To Disparage Taliban NYT, CNN Quote Hoax Twitter Account, Create Fake Story

28 September 2021 — Moon of Alabama

Gareth Porter has described how Corporate media stirred global terror hysteria to push postwar hostility toward new Afghan govt:

Following the Taliban’s victory over the U.S. military, U.S. corporate media has churned out a new narrative about the imminent threat of terrorism from Afghanistan that sets the stage for future military interventions. Blasted out in a stunningly disciplined fashion, the media has demonstrated as clearly as ever its coordination with the national security state and advancements of its interests.

The badmouthing of the Taliban government continues.

Today the New York Times as well as CNN ran a fake story intended to put the Taliban into a bad light:

New Taliban Chancellor Bars Women From Kabul University

Tightening the Taliban’s restrictions on women, the group’s new chancellor for Kabul University announced on Monday that women would be indefinitely banned from the institution either as instructors or students.

“I give you my words as chancellor of Kabul University,” Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat said in a Tweet on Monday. “As long as a real Islamic environment is not provided for all, women will not be allowed to come to universities or work. Islam first.”

The new university policy echoes the Taliban’s first time in power, in the 1990s, when women were only allowed in public if accompanied by a male relative and would be beaten for disobeying, and were kept from school entirely.


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The CNN story, published later, says:

“As long as real Islamic environment is not provided for all, women will not be allowed to come to universities or work. Islam first,” Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat said on his official Twitter account.”

When I read the NYT story this morning I checked the account and found that its was an unverified account, created this month under the name of the new chancellor of Kabul University. The account had curiously used mostly English in its tweets and seemed unusual rough in its wording. The tweet in question, which the NYT quoted incomplete, started with “Folks!”

Something with the account was obviously off so I checked a bit more. It soon turned out that several Afghans had immediately pointed out that the account is a hoax and that the whole story thereby fake.

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Wardak Media @wrdakmedia – 22:02 UTC · Sep 27, 2021

Students at Kabul University have rejected new claims that women have been banned after a major news outlet fails to verify tweets by a fake parody account.
Locals have urged reporters to uphold journalistic ethics and standards by thoroughly fact checking and verifying news.

Obaidullah Baheer @ObaidullaBaheer – 9:33 UTC · Sep 28, 2021

Students from #Kabul University tell me that female faculty and students have been accessing the university as per usual. #NewYorkTimes should really verify their stories before publishing them. University #Chancellor refuses to give interviews. Directives from above I suppose.

The University of Kabul says that its chancellor does not have Twitter or Facebook accounts.

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The Twitter account which the NYT and CNN quoted and linked no longer exists.

But nineteen hours after the New York Times, and later CNN, were told by Afghans that the story is fake they still carry their uncorrectedfalse stories.

The NYT story was written by Cora Engelbrecht and Sharif Hassan and the CNN story by Karen Smith and Tara John. Obviously neither of these persons, who disparage a country with stories based on unverified hoax tweets without further checking, should be called a journalist.

Nor are their editors, who allowed the stories to be published based solely on a unverified tweet, qualified for their jobs.

One thought on “To Disparage Taliban NYT, CNN Quote Hoax Twitter Account, Create Fake Story

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