Ethiopia: UK’s Telegraph journalist recants ethnic slur post after controversy
Frist Published on Borkena By Teshome Borago
Telegraph’s controversial journalist Lucy Kassa deleted her twitter post that insulted ethnic Amhara people using a dehumanizing donkey symbol. The ethnic Tigrayan reporter, who is a member of the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) dictatorship that brutally ruled Ethiopia for 27 years, has been paid by UK’s Telegraph, Vice, Los Angeles Times and other Western media outlets to write some of the most sensationally one-sided and gruesome, yet discredited, details about the ongoing war in Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Recently, ethnic Tigrayan activists online have been criticized for using derogatory images mocking one of the new flags proposed for ethnic Amhara people and regional state. Then on Monday, UK-based Telegraph writer Lucy joined in the “fun” by forwarding a dehumanizing image of a laughing donkey attached to the flag, trending among some Tigrayan extremists who label Amharas “Adgis” (one of the Tigrigna terms for donkey).
Many Ethiopians online quickly condemned the Telegraph journalist’s unethical behavior posting an ethnic slur, but some were not surprised with her lack of professionalism. Unlike many experienced journalists who spend years going up the ladder, critics say Lucy was suddenly given a platform by Telegraph to write articles, without scrutiny, after she portrayed herself as a victim of the quintessential African “genocidal tyrant.”
Since the war by the heavily armed TPLF rebels escalated, Western media outlets have relished publishing numerous front-page stories depicting the Nobel Peace Prize winning Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed as a warmongering genocidal dictator. The Western media zeal to produce ghastly accounts blaming an African government has already led to several blunders: including by Lucy’s Telegraph colleague Will Brown who infamously portrayed Tigrayans as victims in the Maikadra massacre where independent investigations by human rights organization EHRC and Reuters agency in fact revealed that Tigrayans slaughtered over a thousand ethnic Amharas in that town.
Since the end of 2020, Lucy Kassa has continued to be one of the faces of fake news about Tigray, including an alleged government chemical attack on Tigrayan civilians that turned out to be false. Like the white nationalist insurrection in the United States naturally led to US authorities crack down almost exclusively on white suspects, the reality of Ethiopia’s crackdown against these Tigrayan insurrectionists ending up with mostly Tigrayan suspects arrested, has also been weaponized for propaganda by Lucy Kassa and other TPLF operatives who influence western media.
Facing invasion from Sudan and Egypt on the Western front during the filling period of its massive hydrodam, the overstretched Ethiopian army was forced to declare a ceasefire in June, allowing the TPLF to commit more atrocities and displace over a million Afar and Amhara people. After two months of silence in July and August as TPLF plundered towns, Lucy Kassa and other TPLF members prepared new propaganda for September claiming that a handful dead Tigrayans are floating down the Tekeze river toward Sudan, by quoting the same TPLF sources in Sudan that were caught misinforming the world about the Maikadra massacre. Further, a CNN expert suggested the dead bodies were “chemically preserved,” inadvertently proving that the whole event is staged to produce media outrage (as Ethiopian authorities already had predicted in July when witnesses in Tigray revealed that TPLF was transporting dozens of their fallen soldiers inside a truck during the ceasefire.)
Many Ethiopians and critics, who accuse Telegraph media of employing a TPLF operative with a conflict of interest to report about Tigray, say her media employers will ignore her latest ethnic slur controversy as well, because Western media ethical standards are lowered while covering Africa.
The conflict in northern Ethiopia started on November 4 2020 after the TPLF waged a coordinated and unexpected terror attack in Tigray province, first killing hundreds of federal security officers and then butchering over 1,200 ethnic Amharas in Maikadra town. The vicious Tigrayan insurrection forced the Nobel Peace Prize winning Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to respond with force, breaking two years of his government’s restraint against TPLF, which brutally ruled Ethiopia for 27 years and attempted to obstruct historic reforms by Abiy since 2018.