CNN’S CREDIBILITY HUNGING ON A THIN THREAD
Perhaps the former USA President Donald Trump was right after all. Some of CNN’s unprofessional reporters are dragging its reputation to the lowest possible level of journalism. The question is, can the CNN redeem its reputation for fair reporting?
All the CNN’s current news reports on events in Northern Ethiopia has all been a hearsay and lacks concrete evidence and is devoid of journalistic professional ethics. The reports are unbalanced, biased and unfairly prejudiced. The officials of the terrorist Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) made solemn promise to destroy the ancient land of a very proud nation, Ethiopians. CNN became the mouthpiece of the, TPLF the agents of destruction who openly vowed to carry out their mission even if it takes them “to go to hell and back[i]”. All CNN’s reports regarding Ethiopia lack objectivity and clearly biased. Their journalists’ investigations were not meant to look for the truth, but unfortunately based on hearsay to justify a preconceived projection, seeking evidence that supports their half-baked theory. They misrepresented facts to suit their intended goals and never attempted resort to proper investigation. Whenever CNN reporters venture out for “field investigation” they don’t seem to be interested in the truth, but rather just focus on gathering fake facts which would help them surf safely along the social media. Finding the truth seems to be their least interest. A journalist without open mind is not a journalist but a party-political activist.
Let us demonstrate what happens when a pseudo researcher conducts an experiment with a preconceived conjecture.
A researcher decided to experiment on one of the five senses of a flea.
He caught four fleas and held them in a special small glass jar. He carried out the following four experiments.
He took out the first flea. He cut out one of its six legs. He said “jump!” and released. The flea disappeared into the thin air. He picked up his pen and wrote down the result of his first experiment on a paper.
He took out the second flea. He cut out two of its six legs. He shouted: “Jump!” and released it. With a little pose, the flea jumped and disappeared. He again picked up his pen wrote down on the same paper his findings of second experiment.
He took out the third flea. He cut out three of its legs. He shouted: “jump!” At first it fell on its chest. After tattering for a while, the poor insect managed to jump somehow. Again, he picked up his pen grinning. He wrote down on the paper his findings of the third experiment. He was almost close to finding out his intended outcome.
He could have stopped his experiment at the third victim. However, for validity of his experiment, he took out the fourth flea. He cut four of its six legs and shouted “Jump! Jump! Jump!” No response. The creature was crawling in agony falling flat.
The researcher wrote his conclusion with a great sense of discovery.
“If you cut four of the six legs of a flea, it cannot hear you!”
The lesson from this is you can do whatever you want to do with material evidence you have in your hands but to use that to fit one’s own foretold conclusion is stupidity. That seems to be the case with the CNN reporting and Ethiopia today. The Sudanese born CNN reporter Nima Elbagir did just that. Nima and her colleagues ventured out to find evidence to prove the Government of Ethiopia has committed “war crime” against Tigrayans, but not in search of the truth. It won the 2021 award for fake reporting.
Nima Elbagir and her crew were given an opportunity to visit Ethiopia for primary data collection. They were all over the Northern region of the country, including the Amhara and Tigray regions. Nima’s mind was fixated on one thing only: a clue for Tigrayan victims! They took her to Mai Kadra and showed her what the TPLF and Samri youth did to the indigenous Amhara people. More than 1,100 people were massacred in that place. She was given the opportunity to talk to the surviving residents. She had the opportunity to see the mass graves. She was horrified they were not Tigrayan victims.
