Mar-a-Lago, FL — Hours after ordering the assassination of a top Iranian General, the Trump Administration announced that it has temporarily suspended the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode featuring Iran. Stephanie Grisham, the president’s Press Secretary, said the move was necessary to prevent “unwanted Iranian propaganda from infiltrating our current war efforts.”
Ever since Bourdain’s 2014 visit to Iran, which showed the famously authoritarian country in much more friendly light, conservatives have criticized the outspoken chef for being a tool of Iranian propaganda. They point out the imprisonment of Washington Post Jason Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, who were very hopeful about the future of Iran but mysteriously arrested and detained only six weeks after the filming.
“Iran was mind-blowing,” said Bourdain during the episode. “My crew has never been treated so well by total strangers everywhere. We had heard that the Persians are nice. But nicest? Didn’t see that coming. So far, Iran does not look and does not feel the way I had expected. Neither East nor West, but always somewhere in the middle.”
Democrats responded immediately to the ban accusing the Administration of “an old-school propaganda game befitting of a third world dictatorship.” They also said that the President was going after his favorite foe, CNN, to force them to control their reporting. CNN immediately filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to prevent the injunction against the Parts Unknown episode.
“This is an attempt by the President to intimidate and control the press,” said CNN spokesperson Bethany Millbight. “And it’s certainly a violation of the 1st Amendment.”
Responding to CNN’s lawsuit, Secretary Grisham split constitutional hairs saying the “First Amendment prohibits the Congress from limiting speech, not the Executive Branch.”
Despite the Administration’s efforts to censor the Parts Unknown episode, it has flourished on the Internet due to large amounts of social media sharing of video segments.
“This is called the Streisand effect,” said Professor James Badwater of the University of Chicago’s Badwater Institute for Social Policy and Justice. “It is a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. Barbara Streisand learned her lesson. President Trump did not.”
A spokesperson for the late Anthony Bourdain declined to comment.