May 3, 2005

STRANGE SYMBIOSIS (via ef brown):

Is U.S. media a 'partner' with Al-Jazeera? (James P. Pinkerton, May 3, 2005, Newsday)

After a career at ABC News, then at the Bush 41 White House, and having most recently served as a media adviser to the U.S. occupation in Iraq, Smith published an op-ed in last week's Wall Street Journal accusing the U.S. media of "aiding and abetting" the enemy. That's why, he said, in "the battle for Iraqi hearts and minds ... we are losing badly."

Smith argued that Al-Jazeera, the Arab news network, is doing two bad things. First, it's providing propaganda points to the insurgents by publicizing their attacks in the Muslim world. The "collaboration" goes like this: Al-Jazeera would receive "advance knowledge of actions against coalition forces." Instead of tipping off authorities, the network would then "pre-position a crew at the event site and wait for the attack, record it and rush it on the air."

Second, Al-Jazeera provides Nielsen points to American broadcasters by supplying them with dramatic footage, to which they are "addicted." [...]

But Smith went further. He argued that American news networks, including Fox News (where I'm a contributor), are "strong partners" with Al-Jazeera in this hearts-and-minds struggle that America, he believes, is losing. Smith is a serious man making a serious charge, made all the more pertinent after yet another weekend of televised mayhem in Iraq.

The question is: would anyone commit a terrorst act unless the media was going to cover it? And, if not, why let them cover it?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2005 2:57 PM

What if Vinnie the Gimp from Providence were to visit the Al-Jazeera business office: "Ya know, I got a friend with a bad temper. He says every time you air a terror hit, he's got this vision of your transmitter accidentally falling over. Hey, what do I know? Just thought I'd pass it along."

Posted by: Axel Kassel at May 3, 2005 4:21 PM

Is the Pope Catolic? Does a bear . . .

Posted by: obc at May 3, 2005 10:02 PM