State-run Iranian news organization Fars decried CNN for what it called a vicious slander of recently-elected Iranian president Hassan Rouhani during an interview with the American network. In said interview, Rouhani had told a CNN newscaster that the actions of the Nazis during the Holocaust were “reprehensible and condemnable”. While ordinarily calling the Nazis terrible people isn’t exactly a notable event—usually, it just means you’re losing an argument on the Internet—when compared with his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a literal Holocaust-denier, Rouhani’s willingness to accept that the Holocaust happened makes him look actually sane.
Fars, of course, was outraged by the implication that their president was not a thoroughly abominable person. “We shouldn’t be surprised,” remarked a spokesperson, “This is just another example of the Liberal Media trying to turn their opponents into sympathetic human beings.” According to Fars, CNN translators had edited Rouhani’s comments about the Holocaust, adding in entire sentences that “totally change what President Rouhani has said”. For instance, “He actually only says that the Nazis committed crimes against the Jews once. CNN has him saying it twice. Is there no end to the depths they’ll stoop to make their enemies seem reasonable?”
Also, according to Fars, Rouhani never actually used the word ‘Holocaust’, so it doesn’t actually count as him acknowledging the Holocaust was a thing that happened. It’s sort of like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named; if you don’t actually use the name ‘Voldemort’, you can still pretend that Harry kid is lying about what happened at the graveyard. “So, you can see, CNN’s claims about Rouhani not being a Holocaust-denying douche are nothing but specious slander,” said Fars, “We demand an apology immediately.”
Despite all this unwanted positive media attention, Rouhani chose not to meet with President Obama at the United Nations assembly. In retrospect, this was probably a smart choice for Rouhani, considering that during the lunch Obama looked less like he wanted a friendly handshake and more like he wanted to go all Karate Kid on the first delegate who looked at him funny. One can only imagine how the liberal media would spin that.