Amanpour Attacked for Being Iranian

We join together to combat those who wish to silence Iranian-Americans


Amanpour Attacked for Being Iranian
by patrickdisney

As with anything in politics, there should be room for a lively debate about Christiane Amanpour’s recent appointment to host ABC’s This Week. Legitimate arguments can be made both for and against the decision to hire an acclaimed foreign correspondent to do a Sunday morning show that previously focused on domestic issues.  And employees at ABC are well within their right to be miffed at the network’s decision to pay top dollar for a star like Amanpour at the same time they are scaling back and laying off long-time employees.

But what cannot be countenanced is accusing her of bias based only on insinuations about her Iranian heritage.  The attacks on Amanpour follow in a long line of Iranophobic attempts to keep qualified Iranian Americans out of the public sphere in America, and it should be called out for what it is: anti-Iranian bigotry.

As one of the most prominent and well-respected Americans of Iranian descent, the attacks on Amanpour are offensive to the entire Iranian-American community.  Iranian Americans are proud of her accomplishments and her integrity, and have stepped up to defend her against attacks rooted in ignorance and bigotry.

Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales started this dust-up when he derided Amanpour as “the opposite of the perfect candidate” based on what he perceived as her lack of objectivity regarding Israel.  As Glenn Greenwald and Adam Serwer have pointed out, Shales bolstered his claim with the supposedly incriminating evidence of Amanpour’s Iranian heritage.  For many in the Iranian-American community, this is all-too-familiar territory.

Since the hostage crisis in 1979, Iranian Americans have experienced the scorn and derision of bigots who reduce a proud and ancient heritage to the reprehensible actions of Iran’s theocratic government.  Despite this, Iranian Americans have distinguished the majority of Americans from this bigoted minority.  No country has been more welcoming for Iranians fleeing Iran than the United States. Yet, making that same distinction – that is, separating Iranian Americans from the Iranian government – is something these small, vocal critics are incapable of doing.

There has been an ongoing campaign by these extremists to prevent Iranian Americans from partaking in America’s public life. Martin Kramer, the controversial Harvard professor, warned about the dangers of allowing Iranian Americans to get too close to power during last year’s AIPAC conference:

"…Iran can have behind the scenes leverage over Iranian Americans, many of whom occupy key positions in the think tanks and are even being brought now into the administration…What this means is that we have to be extremely cautious about what we take away from Iranian diaspora communities when it comes to understanding Iran."

If Kramer and Shales had it their way, Iranian Americans would not be permitted to work on domestic issues because of their “international perspective,” nor could they cover Iran because they are “untrustworthy” and “incapable of objectivity.” In short, Kramer and Shales’ end goal is to have Iranian Americans shut out of the picture entirely.

In their ideal world, Iranian Americans may be permitted to exist, but they should not be permitted to have a voice.

Fortunately, those seeking to engineer a sort of “moral panic” about the Iranian-American community have and will continue to fail.  Their insults and accusations only marginalize their message.

Most Americans recognize that the Iranian-American community has enriched America in the cultural sphere, contributed significantly to our economy (e-Bay’s founder, Pierre Omidyar, is an Iranian American), in the public sphere with talented journalists like Amanpour, and even in sports – both Andre Agassi and Ali Farokhmanesh (the dead-eyed Northern Iowa basketball star behind last week’s upset against Kansas in the NCAA tournament) are children of Iranian national sports heroes.

Every once in a while, some discriminatory policy or legislation will pop up, or a hateful attack against the community will be aired. But episodes like the Amanpour story serve as a reminder that America is united with the Iranian-American community.  We join together to combat the bigots who wish to silence and exclude this diverse and valued community.  And I, for one, join my Iranian-American friends in celebrating Amanpour’s success, and wish her the best of luck.

