The MKO-run media and websites quantitatively rise to a big number which, compared with the group’s insignificant political weight and modest structure, indicate they are means merely utilized to accomplish the cult’s objectives.
Exploited beyond their main purpose, the media are practical instruments to fulfill MKO’s ambitions. Besides their utilization to augment psychological warfare and propaganda blitz, the media are turned into the means of diffusing ideological teachings directly and indirectly. The TV affording many privileges, the psychological impacts and popularity to count, plays the front role for Mojahedin to control the members held in Camp Ashraf and bias them in favor of the ideology and political line of the cult.
Mojahedin’s TV principally addresses two groups of audiences; the first are Ashraf residents whose chief means of receiving information from the outside is through TV. The aired biased programs also work to have a complete control over the members’ psychological conducts and even the entertainment. It would be discussed later.
The second group is the cult’s sympathizers living in the Western countries and who, according to the group’s teachings and orders, have to look upon Mojahedin TV as a source of receiving the information. Such a channeled source for the Western activists of the group well reveals the complicated sect-like infrastructure teachings of the organization that need to be fully analyzed.
The chief infrastructure parameter on which Mojahedin TV operates is the group’s ideology that is infused in all its programs and which is the main factor to delimit the network compared with many other networks. One might identify it with the Bolshevik daily newspaper Pravda during the Communist era of Lenin and Stalin. Even the news broadcasts that have to necessarily follow an impartial line delineate traces of the ideological teachings. Thus, the news are distorted, censored and the tone of the newsmen is ideologically prejudiced.
The slanted news might remarkably slow down the news broadcasting but sometimes it lasts beyond forty minutes, an over-prolonged tempo that actually violates the conventional standards. Sometimes a single report is prolonged by immoderate repetitions, a trick that simply converts a news-report into a propaganda furor. For instance, Maryam Rajavi’s news of visiting a place is first reported according to Mojahedin’s sources and then repeated references to other media are made to create much elongated news. In general, the news broadcasting follows a regular, systematic order complying with the following observations.
1- Distortion: the news are distorted to comply with the objectives of the group. The news of the Judgment of the Court of the First Instance, for example, was misrepresentation of the truth to concur the proceeding propaganda of Mojahedin in its attempts to be de-proscribed.
2- Repetition: a report is recurrently repeated to justify a distortion. From a psychological point of view, the audiences’ defensive power noticeably shrinks and doubts begin to grow inside them.
3- Modification: the big and hot news and reports that might be challenging are modified to seem as merely simple events lacking any significance.
4- Paraphrasing: reports are paraphrased so the minds of the audiences might deduce desired results. The reports are usually left open to further interpretation by the audiences when the main goal is to grow misgivings that are maintained by later complementary reports.
5- Blending: a report is a combination of alternative sources. The nature of the report resembles that of a distinct one, but in fact, it is a composition of adapted parts to form an ideal outcome.
6- Annexing: the previously released reports might be annexed to the latest ones so the actual ones are hardly distinguished.
7- Censor: a newsworthy report is totally disregarded while it might have received widespread media coverage. It happens when the report antagonizes the interests of the group.
8- Silence: The same as in the censor with the difference that later on the group reacts and takes a position, as in the case of Saddam’s execution.
Mojahedin’s TV news broadcasting program plays an influential role in expounding and generalizing the group’s organizational and political policies. In this process, one sees that Iran’s nuclear file transforms into a pretext for the US military leverage against Iran.
Omid Pouya – February 5, 2007