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


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US Objectivity? Pull the Other One !!

by Landan-Neshin on

With prior apologies to any Americo-Iranian who might take offence, I am persuaded to say: Serves you right!

If there are indeed 'behind the scene' forces in USA who have systematically demonised Iran and pretty much anything to do with Iran in recent decades, a large number of the vocal Americo-Iranians have been instrumental in the creation of such image.

In my view, a great number of Americo-Iranians - and Euro-Iranians for that matter, have totally got the 'wrong end of the stick' when coming to define the difference between 'not agreeing' with a government and actively undermining the national and internatioanl interest of where they regard as their birth place.

When it comes to 'national' interests, I think, all those who have a double barelled identity should choose either the original or the adopted one. You can't have it both ways. why? because National interests don't divide! In doubt? ask an American Zoinist Jew about his/her National intersets! 

a brief revision of the American political strategy v. the world, especially since the end of the second world war, clearly demonstrate this fundemental belief in America that as a super- power, the US should always have a real or perceived 'threatening enemy' for  justifying its actions, both to its domestic as well as international audiences. 

If and when that perception is set, as it is in the mind of a great majority of ordinary Americans about Iran now, protestations would fall on deaf ears, and no amount of reasoning would change that.

Ask ordinary Americans how could Iran, even a nuclear armed Iran,  threaten your life when the might of the Soviet Army couldn't or the Chinese can't now and see if you'll get an intelligent reply!

If the answer was logical, then their reservations or protestations regarding Ms. Amanpour etc. is also justified.   



what part of her is biased?

by MM on

1. she has earned her respect as CNN's chief foreign correspondant by being in all the tough spots in the world for the past 27 years.  She know so much about the politics of the world and knows 3 languages fluently.

2. She asked the toughest of all question from AhmadiNejad during the news conference passed the election last june 12th.

3. She is half Iranian, and her hubby is Jewish.


So, tell me, what part of her is biased?  Maybe because of "god's warriors" special which was offensive to some?



AIPAC is an Israeli spy agency, of course they are against us!

by obama on

They are the only foreign power who pretend that they are Americans. They recognize that the Iranian-Americans if they are not smarter than them they are not less, and they don't want to have a competition that they would end up losing! These jerks complain about discrimination and massacre when they are the ones who do it all to others! Shame on Israeli AIPAC and the likes!

This kind of discrimination should be stopped at its core! It is like not allowing our all-american kids who don't know much about iran, to achieve important positions in this country, only because the jews who love israel should be the ones who should control this country.

I didn't see anywhere in the article mentioning that Christian' son is half jew, since her husband james (president clinton's former spokeperson)is jewish american! I don't think, if it wasn't for that connection, she would have ever been considered for this position. I don't see them complainin about the hindis all over the TV shows. Down to racists!