Episode 04: The Root of All Evil

Iran, Iraq, and the New York Times’ Master Class in Reality Inversion.

A recent New York Times presents a Manichean worldview wherein the United States’ invasion of Iraq was noble and just, while Iran’s relationship with its neighbor is nefarious and dangerous. The article was written by Baghdad bureau chief Tim Arango (right).

Welcome to Episode 4 of our new media criticism podcast, Citations Needed.

The show is hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

On Episode 4, we talk about a recent New York Times article — and the broader media habit of painting the United States as benevolent democracy-seeker, while Iran and other Official Enemies™ are presented only ever as cynical imperialists.

In this episode, we dissect the true history of what caused chaos in Iraq, who’s to blame and what the real motives were behind the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations’ designs for the country. All this in the context of a battle for control over remaining ISIS territory in Syria; and Washington’s, Riyadh’s, and Tel Aviv’s desire to stop the dreaded “Shia crescent.”

Show Notes

Here’s some stuff mentioned or referenced during the show, or related to the topic in general. You know, in case you wanted to dig deeper.

Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’

Tim Arango| July 17, 2017 | New York Times

NY Times Rewrites History of Iraq War, Painting U.S. as Noble Democracy-Lover, Iran as Sinister Imperialist

Adam Johnson | July 22, 2017 | AlterNet

How Media Spread CIA’s Sectarian, Anti-Iran ‘Mideast Cold War’ Narrative

Ben Norton| July 25, 2017 | FAIR

Corporate Media Largely Silent on Trump’s Civilian Death Toll in Iraq

Adam Johnson | July 19, 2017 | FAIR

Amnesty Says U.S.-Led Coalition May Have Committed War Crimes In Mosul

Merrit Kennedy| July 12, 2017 | NPR

Syria the Latest Case of US ‘Stumbling’ Into War

Adam Johnson| June 22, 2017 | FAIR

Treaty Obligations, War Crimes and Accountability:
A Study in American Hypocrisy

Nima Shirazi | August 30, 2013 | Wide Asleep in America

Who’s Talking?

These are the hosts of Citations Needed

Adam H. Johnson is a media analyst for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His writing has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Alternet and elsewhere.

Nima Shirazi is an editor for Muftah, a digital foreign affairs magazine. His political analysis has appeared in Salon, Truthout, Mic, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting and Al Jazeera English, among other outlets.