Iranian TV Issues Correction After Declaring Pink Floyd Guitarist Roger Waters a ‘Political Expert’

Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd, performs on the Us + Them Tour on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)
Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

Iranian state television issued a correction on Tuesday after falsely labeling Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters a “political expert” when airing his comments criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden.

Replaying comments first aired by the Russian state propaganda channel Russia Today’s (RT) Going Underground program, Waters was described as a “political expert” who believes “Biden cannot be trusted.”

“Biden (is a) warmongering servant of the oligarchy that rules the United States of America and will continue to be so for however long he remains the president of the United States,” Waters claimed. “He’s not to be trusted on anything.”

The 77-year-old rocker added that although President Donald Trump’s reelection “would’ve been worse for everyone in the world,” that “does not make Biden a good candidate.”

On its Telegram channel, Iranian state television admitted that Waters was “wrongly called a political expert,” instead describing him as somebody working in “activities in the field of socio-political music.”

Waters, best known for being part of the English rock group Pink Floyd, has repeatedly surfaced in public making comments favorable to authoritarian regimes due to his radical left-wing, anti-American political beliefs. He is particularly attractive to the Iranians because of his vehement opposition to Israel and antisemitic rhetoric.

He was the subject of stern criticism this year for comments describing American business magnate Sheldon Adelson as a “puppet master pulling the strings of Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, and … the Ambassador [to Israel],” while also denouncing Zionism as an “ugly stain” that “needs to be gently removed.”

Last year, in a call to other celebrities not to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, Waters compared Israelis to aliens. In 2017, Waters described the Israeli government as the “worst regime in the world” whose crimes are similar to Nazi Germany. More recently, in May, he appeared at the U.K. Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) Nakba Day event where he sang that Palestinians would “take back the land, from the Jordan River to the sea,” a slogan calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.

Like most state television services, Iranian television is notorious for being a propaganda machine for Tehran’s political aims. This year, three prominent presenters working for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) publicly announced their resignations after admitting to having told lies on behalf of the regime for over a decade.

The tipping point for those journalists came when state officials tried to deny that Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 had been accidentally shot down by members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) air defense force.

“The publication of false information has had a severe impact on public confidence and public opinion, and more than ever shook the media’s shaky position,” the Association of Iranian Journalists wrote at the time. “The situation has become so complex. We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves; Islamic Republic of Iran state television employees acknowledge that their credibility has been lost. Unaware that the credibility of this media and most of the domestic media had long since vanished.”

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