by Mark Pyruz
It appears to be the end of the line for Tehran Bureau at PBS Frontline. Last December, the news site reported it would no longer be accessible at the PBS url.
Over the years, this writer has been a critic of the Tehran Bureau effort. Reputed to be an "independent news site", TB nearly always fell short of the high standards we Americans have come to expect from PBS Frontline. Tehran Bureau, in not even attempting to provide fair and balanced perspectives toward its Iran coverage, seemed to be in constant violation of PBS Frontline's written guidelines.
Some of Tehran Bureau's low points at PBS:
-Reporting that somewhere near half a million persons were in the streets of Tehran protesting the government in mid-2010, made without a competently administered confirmation process. This was not the case.
-Reporting that Ahmadinejad would likely be dismissed by Khamenei, made without a competently administered confirmation process. This was not the case.
-Staff member Muhammad Sahimi's apparent unwillingness to accept a comment-driven debate to include invited experts on the legitimacy of the 2009 presidential election, while apparently unwilling or incapable of providing his own refutation of the Brill analysis on the election. (To date, no one has come forward to offer a credible point-by-point refutation of the Brill analysis, not even Trita Parsi who claimed in his latest book that fraud occurred without putting forth credible evidence to support his contention.)
-This writer's comments on Tehran Bureau's site at one point appeared to be being censored based purely on perspective and not violations of PBS commenting rules and guidelines. It required a formal letter to a producer of PBS Frontline to remedy the situation.
It now appears "Tehran Bureau" will have some sort of column at the Guardian. Obviously the Guardian's standards of journalism are below that of PBS Frontline. But perhaps the new venue will serve to improve Tehran Bureau into a fair and balanced news effort. While this writer is highly skeptical this will ever be the case, we wish them good luck in achieving such should they choose to pursue such a standard of journalism.