This post also appeared on the HuffingtonPost


Recently by patrickdisneyCommentsDate
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Jan 07, 2010
more from patrickdisney

Raoul might be actually one of us to pretend! Chose Raoul to

by obama on

to justify his stupid comment. Why would a dumb raoul be here in the first place?

Yolanda, After 7 should have been babies which i douldn't fit in. it was how could mexicans have 7 babies? by eating beans?


B&C - not fair to accuse Amanpour of being anti Bahai

by MM on

There are 540,000 news bids on CNN and Bahai in the internet.  Amanpour, being the CNN chief foreign correspondant, probably had something to do with the stories.  There are also 7,310 bids of news on Amanpour being a Bahai.  May be that is why she does not want to be seen to eager and sends others to do stories on Bahai news!

As a member of another minority in Iran, I have not seen Amanpour do a story on us, but I do not accuse her of being biased against us.  But, based on her stories on Iran, I know she cares about Iran and that is more than I can say about many others in the US news business.

Bonny and Clyde

To AryamehrNYC

by Bonny and Clyde on

Don't take Raoul too seriously as he's copy pasted the same comment of his when he'd last commented on someone else's blog ...

I also don't see a point wasting all your energy on a person who seems literate yet does not bother with much research in finding the truth regarding Iran or maybe other countries...

However, thank you for all your responses :-)



by AryamehrNYC on

Dear Raoul,

After reading your manifesto, I could not help the innate urge to offer you some sobering reminders of how narrow-minded you Americans (however I must say that your name seems to make you out to be of Mexican descent) truly are. 

 First off, for you to equate all Iranians as supporters/proponents of the Islamic Republic is totally asinine to say the least.  The actions of our noble citizens around the world during the past 9 months speaks volumes and should help you navigate yourself out of the sea of darkness you seem to be in.

Second, being that the state religion is Islam,most Iranians are muslim in name only.  The majority are not the religious zealots you see on TV.  Is it fair to say that most Mexicans are members of drug cartels or even most Americans are as "bright" as your boy Jimmy Carter?

Third, before you accuse us of simply "blaming" others for the disease we are dealing with in Iran today, it's known as the Islamic Republic...not sure if you've heard of it, you need to do a little research on the policies and actions of one James Earl Carter and it after effects.  You can thank him and his administration for most if not all of the ills the world, namely the US, has seen since the departure of His Majesty in 1979.  The US now has to deal with the monster it has created (dont forget about the Taliban & Al Queada either).

Fourth, our names are mostly Arabic?  I guess you only interact with the Hassans & Hosseins of the Iranian diaspora.  Btw, most of your so-called "Christian" names have Jewish roots. 

Lastly, before you make yourself sound like an ignorant immigrant, I highly suggest you do some major research before you attempt to make another post regarding Iranians.  Your 8th grade level of education does tend to stand out like a sore thumb.

Bonny and Clyde

my conclusion...

by Bonny and Clyde on

There seems to be nothing on the Bahais that she's reported...EVER!!!




by yolanda on

Hi! Obama,

     Could you please rephrase your question? Why are there 2 question marks?


Yolanda, what do the mexicans eat who have avg. of 7? beans?

by obama on

May be Iran is running out soybeans! Abgoosht worked fine with us!



by yolanda on

I read a bizarre article on Press TV website, the article said that
soybean can cause infertility among men. The reality is that China is
the biggest soybean (tofu is made of soybean) consumer in the world,
and also is the most populous country on planet Earth with 1.2 billion
people. China forces their citizens not to have more than one child. It
looks like soybean products make people too fertile instead of
infertile, :O))) I guess we can't trust Press TV too much:



Press TV cracks me up!


Hmmm - Press TV better than Amanpour? - Nooooooooot

by MM on

nice joke!


i agree with you sargord

by iroooni on

she is not nearly talented as the least telented person working for Press TV. Come to think of it, CNN or MSNBC, FOX don't come close to the Press TV iteself in quality and professionalism.

