False Reporting on Yemen: CNN’s Brian Todd and Outfront

In recent developments in Yemen, many have seen the rise of the Houthi movement slowly – but surely – take over the capital of Yemen. The political dynamics of this particular situation in Yemen isn’t a Shiite vs Sunni conflict, but rather, a partnership with Houthis and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to expel longtime opponents. Despite Ali Abdullah Saleh’s bad relationship with Houthis in the past, he gained Houthis as a strong friend to weaken the current government and its legitimate president to revenge for his “ousting” as president of Yemen due to the result of the 2011 Yemeni revolution. Nonetheless, if you know Yemen and understand its political past, this is considered a typical tactic by Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In the past few days, Houthis and presidential forces have used the area of the presidential compound of Abd Rabo Mansoor Hadi as a battlefield to use force and weapons against each other. The gunfire and sound of explosions lasted for hours on each day. The unfortunate conflicts lead to over 60 injured and over 12 killed. After the two day showdown, the Houthi leader, Abdulmalik Al-Houthi spoke live via Yemeni channels to the Yemeni people and demanded changes to the newly-created Yemeni constitution. The next day, the president complied with the Houthi leader to avoid potential disaster in Sana’a city.

While all these rapid changes were taking place in Yemen, a few media outlets decided to discuss Yemen in negative light. Many articles that were published on Yemen are either written by journalists who are unfamiliar with Yemen and its politics or used a “Shiite” vs “Sunni” wording to describe the current crisis. As that can be a dangerous incite to the creation of sectarian illusions, what is worse is when CNN’s Brian Todd writes an article that claims that ISIS has been gaining ground in Yemen. 

First and foremost, Yemen has NO ISIS members. Second of all, Al-Qaeda in Yemen has shown constant conflicted issues with ISIS and claim that they are not the branch of ISIS and reject them as a legitimate “terrorist” group. Lastly, in the article it states that a “Yemeni official” had claimed that ISIS is gaining ground in the country. Anonymous officials tend to not be real officials. How do we know really? It’s used to ‘legitimize’ a topic without real information. In other words, anonymous officials aren’t trustworthy. To claim that “ISIS has been gaining ground in Yemen” is like claiming that ISIS has been in Yemen for years (which isn’t the case). Supposedly there is some type of jealousy between invisible ISIS in Yemen and the real Al-Qaeda. What Brian is saying is, invisible ISIS in Yemen is fighting an invisible competition with Al-Qaeda. The reporting done by Brian Todd proves unprofessional journalism and insubstantial information. Erin Burnett’s OutFront endorses the false reporting and tweets the article on her Twitter account.

As many people know, media outlets tend to have a trend to talk about one topic for days and even months and then once it dies out, they switch their eyes on something else. Example 1: After Syria media time, Iraq came next. After Ebola, Air Asia took the screens of almost every outlet. Now that conflicts are getting old and constant in Syria and Iraq, Yemen will be the next media target, even if based on insubstantial reports. After all, this is business.

I want to end this short post on a light note in that the people of Yemen are not bad people. Yemenis are people of good and people of dreams. False media will not shatter the people of Yemen and their images. There are thousands of educated Yemenis in Yemen and outside of the country who have been raising the heads of every Yemeni. Many of these educated men and women are united in working together to bring light on our country. Yemeni experts, especially outside of Yemen, have the expertise and skills to challenge any type of insubstantial reporting towards their country.

Our weapons are not of guns, but of our knowledge and levels of expertise. Our peaceful weapons are through our educated Yemeni people.


About Summer Nasser
Blogger, with Yemeni roots based in New York City. Student of Sociology (B.A.) with a focus on the country of Yemen. I would consider myself a student of knowledge.

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