CBS Touts ‘Festive Atmosphere’ as Iran Marks Anniversary of Revolution

On Monday, CBS This Morning took time to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran’s brutal Islamic regime seizing power. Rather than point out four decades of human rights abuses, including the taking of American hostages, reporter Elizabeth Palmer instead noted the “festive atmosphere” of celebrations in Tehran and seemed to blame the United States for “toxic” relations with the dictatorship.  

After co-host Bianna Golodryga noted that “hundreds of thousands of people in Iran filled the streets today to mark the 40th anniversary of the country’s Islamic revolution,” Palmer reported from the Iranian capital and declared: “In spite of the lousy weather, there’s quite a festive atmosphere at this anniversary parade.”

She observed that “Some of the people in the crowd are old enough to have actually participated in the revolution,” but that for the younger generation, “the Islamic Republic that followed is all they’ve ever known.” Palmer lamented: “And that means all they’ve ever known is a relationship with the United States that’s ranged from hostile to downright toxic, and we’re at a low point right now.”

However, it was the U.S., not Iran, that got the blame: “The Trump administration has imposed the harshest sanctions yet on Iran which is supposed to weaken the regime. But there’s no sign yet that it’s losing its grip on power.” Palmer wrapped up the segment by delivering this bit of propaganda:

In fact, every time America cracks down on Iran, Iran responds with a provocative show of force. We’ve just heard President Rouhani say that Iran will continue to expand its military power. And earlier this month, Iran tested a brand-new homemade cruise missile.

Palmer is known for sympathetic coverage of Iran. Back in October, she portrayed the authoritarian nation as a victim of the “bullying and belligerent United States.”

Here is a full transcript of the February 11 report:

7:35 AM ET

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Well, hundreds of thousands of people in Iran filled the streets today to mark the 40th anniversary of the country’s Islamic revolution. President Hassan Rouhani told a large crowd in Tehran that Iran did not need to ask the world’s permission to develop missiles and it will continue to build up its military power despite U.S. sanctions. Elizabeth Palmer is in the middle of that crowd in Iran’s capital.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Iran’s Revolution; Millions of People Across Iran Celebrate 40th Anniversary]

ELIZABETH PALMER: Good morning. In spite of the lousy weather, there’s quite a festive atmosphere at this anniversary parade. Some of the people in the crowd are old enough to have actually participated in the revolution. For the younger people, though, the Islamic Republic that followed is all they’ve ever known. And that means all they’ve ever known is a relationship with the United States that’s ranged from hostile to downright toxic, and we’re at a low point right now.

The Trump administration has imposed the harshest sanctions yet on Iran which is supposed to weaken the regime. But there’s no sign yet that it’s losing its grip on power. In fact, every time America cracks down on Iran, Iran responds with a provocative show of force. We’ve just heard President Rouhani say that Iran will continue to expand its military power. And earlier this month, Iran tested a brand-new homemade cruise missile.

For CBS This Morning, I’m Elizabeth Palmer in Tehran.

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