Sargord Pirouz

I find her Iran reporting

by Sargord Pirouz on

I find her Iran reporting biased and predictable, but I don't begrudge her family history and choice of mate based on his ethnic heritage. (two of my exiled Iranian cousins married into Jewish-American families)

Overall, these days, I'm not impressed by her journalistic efforts, and don't go out of my way to view her programs. I haven't learned something new from her in a long while.

And, yes, of course there is anti-Iranian sentiment in the US, particularly from the AIPAC-related crowd and hick mentalities. And yes, it CERTAINLY helps that she married into the ethnic elite that happens to dominate the US media. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that she has made a success out of herself in the US media.

Bonny and Clyde

What part of her is biased

by Bonny and Clyde on

I've always been neutral towards her...neither liked or disliked her yet I was proud to have someone in a such a position who is from my Homeland UNTIL I a dear friend fighting for certain rights told me otherwise...

I could be wrong but I'd like to know, has she ever talked/interviewed or discussed the situation of Bahais in Iran? All the unjust killings of the Bahais? As to our knwoledg, she has not...

Is it a grudge that she holds against them?

To me, how does this look? To NOT report such a huge such as innocent killings of the Bahais that has been on a lot of the other networks not only in US or Canada but other parts of the World talkingabout it...having documentries, interviews...yet she seems to have have a blind eye towards this particular matter...


Should there be such a news from her, kindly let me know  



by iroooni on

Double Quotes are not enough to utter that word.

Jahanshah Javid

I agree Guive

by Jahanshah Javid on

I do not believe there's a "systematic" attempt to deny opportunities for Iranian-Americans either. Actually the very fact that Amanpour was offered one of the most prestigious jobs in the media industry shows that meritocracy is alive and well in America, thank you.

What is of concern is groups and individuals who think otherwise and are attacking Amanpour for her ethnic background. Just like the Tea Party lunatics who blame the country's problems on a "nigger" being in the White House.


Mr. Mirfendereski.

by capt_ayhab on

You were asked some  very specific questions in respect to your and Mr. Shales's slanderous and smear tactics against an accomplished and brilliant  woman named Mrs. Amanpour.

Your silence so far represents your disingenuous and biased position not only toward women in general, but toward Iranian accomplished women/men in specific.

Mr. Mirfendereski, let us pull our feet out of our mouth if you and Mr. Shales do not mind. That is If you two gentlemen[no pun intended] care to debate, on non existing merits of your smear campain, with  this one legged[not]humble Azeri blogger.



Landan-Neshin has some good points here

by Bavafa on

America and the world for that matter is not a land of all fair and just for all. America is the land that "power and rights" are there but you need to go and fight for it. Iranians have been sitting on the side lines for too long and of course on the other hand the Zionist have been the main player for the last 50 years or so and they do not want to share any of this "monopoly" with any one and they will do whatever they can to keep the monopoly.

Perhaps it is time for us Iranian-American to start paying attention and demand to be heard just as the Jews have been doing so strongly.

Thankfully, now there are Iranian groups and organization such as NIAC that pays attention to these small but important matters and puts a fight for us. It is equally important for us to create more groups that is representative of us and fights for our "power and rights"




by yolanda on

Hi! Raoul,

    You said:

I, however, never thought of her being Iranian.   I understand that some people may label others as such, but I wonder if she considers herself as ‘Iranian.’


Christiane Amanpour named her son, Darius John Rubin, she is also tri-lingual speaking English, Farsi, and French. I am pretty sure that she is proud of her Persian heritage!


hahaha Obama

by capt_ayhab on

Your new avatar suits your tone better...........




Guive at last! Welcome back! I miss reading your articles!

by obama on

Ever since the went to a blog format, I haven't seen your insightful articles anymore. You used to score the Iran vs US nuclear negotiations which you ended up scoring Iran the winner. I wish i knew why you stopped contributing to this site.