TPLF started the conflict by attacking the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) on 03 November 2020[ii]. The Government of Ethiopia ordered Law Enforcement on 04 November 2020. It dislodged the criminals from Mekele just in 3 weeks. Some of the TPLF leadership were killed and some were captured and still others are on the run. Because of too much unfounded accusations on ENDF in its law enforcement mission, the Government of Ethiopia declared unilateral ceasefire and left Tigray region in June 2021, to give peace a chance. It was a surprise generous move to all parties. CNN did not acknowledge this good gesture. TPLF leadership came out from its hiding holes. Instead of helping the conflict affected people of Tigray, it dug out its heavy weapon from the hidden underground, called back its fighters that took off their military uniform and mixed with the civilians and declared there would be no ceasefire on its part. Rather than accepting the opportunity, and going for peace, the T vowed it wouldn’t lay its arms until topples President Esaiyas Afeworki of Eritrea and PM Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. So much for the propaganda of “genocide on Tigray and rape victims!” To make their vow real, they invaded the Amhara and Afar regions and massacred hundreds of innocent men women and children. Reuters reported, in a small village called Chenna Teklehaimanot, in Gondar, 120 people were killed in a matter of hours[iii]. Many mainstream media including BBC, Aljazeera and the Guardian reported this event. An Orthodox priest’s wife was raped and then murdered by the TPLF forces. That was not worthy of material to report for the CNN, because they were not Tigrayan casualties. On 5 August 2021 in the Galikoma, in the Afar region, there was a mass extrajudicial killing by the TPLF. Over 240 people sheltering at a health facility and school were massacred. That killing included 107 children[iv]. CNN was not interested in that story either because that was not what they were looking for. Right now, as this paper is being written, TPLF is bombarding with heavy artillery, the town of Chifra. So far 30 civilians were reported killed during the night. In a small town Although TPLF and its foreign allies/journalists are screaming beyond their voices about Tigrayan victims. Right now, the war is going on outside Tigray in Amhara and Afar regions. They are bombarding cities and town with heavy artillery indiscriminately into civilian homes. France 24[v] reported “Shell-shocked survivors describe brutal Tigray rebel advance.”
On the contrary, “Nima is breathless screaming “Tigrayans are massacred, Tigrayans are raped!” Where? When? In Tigray or Amhara or Afar regions? Did the TPLF go to Afar and Amhara regions invited for a coffee? To cover up their own war crime they are blaming their own victims. CNN is backing them with unverified fake facts.
Why didn’t CNN consider the leaked UN document that there was no evidence to incriminate Ethiopian Defence Force involving in rape in Tigray? Why did Nima keep quiet about the women of Tigray who went out on demonstration about the TPLF rape culture and were beaten and some even imprisoned by TPLF just before the conflict broke? What about the ten thousand rapists and murderers released from Mekele prison by TPLF before they fled Mekele?
The invading TPLF army has committed brutal crimes. UN food stores looted by the TPLF in Amhara region. Little or no condemnation from the CNN. Hospitals were ransacked, medicines and patients’ food were looted. Schools were destroyed, teaching equipment were stolen and shipped to Tigray. No news about that from CNN.
The TPLF is everywhere in Wello, including places like the Holy City of Lalibela, the towns of Sekota, Kobo, Woldia, Mersa, Delanta, Ambassel, Waghimera, Gashena, Wegeltena, Gergerat, Gishe and many other towns and villages. They forced their ways into civilian houses, emptied their contents, including, furniture, clothes, and all kinds of food items, cooked or uncooked even dough prepared to bake ‘injera’, salt, chilli powder, spices, and even live chicken. A lady with a 7-year-old child from Lalibela was describing her ordeal. A neighbour saw her child dying of hunger the TPLF looted everything in hour. He gave her some grains he hid to bake injera and feed the child. She took that stone ground the grain and started backing. TPLF invaders were attracted by the smell of fresh injera and broke into her home. The took both the injera and the dough and dashed out. The mother and child resorted to crying. In the middle of the night, she picked up her child and fled south risking hyena attack. Luckily nothing happened to them. They reached Dessie shelter centre after 7 days, begging for food on their way. CNN had such information but ignored it all. The TPLF invaders burned down tens of thousands of Amhara farmers’ houses, displaced more than 2,000,000 residents. They slaughtered farmers’ animals and fed their army. Animals that they couldn’t eat or drive to Tigray were summarily shot down in tens of thousands and left for vultures and hyenas to clear. Not only shot animals but also massacred people, denying villagers to bury their dead and left for the scavengers to clear.
