CNN, which apparently is unable or unwilling to check the social media posts of those it is considering hiring, just to make sure there is nothing scandalous in that potential hire’s background, has tripped over itself again. The story of the latest unfit-for-purpose producer is here: “CNN Producer Tweeted ‘#TeamHitler,’ Called Hamas Terrorists ‘Freedom Fighters,’” by Akiva Van Koningsveld, Algemeiner, November 16, 2022:
Idris Muktar Ibrahim, a California-educated native of Kenya, has done work for CNN since 2015, reporting on critical events in Africa, including then-President Barack Obama’s visit to the region and the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
Earlier this year, following his graduation from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, CNN’s international desk took him on as a producer.
In our cultural of credentialism, Idris Muktar Ibrahim knew he had to get some kind of degree in order to raise himself from his role as a lowly freelance reporter filing stories from Africa, to that appetizing thing, an on-staff reporter and producer. He dutifully enrolled at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and emerged from his academic chrysalis a veritable butterfly, immediately hired by CNN’s international desk as a producer. That was where CNN failed in its duty of due diligence: before hiring him for a job as producer, it failed to look into his social media posts to see if there was anything worrisome, anything that might suggest, for example, a deep hostility to Jews and to Israel.
Ibrahim’s name has appeared in multiple bylines on CNN.com, including a November 13 article about Israel’s incoming governing coalition, titled “Israeli President invites Netanyahu to form government.”
Yet Ibrahim’s profound hatred of the Jewish state calls into question his ability to impartially report on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
For instance, in a July 13, 2014, Twitter post (screenshot), he seemingly expressed support for Nazi mass murderer Adolf Hitler. “I have shifted to team Germany after finding out that Messi supports Israel,” Ibrahim wrote, concluding the tweet with the offensive hashtag “#teamHitler.”
So the year before he began working as a freelancer for CNN, he was already on record, at Twitter, as having declared he would no longer support the soccer team for which Lionel Messi played, because Ibrahim found out that “Messi supports Israel.” (It’s amusing to realize that Palestinian propagandists photoshopped a picture of Messi holding a Palestinian flag — it never happened.) Ibrahim felt such animus to the Jewish state that he transferred his soccer allegiance from FC Barcelona, which Messi played for from 2014 to 2017, to Germany’s national soccer team. And just to make clear what he thought of Jews, he ended that tweet with the hashtag #team Hitler.That came at the end of an anti-Israel post, so there could be no misunderstanding its sinister meaning.
Ibrahim also lavished praise on Hamas (screenshot), claiming that members of the US-designated terror organization are “modern day freedpm fighters [sic]” who are “definding [sic] their land.” According to the CNN producer, Hamas is entitled to its “armed struggle” against Israeli civilian targets.
Notably, just hours after Ibrahim posted his tweet on July 18, 2014, a Hamas rocket struck a kindergarten in the southern Israeli town of Gan Yavneh.
Idris Mukhtar Ibrahim describes Hamas members as “modern-day freedom fighters.” The “freedom” that Hamas is fighting for is set out clearly in the organization’s charter: it has but one goal — destruction of the state of Israel and its replacement, from the river to the sea, by a Palestinian Arab state. Hamas’ freedom fighters have conducted thousands of attacks, almost all of them directed at civilians. In the latest war, in May 2021, Hamas launched hundreds of rockets into civilian cities and villages in southern Israel, hitting schools, shops, synagogues, homes – all of them civilian targets. Hamas terrorists have had a particular fondness for suicide bombings, of buses and at bus stops, cafes, restaurants, stores, open-air markets.
But Hamas doesn’t just cause civilian casualties among Israelis. It also holds its own civilians hostage, by hiding its extensive armory of weapons, especially missiles and rockets, inside or under or next to civilian buildings – schools, hospitals, apartment and office buildings – and launches attacks into Israel from those civilian structures. And this practice is what leads to the deaths of Palestinian civilians. As is well known, the IDF makes great efforts, before launching its own attacks against Hamas’ weapons hideouts, to minimize civilian casualties. It telephones, sends emails, and uses its “knock-on-the-roof” technique, to warn civilians away from targets that are just about to be struck. But there will always be some unavoidable casualties, due entirely to Hamas’ practice of hiding its fighters and its weapons among civilians.
Hamas is recognized as a terror organization by the civilized part of the world – the countries of Europe and North America. Even Arab states, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, have declared it to be a “terrorist” group. But Idris Muktar Ibrahim begs to differ. For him the suicide bombers of Hamas, who blow up busses and restaurants, or lob missiles into kindergartens and hospitals, are “freedom fighters,” worthy of praise.
Idris Muktar Ibrahim is, of course, entitled to his personal views, even if they are ignorant and offensive. But as we previously explained, producers with a political agenda can be selective with the information they present to the public, resulting in lopsided media coverage of the conflict in the Middle East.
Sadly, Ibrahim is but the latest in a series of journalists whose virulently anti-Jewish views have been exposed by HonestReporting. Over the last three months alone, our editorial team uncovered four antisemitic, anti-Israel journalists and successfully convinced reputable outlets to cut ties with them (see here and here).
HonestReporting has contacted CNN for comment. In response, a spokesperson for the network told us they are looking into the matter.
Will CNN do the right thing, and discharge this admirer of Hitler and Hamas? Let us hope.