CNN Op-Ed: Media Making Boko Haram into ‘Superstar Monsters’

Novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani wrote in a op-ed Monday that the western media was glamorizing and “sophisticating” the militant group Boko Haram, which abducted about 230 Nigerian schoolgirls last month and has threatened in a series of videos to sell them on the market.

Nwaubani argued that the media, in which CNN is presumably included, is attempting to expiate its early lack of reporting on the story by now covering in gruesome detail, in the process aggrandizing the group and its leader, Abubakar Shekau.

“The terrorist group has been receiving the kind of local and international media coverage that could make even a Hollywood megastar explode with envy,” Nwaubani wrote. “At the current rate, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, might as well be given his own reality show.”

RELATED: Why Did Kidnapping Girls, but Not Burning Boys Alive, Wake Media Up to Boko Haram?

Nwaubani also accused the media of grafting more coherent motives, such as a protest of female education, onto the ragtag group, whom she characterized more as “steamy thugs” looking “to stock up on females to meet their physiological and domestic needs.”

“The media must stop fueling their inner psychopaths,” Nwaubani concluded. “If they won’t travel to Hollywood and patiently wait tables until they get noticed by Quentin Tarantino, we must not offer them stardom on a platter.”

If so, Nwaubani’s point doesn’t seem to have quite gotten through. Just above her op-ed, CNN embedded a player featuring, you guessed it, a Boko Haram video:

Watch Nwaubani discuss her piece on CNN below:

[Image via screengrab]

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