CNN takes money from foreign dictators to run flattering news stories about them

By J. D. Heyes

Those of you who are regular readers of Natural News – and your numbers are many – may not always agree with points of view expressed here, but we believe you at least consider us a trustworthy news source, a point driven home by the tens of millions of page views we receive every month.

That said, how much trust would you place in us if, say, we were being paid to put out certain information or relate only a singular point of view? We’re guessing that number would be much, much smaller.

Yet that’s what one establishment media organization – CNN – appears to be doing, according to multiple sources who say the network has begun engaging in a practice of killing stories that portray governments and countries which have become the network’s sugar daddies in a bad light.

Silencing government response to the ‘Arab Spring’

In March 2011, you may recall, much of the Middle East began to erupt. This “Arab Spring,” as the general movement has been labeled, began as simple protests by seething opposition groups against long-time Arab dictators but soon exploded into full-fledged revolution and, in the case of Libya and Syria, civil war.

Early on, CNN sent a four-person crew to Bahrain to do an investigative piece “on the use of internet technologies and social media by democracy activists in the region,” Glenn Greenwald, of Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, reported in September.

The team, led by veteran reporter Amber Lyon, a three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, had a most eventful eight-day stay in the small Washington-backed kingdom, which is home, by the way, to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

By the time Lyon and her crew arrived, a number of sources who had previously agreed to speak to them had either disappeared or took to hiding. Opponents of the Bahraini regime who did speak to them suffered government-led recriminations, “as did ordinary citizens who worked with them as fixers,” Greenwald wrote.

‘It made clear just how willing the regime is to lie’

In one case, leading human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was arrested for allegedly fabricating a photo of a dead man who appears to be on a table in a medical examiner’s office (no details were provided by the Bahraini police site about how the man died).

In another case, Saeed Ayyad, a doctor who gave the crew a tour of his village before arranging meetings with government opponents, had his house burned down shortly thereafter.

In still another case, the crew’s local fixer was fired 10 days after working with them.

Lyon and her crew were even violently detained by agents of the regime in front of Rajab’s house. They later described the encounter after returning to the U.S. as being accosted by “20 heavily armed men” whose faces were “covered with black ski masks” and who “jumped from military vehicles” before they “pointed machine guns at” them, then forcing them all to the ground. The security forces proceeded to seize the crew’s cameras, deleting photos and video footage before interrogating them against their will for six hours.

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