As for Amanpour, she is not an American-Iranian, she is English-Iranian, and I don't know if she has any loyalty to Iran (I hope she does). It is always admired to be jewish american with total loyalty to Israel, but when it comes to Iran, the same people are calling us anti american. What a hypocricy! They want to be the only who can do it.

The zionist want that any Iranian who is not against bombing Iran, should be kicked out of the media!!! Then we shouold kick out and shut down all the media here since they are all owned and operated by the zionists! Even if they are not owned by them, they wouldn't dare to write anythin against israel!


First things first Mr. Mirfendereski

by capt_ayhab on

What is your and Mr. Tom Shales's deviance of her disqualification.

Since the entire episode is the result of Mr. Shales vicious and unfounded attacks on the qualifications of Mrs. Amampour[Rubin] and since you seem to follow the same line, do you care to present your points in respect to why she was reviewed so unjustly and viciously by Mr. Shales, and now by you?

Is it her Peabody Awards that irk you gentlemen? Or is it the so called fact checking piece that Mr. Robert Eisenman TRIED to write about her exclusive show called[The God's Warriors - The Jews], in which he fell flat on his revisionist face by claiming the [Palestine did not exist during Ottoman Empire, etc etc etc.


Inquiring minds like to know.


Guive Mirfendereski

Patrickdisney's piece

by Guive Mirfendereski on

Patrickdisney wrote: “But what cannot be countenanced is accusing her of bias based only on insinuations about her Iranian heritage.  The attacks on Amanpour follow in a long line of Iranophobic attempts to keep qualified Iranian Americans out of the public sphere in America, and it should be called out for what it is: anti-Iranian bigotry.” Here is a point I would like to make. If as an Iranian one is excited about a half-Iranian taking the helm at ABC’s Sunday morning program, then why all the fuss about someone pointing out that she lived in Great Britain and Iran? Pieces like patrickdisney’s and others, which bear an amazing resemblance in verbiage, offer yet another paranoid-inducing line to the epic Iranian poetry of victimhood. To all the self-appointed guardians of Iranian dignity who are worked up over the alleged “bigotry” against Amanpour --  What is your evidence of systematic denial of people of Iranian decent to make it in the media or the long line of Iranophobic attempts to keep qualified Iranian Americans out of the public sphere in America? Facts and figures, please, not speculation.


Raoul, "they ivaded our embassy.." Mexican embassy?!

by obama on

When did we invade the Mexican embassy amigo? Have you received your green card yet? You'd better watch out for those gringo INS agents compadre! they are after all illegal aliens, even those who already got their papers! Viva el mexico! Mama cita!




by capt_ayhab on

You and reality/facts don't get along very well do you?



one more thing...

by shushtari on

the jews and israel really do owe iran and its people A LOT OF DEBT AND GRATITUDE...

after all, it was the persian kings which released their ancestors from bondage in babylon, and let them go back to jerusalem!


also, they owe 6 billion to iran for weapons which they never delivered, and also a bunch of their top politicians are also iranian!!!


so these AIPAC zionists, should take an iranian flag to their meeting and salute and kiss it every time 



by shushtari on

you should stop spewing this nonsense about iran and iranians....

if you really think that khomeini was brought to power by iranians, you've got a lot of reading to do amigo


as far as all your other 'obersvations' most of them are incorrect

so better hit the books 'chico' 

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

You don't get to where Amanpour is why whining and moaning

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

She is a hard working woman. Iranian or not, she does great interviews. Sometimes I want her to ask more pressing questions, but reporters must respect their sources in order to preserve future opportunities. Good for her. I laugh at the people who want her to throw mud in the face of people she interviews. Yea that will keep her on the air. 

ناتور دشت


by ناتور دشت on

Why should I care about someone who works for an American enterprise?



by Raoul1955 on

I have watched her programs and actually found them to be somewhat biased against America, as most CNN reporters are.   I have also watched her interview Iranian ayatollahs on TV and she seemed to be very ‘friendly’ towards them.

