As Iranian missiles rained down on U.S. military targets in Iraq Tuesday night, two cable news outlets, MSNBC and CNN, spread fake news that suggested that the damage was worse than it was.
The Pentagon confirmed that Tehran fired more than 12 ballistic missiles targeting two military bases used by US and coalition forces in Iraq.
During a broadcast of Hardball on MSNBC, NBC News Tehran bureau chief Ali Arouzi parroted Iranian state media propaganda claiming erroneously that Iranian rockets had killed 30 American soldiers.
“The IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] was saying that Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of this country, was in the control center coordinating these attacks,” Arouzi told anchor Chris Matthews. “This bit I’m not sure about but Iran state media says 30 U.S. soldiers have been killed in this attack. This is not confirmed, it’s just coming from Iranian media.”
“This is drawing people from all sides into this what is potentially the beginning of a war, Chris,” Arouzi added. “I don’t know how this is going to go in the coming hours, but it’s not looking good from the rhetoric that came out from President Trump earlier today saying that he will retaliate against any retaliation from Iran. I think we can expect an attack on Iran imminently.”
MSNBC aired Iran state media’s false claim that 30 U.S. soldiers had been killed tonight pic.twitter.com/DnEkMq3x7f
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) January 8, 2020
This is not true – was never true – & no one even attempted to confirm with the press office before tweeting. In a race to be first to break news, the public once again falls victim to irresponsible “reporting” by @CNN @jeffzeleny @kaitlancollins https://t.co/7NdGlevoCO
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) January 8, 2020
Tweets the Animal House meme words in a conflict statement. https://t.co/sYdMzy9dkI
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 8, 2020
Watch live coverage as Gen. Qassem Soleimani is buried in his hometown of Kerman, Iran. https://t.co/CUsh8osifL
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 8, 2020
Trump wagged the dog.
Now the dog is wagging Trump.
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) January 8, 2020
In truth, there were no American casualties, and Middle East experts are speculating that the attack may have been a symbolic strike designed to allow Iran to save face.
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020