Iran suspended accreditation for
Reuters today, but not, as one might expect, over reporters prying into the country's
nuclear activities or besmirching the good name of the Supreme Leader. Instead,
Reuters is reportedly being sued by a group of female Iranian ninjas, like the
one pictured above.
A video produced by Reuters
about the thousands of women learning
ninjutsu was unfortunately titled,
"Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran's assassins." The inference
that the women -- whose interest in the ancient martial art is primarily
motivated by "staying fit," according to one participant -- are violent
marauders offended the athletes, who are overseen
by the Ministry of Sports' Martial Arts Federation. In case it wasn't obvious, you don't want to
offend a highly-trained cadre of Iranian ninjas. Anger these black-belted
beauties and they'll ... take their legitimate complaint to the appropriate
authorities who will suspend your press credentials. Hiiiii-yah!
Reuters released a statement
about the gaffe, saying, "We acknowledge this error occurred and regard it as a
very serious matter. It was promptly corrected the same day it came to our
attention." The agency is currently in negotiations with Iran to regain
accreditation (There are 11 accredited Reuters employees in Iran). However, the
ninjas argue that the damage has already been done.
"It can harm our chances to
travel to other countries to take part in global tournaments and international
championships because Reuters is considered by many to be a reliable source,"
Raheleh Davoudzadeh told
PressTV, Iran's semi-official news agency.
While the assassins line might not seem like the highest order of
business for a country facing sanctions
and potentially an armed
attack, glibly labeling a group in a way that
plays into stereotypes about violence is no laughing matter. As poll after poll shows, language matters tremendously when people are asked to consider military action.
Don't believe us? Why don't you tell her that.