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Letter to PBS’s NewsHour

October 25, 2012

Dear NewsHour,

I am writing to express my profound concern with your recent reporting regarding the disputed Iranian nuclear program and how it relates to U.S. foreign policy.  On two recent occasions your reporters have refered to Iran’s, “Nuclear weapons program” (Jeff Brown, October 22) and Iran’s, “Pursuit of nuclear weapons”, (Ray Suarez,10/5/12 ).  No is no evidence for this, as repeated statements by various Iranian officials, many reports and inspections by the IAEA, and even the most recent U.S. government NEI report concludes that Iran has not yet decided whether or not it will pursue a weapons program in the future.  On top of all this, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon on Face The Nation, 01-08-12

It is the responsibility of journalist to investigate the claims made by power and report on what is known versus claims that are made.  In this case, the careless reporting of a set of claims about a supposed Iran nuclear weapons program is presented as established fact, a dangerous and irresponsible folly in light of past history, most notably the WMD claims that led to the Iraq War.  If anything, journalist should be extra critical of similar claims made about Iran due to there lack and complicit role in the run up to the destruction of Iraq.

I look forward to hearing back from you and seeing a correction made in your reporting in regards to Iran.

Theodore Johnson
Duluth, MN

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