The cruellest crime the TPLF committed is holding back mothers and watch their tiny daughters’ gang-rape by the TPLF fighters. Some are as old as 8. There are incidents where the husbands were forced watch their wives being raped and in turn the wives watch their husbands murdered in front of their eyes. The TPLF would tell their own crimes as if that had happened to them by ENDF, Eritrean soldiers or by the Amhara. They know how to play victims or boast as heroes. To their people they are telling they would be entering Addis Ababa in weeks, but to the world, they are lamenting “genocide had been committed against Tigray”. Double tongues in one head (በአንድ እራስ ሁለት ምላስ). Which one is true? A real journalist would find out the truth. Not the current pseudo reporters of CNN, like Nima Elbagir, at the forefront of fake news.
The TPLF invading army emptied churches and mosques of their historical and religious relics, just like the Islamic State and Taliban fighters of Syria and Afghanistan. Even worse, the TPLF fighters defiled worshiping places with human faeces. Disgusting! CNN is not interested to let the world know such acts of TPLF’s barbarism. Nima only wants to tell the “agony that the people of Tigray are facing”, not what they are causing.
Where are the 430 UN tracks which didn’t return after delivering aid to Tigray? CNN is not interested in knowing their whereabouts. As a top international news organisation, they should have investigated and exposed what the TPLF is using them for. We can help them. Here they are ferrying Tigrayan fighters to the Amhara and Afar regions[vi].
Nima and her crew had their fields day when the Ethiopian authorities allowed them to travel to Tigray. Now you are talking! That was what she was looking forward to! She met her darling surviving terrorist TPLF leadership. The TPLF propagandists staged for her a drama entertainment just the way she liked it. Performers were well trained. The drama was well performed. Alleged rape victims were well paraded and rehearsed their lines before the show. Cameras were in place. TPLF destroyed bridges, power transformers, telephone infrastructure, bulldozed airports, cut communication equipment, but retold as if those were committed by the ENDF. They did not tell her though why the Ethiopian engineers murdered while attempting to repair all those useful utilities lines destroyed by the TPLF. Ms Nima Elbagir beamed with pleasure. All the crimes they committed were all narrated for her as if committed by the ENDF. She had enough readymade material to report. To spice up her fake narration, she made her way to the Ethiopian army barrack and demanded to pass shouting “CNN! CNN! CNN!” When prevented entry, she turned to the camera and said: “This is what happens to you in Ethiopia if you are CNN journalist!” That is played and overplayed for her in every CNN reporting about Ethiopia. Would she demand to pass through a British army camp because she is from CNN? Even better, can she do that with the Sudanese army barrack? This writer will leave the judgment to the readers. However, she used the denial as if there is something the Ethiopian army is hiding, something from the powerful “CNN” who could have the right to go into your bedroom and monitor how you sleep with your wife.
After returning to Sudan, she interviewed alleged victims of horrific rape from the Sudanese refugee camp to tell the fake story. For sure those women were from Welqait and Hummera, the former districts of Gondar, annexed by the TPLF in the 1990s. There are two types of refugees there. Some of those refugees were combatants and Samri youth who committed war crime in Mai Kadra and escaped to the Sudan when the Ethiopian Army and Amhara militias arrived. That is why we have heard on several occasions, Getachew Reda, the Spokes Person of the TPLF claiming they had 30,000 strong fighters on the border in the Sudanese side waiting instructions. The others group of refugees were civilians from Mai Kadra, who witnessed massacre of the Amhara civilians, who fled to the Sudan fearing reprisals. Once the ENDF and the Amhara Special Forces staffed the border, no refugees were able to cross into the Sudan to tell a story like that. Pregnant women were paraded and exhibited as if the unborn children were the result of the rape. Nima’s maths does not add up, because everything she was reporting was on hearsay.
By the way, Martin Plaut trained the TPLF how to manufacture news. A youtuber caught a TPLF trainer coaching how to fool European journalists and aid workers[vii].
