eliminated.

A CBS 10-person team, including correspondent Norah O’Donnell, spent a week in Saudi Arabia for the story it called “Heir to the Throne.”

It gave MBS a platform to misportray the region’s most ruthless Arab state as a normal country – perhaps for its royal family members still in favor, not for its countless victims domestically or abroad.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.