Twitter users react to Afghan TV host held at gunpoint during news segment


By Jenny Goldsberry

An Afghan TV host was held at gunpoint during his program on Sunday. His show, ironically titled “Peace Studio,” revealed two Taliban fighters in the background with rifles in their hands posing in a threatening position behind the television host.

First, the host assured his audience that all was well. He recommended all Afghans “cooperate with [the Taliban] and should not be afraid.”

Next the segment featured an interview with a Taliban fighter. According to BBC journalist Kian Sharifi, the fighter “presumably outranks the rest of the lot in the studio.”

Executive Director of the United Nations Watch Hillel Neuer lamented the loss of the freedom of the press. “Freedom of the press today in Afghanistan means you are free to read out the Taliban script while over your shoulder stand crazed-looking Jihadis with guns,” Neuer tweeted.

Then Macdonald-Laurier Institute senior fellow Mariam Memarsadeghi compared the segment to an Orewellian novel. “This is Afghanistan’s new state TV,” she tweeted. “Deranged-looking Taliban gunmen standing behind the anchor. ‘Peace Studio’ sign above them. Beyond Orwellian. Not just propaganda, it’s terror. Meanwhile Biden admin is (still) politely asking Taliban to show good behavior. Unconscionable.”

Currently the Taliban has complete control of the capital city Kabul. Even at the U.S.-controlled airport, the Taliban runs checkpoints just outside its gates.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.