Another thing Nima was talking about was how the massacre of civilians was filmed by the Ethiopian soldier. That is pathetic! What kind of soldier film a crime that incriminates him? Rubbish! All that was stage managed. We have tens of evidence where such videos were staged and filmed by the TPLF propagandists themselves. A good example of this is, the evidence from a Polish-European anthropologist Dr Natalia Paszkiewicz, European migrant advocate. According to Dr Paszkiewcz, Tigrayan militia men kidnapped many Eritreans refugees from the Hitsats refugee camp located in Tigray. Then they picked 10 men and 10 women for the stated performance under gun point. The TPLF forced the men to wear Eritrean army uniforms. They ordered the women to undress above the waist exposing their breasts. They gave the men curved knives and ordered to cut Eritrean refugee women breasts under the gun, to claim that they were Tigrayan victims. One of the men dropped the knife and started running. Others also fled in all direction. TPLF fighters managed to shoot dead nine of them. One escaped to tell the story[viii].
The TPLF is incapable of telling the truth. All descent people know the TPLF is a lying gang of bandits. Look at what Ambassador Avi Granot had to say about TPLF
It is not only Ambassador Avi Granot only who first-hand witnessed TPLF’s capability to lie between their teeth without remorse. On her twitter of 09 October 2021, Rt Honourable Ms Ana Gomes, former member of European Parliament wrote: “one thing I know for having direct experience since I led the 2005 #EUEOM - #TPLF are a dangerous band of criminal oppressors and liars.” Nothing better explains the nature of the TPLF more than that.
TWO MORE DEADLY CNN CRUSADES AGAINST ETHIOPIA
The Mystery of Bodies Floating on Takkaze/Atbara River
Two weeks before the bodies started floating to Sudan, on 04 August 2021, the Government of Ethiopia warned the international community the TPLF was dumping bodies in Takaze River[ix]. That was environmental disaster and health risk to the Sudanese. At the time, the assumption was, since the TPLF decided not to disclose the identities of its dead for fear of families’ outrage, they were dumping the bodies of their fighters in the river. It was only later that it became clear why they were doing such inhumane thing for a political gain. Watch out. They may poison the river and blame it on the Ethiopian Government. No problem. Nima can corroborate that for them.
When dead bodies started floating into the Sudan, both times Nima Elbagir would not lose the opportunity. She run down the river like a headless chicken breathing heavily and talking non-stop exactly the way TPLF expected her to behave[i]. It was as if she was brainless human drone, remote controlled and manoeuvred by the TPLF! She graphically described the way the Ethiopian soldiers killed the Tigrayans civilians indiscriminately and held 10,00 people in Humera concentration camp. She accused the Ethiopian Government of damping dead bodies of their victims from Mak Kadra into Takaze River. Repeated lies could mutate to truth.
Think about this. Unless CNN thinks the Ethiopian Government is as stupid as their brainless human drones, how could they assume that the Government of an ancient land would commit such crime and make it public by floating it twice on transnational River. That would have been suicidal! Even the Dergue did not parade the bodies of its victims to the international community like that but buried in mass graves. Only CNN reporters are stupid enough to buy the story like that and go on the air without thinking of the implication. This writer has personally witnessed in his conversation with converted TPLFites that they always assumed white men are stupid and would believe whatever they told them without question. Unfortunately, although the media belongs to the white, the reporter is not white. Well, looking at the leadership of CNN who allow such a trash go on air, it looks like they were not interested to verify. Now, they have their mouthpiece in the name of Nima Elbagir who would not think twice to scream above her voice whatever they wanted her to report. All she wanted is to be on tv with news about Ethiopia. The Government of Ethiopia should sue CNN for defamation.
Just before we finish this, let us examine their source by the name of Gebretenae Gebrekristos, Tigray Community Leader.Look at his hat. That is a member of the TPLF, who inadvertently wore his official hat, while pretending a civilian refugee and community leader! Pathetic!
