“There is constant demonization of Syria, Iran and other countries on the US mainstream media,” Amber Lyon said in an exclusive interview with Russia Today on Friday.
“I think this is an overall really harmful to journalism [sic] theme of these mainstream outlets following in the steps of US government and kind of shadowing how the US government feel about these areas.”
Lyon went on to say that Iran, in particular, is regularly demonized by mainstream US media outlets, describing the attitude as “dangerous to the American public because they are not being given the accurate story and accurate picture of our foreign policy.”
“I fear that we are starting to see a constant demonization of Iran on US networks,” she said, “in what appears to be a systematic matter.”
The American journalist pointed to emerging concerns among “many” [US] journalist that “we are going to head into Iraq-Number-Two, except this time it’s with Iran.”
Lyon also said that CNN was bribed by Bahrain’s regime to censor a documentary on its brutal crackdown on popular protests.
The former CNN correspondent produced the documentary on the brutal suppression of nationwide protests in the Persian Gulf kingdom over six months ago and although it was aired domestically within the US, its broadcast on CNN International was suspiciously withheld, raising charges that the management of the mainstream TV network had pulled the plug on the news story.
During the interview Lyon also revealed that CNN gets paid by despotic regimes to produce and broadcast what she referred to as “infomercials for dictators,” saying that the sponsored content of such pieces aired on CNN International “is actually being paid for by regimes and governments.”
“This violates every principle of journalistic ethics, because we’re supposed to be watchdogs on these governments,” she added. “And that’s the issue here, that CNN is feeding, then, this propaganda to the public and not fairly disclosing to the public that this is sponsored content.”
She further noted that other than some Persian Gulf Arab regimes, CNN has also produced such sponsored ‘infomercials’ for governments of Georgia and Kazakhstan.
Lyon also elaborated on the hurdles she faced in Bahrain while trying to produce her news documentary, including an instance when she “sneaked into some of the villages” to witness atrocities such as shooting fleeing hospital patients by birdshot and beating of ambulance drivers, after which she was “violently detained” by masked and heavily armed Bahraini security forces who attempted to “erase all the video that they found [on us].”
The US journalist then insisted that she and her female producer had to “hide some discs” to get them out of the country.
“You can imagine Bahrain’s surprise when we got back to the US and this content was airing on CNN, and right after that is when the phone calls started coming into the network complaining about me and trying to get my coverage off the air,” she said.