CNBC has taken some heat for its framing of the U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that led to the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, was described by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as being just as dangerous as ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who killed himself during a raid by U.S.-led forces in Syria this past October.
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As U.S. officials confirmed Soleimani’s death late Thursday, the business network tweeted: “America just took out the world’s no. 1 bad guy” above a link to a piece by political and economic analyst Jake Novak.
The cable network was blasted on social media and accused of being a “corporate propaganda machine.” Others slammed CNBC for the headline’s “childish” nature.
“CNBC has nothing to do with ‘journalism’; it’s a corporate propaganda machine for the US [sic] empire and national security state. It manufactures consent and sells war. Its goal is not to inform or educate the public; its goal is to make money. And imperialist war is very profitable,” The Grayzone assistant editor Ben Norton wrote.
He continued: “Soleimani has an 82% approval rating in Iran, and is a hero in much of the Middle East because he defeated ISIS[.] Meanwhile US client regimes like Saudi Arabia supported ISIS, after the US gave birth to it. The US empire is the world’s actual no. 1 bad guy.”
“For anybody interested in how a reckless assassination that might lead to an apocalyptic war could be redeemed and framed by media as a jingoistic and dangerous achievement, here’s how it starts,” political analyst Jared Yates Sexton reacted.
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The headline has since been changed to “Op-Ed: America just took out a man many considered the world’s No. 1 bad guy” with CNBC offering a “clarification.”
“This headline has been updated to reflect that this is an opinion column,” CNBC added to the bottom of the piece.
Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this report.