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CNN sacks Middle East editor over tweet

Comments over Fadlallah lead to departure.

July 8, 2010 9:28 by

News broadcaster CNN has sacked one of its Middle East editors over a tweet, reports the BBC.

The company dismissed the veteran employee after she wrote on twitter that she “respected” the late Lebanese cleric Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. Fadlallah is set to have inspired Hezbollah, a group which the US views as a terrorist organization.

A CNN official confirmed Octavia Nasr was leaving the US TV news network, and said her credibility had been “compromised.”

Nasr was CNN’s senior editor of Middle East affairs, and had been with the company for two decades, according to the report. She described her 140-character remarks about Grand Ayatollah Fadlallah, who died on Sunday, as an “error of judgment,” and said she had been referring to his pioneering views on women’s rights.

She wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”

In a later blog post she said: “Reaction to my tweet was immediate, overwhelming and provides a good lesson on why 140 characters should not be used to comment on controversial or sensitive issues, especially those dealing with the Middle East.”

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