ALERT: CNN Journalist ‘Governments Pay Us to Fake Stories’, Shocking Expose.
Former Reporter Amber Lyon Exposes Massive Censorship at CNN.
Hoax or Fact:
In early October 2015, few online outlets like worldtruth.tv have come up with stories saying a former CNN reporter and Emmy award winning journalist Amber Lyon has made a shocking expose that US and foreign governments pay them (CNN) to fake stories and selectively report on certain events. The articles, in particular, talk about why CNN's international arm (CNNi) did not air its own documentary on Bahrain's Arab Spring repression back in 2011. Furthermore, there are also some stories saying Obama administration pay CNN for editorial control over some of their content. Let us analyze the claims in detail.
The current stories in October 2015 mention an old 2013 report on website redflagnews.com as their source. The story, in part, actually broke in September 2012 through an article on theguardian.com that discussed why CNN's international arm did not air its own documentary on Bahrain's Arab Spring repression. Arab Spring is a series of protests and demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa (oppressive Islamic nations) that commenced in 2010.
The iRevolution Documentary and Allegations
Back in March 2011, CNN sent a four person team including Amber Lyon to Bahrain to cover the Arab Spring repression, where pro-democracy activists were tortured at the hands of government forces. The team documented mass arrests of peaceful protesters, imprisonment of activists, including some sudden disappearances, and even unfortunate, some unarmed protestors were gunned down by police. The investigative team were also intimidated and detained for interrogation for several hours. Even photos from their cameras were destroyed by the Bahrain security forces. Shown in the video is a 13-minute Bahrain segment of the iRevolution documentary (warning: disturbing content). In the full documentary, similar scenarios in Syria, Yemen and Libya were also discussed.
According to the whistle blower Amber Lyon, their iRevolution documentary on the Bahrain uprising was never broadcasted by the CNN International (CNNi) despite numerous inquiries and pressure from their own employees. She accused that the prestigious documentary on Bahrain and its oppression on its people was meant for global audience, but was never reported widely in mainstream US media entities like CNN. She went on to say that Bahrain as well as other governments throughout the world are paying CNN for special content to show their countries in a positive light, and that the brutal Arab Spring repression was embraced by the US-backed regime. Shown in the second video is Amber Lyon's interview with RT America in late 2012 where she suggests sensationalism, hype and downright propaganda is being used to push America into a potential conflict and war with Iran. She also explains about their Bahrain documentary and allegations against CNN International in that case and others.
In a response to the allegations from Amber Lyon, CNN in their pressroom blogs cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com said that the documentary was never intended to air on CNN International, and that the program about the impact of social media on the Arab Spring was commissioned for CNN US, which ran in June 2011. CNN also said Amber’s reporting from Bahrain was actually featured and promoted on CNN International months before the full documentary aired on CNN US. They even said that the editorial choices about this programming decision are nothing unusual.
We contacted Amber Lyon through her Facebook and Twitter networking profiles inquiring about her allegations against CNN. We did not get any response from her. So we can't be sure whether or not CNN (or other US media entities) were paid not to air the disturbing, documented content about the Arab Spring repression, but the tragic tales of the pro-democracy activists were not reported widely, in United States or elsewhere globally.
Certain online sources like beforeitsnews.com reported Amber Lyon to have said she was ordered to report fake stories and delete unfriendly stories adverse to the Obama administration. We did not find such a mention in credible sources or her website amberlyon.org, so the authenticity of this claim again is not determined.
Update: 14 Nov 2015
The former CNN journalist Amber Lyon responded to our inquiry through Facebook saying whatever she said in her interviews is most definitely the truth, and that she is too busy to do any type of interview now.