After President Donald Trump tweeted a warning and appeal to the leaders of Iran over the weekend to not kill their protesters and to leave their reporters alone, New York Times' White House correspondent Maggie Haberman took issue with that.
"'Let reporters roam free' says the president, who routinely refers to the U.S. press as 'enemy of the people,' to Iranian leaders," she tweeted Sunday.
What's the background?
Things have suddenly turned in Iran since thousands of mourners chanted "America is the Great Satan" during the funeral of bloodthirsty Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, killed earlier this month in a U.S. airstrike on Trump's orders.
But over the weekend protesters flooded the streets of Tehran and demanded that Ayatollah Khamenei step down as supreme leader after the Iranian government admitted its armed forces shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people on board. Video posted to social media showed protesters shouting "death to liars," "death to the Islamic Republic," and "Soleimani was a murderer, his leader is also a murderer."
As the protests intensified, the Iranian government's security forces reportedly shot live rounds and tear gas to disperse demonstrators, ABC News said.
Trump weighed in with his tweet to the leaders of Iran: "DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your Internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!"
And then Haberman let Trump have it with her Twitter post.
How did folks react to the NYT reporter's tweet?
As you might expect, many commenters pointed out that Haberman was propagating a false equivalence by seemingly suggesting that Trump's disgust with "fake news" — and the left-wing media that puts it out there — is on the same level of Iran's totalitarian regime, which commonly arrests and jails journalists and generally is viewed as among worst countries in the world when it comes to freedom of the press:
Here are a few other perspectives from Haberman's detractors:
- "Are you seriously comparing Trump to the Iranian government literally silencing their media? Get a grip."
- "Thank you for calling this out. Trump's mean tweets about journalists are exactly like the Iranian government imprisoning and torturing journalists."
- "Stop being a Drama Queen Maggie. More people would respect you if you told the truth. Go to Iran and badmouth your Ayatollah and see how long you last. You badmouth President Trump 24/7, and I don't see you in jail or worse yet."
- "Did I miss where Trump had your phones bugged, and your parents' phones, too?"
- "Maggie freely tweets and writes whatever she wishes without the slightest worry of being arrested. Just like it is in Iran."