I, however, never thought of her being Iranian.   I understand that some people may label others as such, but I wonder if she considers herself as ‘Iranian.’

About ‘being biased’ against Iranians, well, let’s consider the following observations:

1)     They are the only nation in the recent history that overthrew a Westernized leader in favor of an Arab mullah named komeni; and along with that they [en masse] gave up all freedoms they had, including freedom from religion.  How many other nations have voluntarily given up their freedoms?

2)     They invaded and occupied our embassy, which had never been done before, or has been done since, and took our brave men and women hostage;

3)     They continue to whine about everything, and have demonstrations all over the planet complaining about problems that they themselves create and blame everyone else for it;

4)     They claim to be ‘Persian’ with thousands of years of history which makes me laugh.   Why? Well for the following reasons:

a.      Most of them subscribe to a 7th century Arabic cult named islam;

b.      They worship an Arab god named allah;

c.      They face an Arab city named Mecca five times a day for worship;

d.      And I am told that they say their prayers in Arabic;

e.      Finally most of them have Arabic names!

Perhaps if these people stopped blaming everyone else and began behaving like normal people, other people’s opinions about them will change as well.


Who is Christiane Amanpour?

by capt_ayhab on

A brilliant and accomplished woman and reporter.

Shortly after her birth in London, her father Mohammad – an Iranian airline executive – and her British mother Patricia, moved the family to Tehran. The Amanpours led a privileged life under the government of the Shah of Iran.  Christiane returned to England in 1969 and her family fled from Iran during the Islamic Revolution. She attended and graduated from an all-girls school, New Hall School in Chelmsford, Essex, England.

Amanpour moved to the United States to study journalism at the University of Rhode Island. During her time there she worked in the News Department at WBRU-FM in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1983 Amanpour graduated from the university summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Journalism degree.

Awards and honors

1992, Livingston Award for Young Journalists
1993, George Polk Award for Television Reporting, 1996).
1993, George Foster Peabody awards
1994, Woman of the Year, New York Chapter of "Women in Cable"
1994, Courage in Journalism Award, International Women's Media Foundation
1996, George Polk Award for Television Reporting
1997, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Emory University
1997, Nymphe d’Honneur at the Monte Carlo Television Festival
1998, George Foster Peabody awards
2002, Edward R. Murrow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism
2002, Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government
2005, International Emmy, International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
2006, Honorary citizen, city of Sarajevo
2006, Honorary doctorate degree from the University of Michigan for her contributions to journalism
2007, CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours
2007, Persian Woman of the Year
2008 The Fourth Estate Award (National Press Club)
Director on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists
Fellow, Society of Professional Journalists
Nine Emmy news/documentary awards
Major role in two DuPont awards given to CNN
Major role in a Golden CableACE award given to CNN
Honorary Board Member of the Daniel Pearl Foundation
Sigma Chi Award (SDX) for her reports from Goma, Zaire
Forbes magazine named her one of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women"
WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival Gold Award
POP Award, by "Cable Positive"
2010, Honorary doctorate of humane letters degree, Northwestern University



Shale - Rightwing talking head

by capt_ayhab on

Tom Shale a disgrace as a critique is clearly biased BOTH toward Iranians as well as feminist movement.

This is what Jehmu Greene, President of Women's Media Center, former head of Rock the Vote wrote about Both Amanpour and Tom Shale:


[Nothing against Tapper, but Shales's assertion that he holds a candle to
Amanpour - much less out-merits her journalistically - is just plain
insulting to the informed public. Beyond her Iranian background and her
gender, exactly what is Shales claiming against Amanpour?

Excellent article to read where Ms. Greene basically discredits Tom Shales and exposes his biased and vicious side.

Mr. Disney.

This comment is cross-posted on your original article on Huffington Post, Thanks for your integrity sir.


Best Regards