Amir Taheri: A Big, Big Fraud!

An old journalist buddy of mine, Larry Cohler-Esses who is now an editor with the New York Jewish Week and who unlike this lazy "political analyst," does some leg work (well, he makes phone calls) has a GREAT piece in the new issue of Nation Magazine about disinformation agent Amir Taheri, the "journalist" who as you may recall reported on Iran's plans to force its Jews to wear yellow insignia. Titled Bunkum From Benador. It's a MUST read! Among other things it reveals:
It was in 1989 that Taheri was first exposed as a journalistic felon. The book he published the year before, Nest of Spies, examined the rule and fall of the Shah of Iran. Taheri received many respectful reviews, but in The New Republic Shaul Bakhash, a reigning doyen of Persian studies, checked Taheri's footnotes. Suddenly a book review became an investigative exposé. Bakhash, a history professor at George Mason University and a former fellow at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, detailed case after case in which Taheri cited nonexistent sources, concocted nonexistent substance in cases where the sources existed and distorted the substance beyond recognition when it was present. Taheri "repeatedly refers us to books where the information he cites simply does not exist," Bakhash wrote. "Often the documents cannot be found in the volumes to which he attributes them.... [He] repeatedly reads things into the documents that are simply not there." In one case, noted Bakhash, Taheri cited an earlier article of his own--but offered content he himself never wrote in that article. Bakhash concluded that Nest of Spies was "the sort of book that gives contemporary history a bad name." In a response published two months later, Taheri failed to rebut Bakhash's charges.

Yet, as Larry reports in his piece, Taheri countinues to enjoy the services of Benador Associates led by Eleana Benador, the Willi Munzenberg of the Neo-Comintern. Here is what she had to say about why lying is ok:
Taheri was unreachable by phone. But Benador, who said her client was "traveling in the Middle East," was impatient with dissections of his work. Terming accuracy with regard to Iran "a luxury," she said, "My major concern is the large picture. Is Taheri writing one or two details that are not accurate? This is a guy who is putting his life at stake." She noted that "the Iranian government has killed its opponents." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "says he wants to destroy Israel. He says the Holocaust never happened.... As much as being accurate is important, in the end it's important to side with what's right. What's wrong is siding with the terrorists."
You're so right, Comrade!


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