2) Targeting The Ethiopian Airlines
The Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) is not only the pride of Ethiopia, but also the new spirit of Africa. EAL won four awards at the Skytrax 2021 World Airline Awards. It stands at 37 rank in the World's Top 100 Airlines for 2021 as voted by airline customers around the world[ii]. The most bizarre story of CNN in support the TPLF is attack on this world class airlines.
EAL does not only bring foreign exchange to Ethiopia but also billions of dollars to the USA’s economy. EAL continuous to use American jets, American jet engines and American technology. EAL mechanics are Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified. Since June 1998, it has been shuttling passengers from Washington, Newark, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles to African destinations. That was the reason why this writer pleaded with Government of Ethiopia never to slaughter the chicken that lays golden egg in his Amharic article of June 2018 (የወርቅ ዕንቁላል የምጥለውን ዶሮህን አትረዳት)[iii].
With unfulfilled dream of creating greater Republic of Tigray, the TPLF top officials and CNN are desperately trying to destroy everything that makes Ethiopia great. Their campaign against The Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) by the CNN is just part of that that campaign. However, it missed its target.
Attack on Ethiopian Airlines started right the next morning after they massacred on 04 November 2021 the members of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) in their beds unprovoked thereby sparking the war that nearing its first anniversary.
The first attack came by accusing EAL of dismissing every employee of Tigrayan origin. They wish! That was a big lie. One thing they forgot was the No.1 CEO then was and today is Tewlde Gebremariam, a Tigre himself. He has the power to hire or fire whoever he wants. They campaigned to boycott flying Ethiopian Airlines, but passengers gave them deaf ears. No one listened to their call as EAL went on ferrying passenger from one city to another city of the world.
Please click at the following link and listen to what Mr Richard Quest, the CNN business analyst’s account of EAL in March 2019 when the Boeing 737 crashed near Debre Zeit/Bishoftu.
So, what is TPLF’s problem with EAL? Well, they had no problem with EAL as such, but they had a problem for it being the pride of Ethiopia, which they are killing and dying to destroy it. In order to bring down EAL, they enlisted people like Martin Plaut who sent barrages of twitters day in and day out to boycott buying flowers from The Waitrose because he said they were shipped in from Ethiopia to London by EAL. Nobody gave him ears. He utterly failed. To this day, the TPLF is desperate to get Tigrayan employees fired from the Ethiopian airlines to have evidence to accuse the organisation. Just few days ago, Debretsion Gebremichael, the regional state president thanked employees working for EAL for providing them secret information about EAL activities, which lead to another accusation. What does that achieve them if Tigrayan employees get summarily dismissed? Think about it. These bunch of criminals don’t think for the people but for themselves.
Then another attack came from the Sudanese Government in Khartoum, which is currently illegally occupying Ethiopian territory, starting from the day TPLF attacked ENDF and the border became unmanned. The Sudanese, TPLF allies, currently sheltering, training, and protecting TPLF fighters, accused EAL of bringing in illegal weapon, mind you, not smuggling in, but officially bringing into Khartoum for criminals to use. Why should EAL cargo openly bring weapon for criminals? As it came openly, the Government of Sudan had the right to confiscate them, if they wished to do so. The weapons were hunting rifles transported to Addis from Russia for a businessman in Khartoum. Ethiopian Airlines did not release the cargo immediately but kept it for two years until its legality was established by the Sudanese Government. The Businessman went to Court and obtained an official letter from the Sudanese Government confirming the rifles were legal and asked EAL to release. Therefore, after two years of holding the cargo, EAL complied with the Sudanese law and delivered. However, this was aired by the mainstream media all over world portraying EAL as arm smugglers. The international mainstream media shared. The TPLF camp went frenzy. Their joy did not live long. The Sudanese Government admitted that the weapons were brought in legally and EAL has nothing to answer[iv]. That was done and dusted, but the damage was done.
As nothing worked for the TPLF and its cronies to bring down EAL, they needed to hatch another conspiracy with their human brainless drones at CNN, such as Nima Elbagir, Gianluca Mezzofiore, Katie Polglase.
