Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Media Downplays Ransom Payment to Iran

Mr. Speaker, last month the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration secretly sent $400 million in cash to Iran on the same day four American hostages detained in Tehran were released. The president should admit that the ransom payment to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism was bad policy and endangers the lives of Americans at home and abroad. The spokesman for the State Department even admitted that the payment was “leverage,” which sounds like he’s trying to find a nice word for “ransom.”

The media also has not been forthcoming.  The Media Research Center found that the Big Three networks devoted ten times more coverage to Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s alleged robbery in Brazil than to the $400 million cash payment to Iran. It’s not a surprise why three-quarters of Americans feel the news media are biased in their reporting. 

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