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CNN correspondent fired over Twitter post

July 8, 2010 at 12:07 PM   |   Comments

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ATLANTA, July 8 (UPI) -- CNN said it let go a senior correspondent who praised in a Twitter post a Muslim cleric associated with the terror group Hezbollah.

Octavia Nasr, the U.S. cable news network's senior Middle East editor, was fired Wednesday after calling Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah a "giant" in a Twitter post after his death last weekend, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

CNN officials and Nasr called the tweet an "error in judgment."

In a memo leaked to media outlets Wednesday, CNN officials said Nasr's "credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward."

Jewish groups protested the post, noting Fadlallah's role in founding the terrorist group, the JTA said.

Nasr left her CNN office in Atlanta Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

Nasr, a 20-year employee with CNN, wrote on Twitter after the cleric died Sunday, "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah … One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot."

In a blog post Tuesday, Nasr apologized for her tweet "because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah's life's work. That's not the case at all."

She said she used the words "sad" and "respect" because "to me, as a Middle Eastern woman, Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among (Shiite) clerics on woman's rights. He called for the abolition of the tribal system of 'honor killing.' He called the practice primitive and nonproductive. He warned Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam."

However, she said, "This does not mean I respected him for what else he did or said. Far from it."

Topics: Hezbollah
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