This time they accused EAL of transporting weapons to Asmara at the beginning of what they call war on Tigray[v], which is, by the way, deliberately started by the TPLF. In this report and others Nima is their spice girl. She is running up and down on CNN and twitter, with her famous cliche “CNN! CNN! CNN!” Sometimes, one wonders why this woman emersed herself into Ethiopian Affairs? The Amharic saying comes to mind. “የራሷ አሮባት፣ የሰው ታማስላለች”. Difficult to translate but closely meant “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!” Think about this! Her birthplace Sudan is in turmoil. The government was nearly overthrown a week ago. Now it is overthrown! The civilians and the military are at odds. There are protests everywhere. However, Nima never reports anything on CNN about Sudan. She spends sleepless night dreaming how to tarnish the image of Ethiopia. But why? She is the only one who knows the answer.
As a young man this writer started his career in EAL back in 1974. He was a ticket controller and Ticket Agent Report (TAR) auditor. Therefore, he is quite familiar with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations and had a good feel of “The Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention”
The EAL has denied transporting any weapon but really it did not have to do so. There is no rule that prevents any commercial airlines from transporting ammunition anywhere in the Chicago Convention. Which article prevents a cargo plane from carrying armaments?
These brainless human drone reporters were not mentioning to which particular article they were referring to. This writer bets Nima Elbagir would not recognise if the Chicago Conventions passed her walking by. Otherwise, she could have told us which article was particularly broken rather than blanket accusation. “Little knowledge is dangerous” applies here.
What is the most surprising is US official’s reaction to the CNN’s half-backed report[vi]! He should have known better. He said: "These allegations are incredibly grave; not only could they constitute a potential violation of the Chicago Convention [on international civil aviation]. The use of civilian aircraft to ferry military hardware upends norms and endangers passenger craft around the world." He then waves at Ethiopia the usual stick available at his disposal. Sanction!
Wow! Look who is talking! If what the Ethiopian Airlines is alleged for breaching the law by transporting weapons on the Commercial aircraft, then United Airlines should have been at the firing line. For several years it was ferrying soldiers and weapons using for the United States army. So far, nobody said anything about this mysterious rule until they wanted to nail EAL. They think we all are stupid.
How about Korean Air?
How about Atlas Air?
“Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones”. CNN needs brave journalists like Stephen Sackur who would not shy away from confronting such officials. Well, but CNN is source of the allegation. So, CNN and the USA officials want to write another law for EAL which exempts United Airlines, DELTA Airlines, Korean Airlines and so on?
Of the ninety-one articles, there is no single article that prohibits commercial airlines from carrying military hardware. Each airlines have guidance on how to transport weapons. Of course, there is an article that prohibits carrying passengers and ammunition in same flight. However, as evidenced from the above, national carriers have been transporting soldiers in the passenger aircrafts and weapons in cargo aircrafts.
If CNN and the US official are referring to article 35 (a), which I don’t think they are, that is a different story. Article 35(a) states:
“No munitions of war or implements of war may be carried in or above the territory of a State in aircraft engaged in international navigation, except by permission of such State. Each State shall determine by regulations what constitutes munitions of war or implements of war for the purposes of this Article, giving due consideration, for the purposes of uniformity, to such recommendations as the International Civil Aviation Organization may from time to time make.
However, up until now Tigray is part of Ethiopia, therefore, as the aircraft belongs 100% to the Government, it could carry whatever it likes to Tigray or outside Tigray. The bottom line is, EAL is innocent just as much the United, DELTA, Atlas or Korean commercial airlines are.
In conclusion, CNN is immersed into Ethiopian internal affairs and desperate to destroy her image siding with terrorists. As a world class media, unless it comes to its senses and adheres to the principle of open-minded journalism, its reputation will soon be in tatters. They should better apologise and repair the damaged relations with EAL. More to objective reporting would bring them income from commercial advertisement. TPLF might have money for now, but it would soon dry out. If they continue with trend of shoddy reporting CNN will be the loser and not Ethiopia.
Ethiopia shall prevail.