AP's Bauder: CNN's Nasr Fired for Praising 'Inspiration' for 'Hezbollah Militant Movement'

Reporting on CNN's firing of Octavia Nasr, AP's David Bauder buried the lede in his 7-paragraph July 8 story.

Here's Bauder's fourth paragraph wherein he described the Lebanese cleric that Nasr had praised as "[o]ne of Hezbollah's giants [she] respects a lot" (emphasis mine):

Lebanon's Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah died Sunday after a long illness. He was staunchly anti-American and linked to bombings that killed more than 260 Americans, a charge he denied. 

Here's Bauder's lead paragraph:

NEW YORK -- Octavia Nasr has been fired. CNN fired the editor responsible for Middle Eastern coverage after she posted a note  on Twitter expressing admiration for a late Lebanese cleric considered an inspiration for the Hezbollah militant movement. 

Wouldn't a better lede incorporate elements of the fourth paragraph? Something like:

Octavia Nasr has been fired. CNN fired the editor responsible for Middle Eastern coverage after she posted a note on Twitter expressing admiration for late Lebanese cleric who has been linked to bombings that have killed more than 260 Americans.

Although Hezbollah is on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations -- listed as "Hizballah (Party of God)" -- the only place the word "terrorist" appears in Bauder's piece is in the final paragraph and even that is in a quote by Nasr herself, apologizing for her offending tweet:

She [Nasr] wrote that Fadlallah was "revered across borders yet designated a terrorist. Not the kind of life to be commenting about in a brief tweet. It's something I deeply regret." But [CNN senior vice president for international newsgathering Parisa] Khosravi said in a memo Wednesday that she spoke with Nasr and "we have decided that she will be leaving the company." 

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters