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Thursday, April 15, 2010

World Editors Forum to welcome Hezbollah

From Forbes Biz Blog:

What Are They Smoking at the World Editors' Forum?

The upcoming World Editors Forum, which rarely sparks controversy, may break from tradition this year. Its lunch speaker is Hassan Fadlallah, a fiercely anti-Israel figure and Hezbollah member of Parliament. Fadlallah is a strange choice of talking head at a confab which typically debates changing economics of news and how to enhance global press freedoms.

As news director at Al Manar television, the propaganda arm of Hezbollah, Fadlallah reportedly referred to CNN as "the Zionist news network" and expressed his desire to kill the Israeli prime minister. The station, which Fadlallah still represents, denies the Holocaust and runs music videos inspiring suicide attacks in Iraq, the West Bank and Gaza. Al Manar, run by Hezbollah and delivered by satellite, is banned in the US, Germany and France.
The WEF, whose convention is being held in Beirut this year, is not trying to downplay Fadlallah's credentials at all - in fact, they are celebrating them, as they write in their program:
12h30 - 14h00:
Exclusive WEF lunch
WEF meets MP Hassan Fadlallah, chairman of the Parliament Media Committee and one of the most prominent Hezbollah leaders
Attendance limited to pre-registered participants.
At the Colombian Coffee House of the Convention Centre (close to the entrance)