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June 26, 2007

Terrorists As Movie Stars

Wallace Ahmedinejad.jpe
In August 2006, Mike Wallace allowed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "to brush him off with inanities and lies," observed Jeff Jacoby

In a Jerusalem Post analysis, Shelly Paz comments on the high-profile appearances of terrorists in the mainstream media as a means of manipulation. She points to the videos released yesterday of Gilad Shalit and Alan Johnston:

"Terror is a political act of psychological warfare. The terrorists' purpose is to influence the viewers and to motivate them into political action. That is achieved by creating fear among the viewers who, as a result, are ready to put pressure on their politicians to change policy, for example, to give back occupied territories or to free many prisoners," [terrorism expert Eviathar] Ben-Zedeff explained. . . .

Ben-Zedeff believes that the reporters and especially the editors of the world's mainstream media have to filter the news items they decide to publish more thoroughly to change this reality.

"When Osama Bin-Laden sent his tape to the media, a few days after his organization attacked the Twin Towers in New York, the American communications media reported on the tape but didn't use the footage. By taking this decision, they didn't let Bin-Laden achieve what he hoped to achieve. This model has to be implemented here as well."

In other words, the Washington Post, New York Times, and International Herald Tribune were recently manipulated as a Hamas tool when they ran the Ahmad Yousef Op-Eds. Paz continues:

Prof. Tamar Liebes, head of the Communications faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, cited the competition between the media as well as increased globalization. These factors led to the reality that terrorists are now covered and treated in the mainstream media as legitimate "movie stars."

"Terrorists are interviewed on their own terms; they dictate the questions they are asked and the journalists cannot ask hard questions because if they do they will not get the next interview or worse, their lives will be in danger, especially in areas like Gaza or Iraq," she said. "Nowadays, terrorists pass the media's gate through the front door while in the past they were considered the bad guys whom no one wanted to give a stage from which to speak."

Liebes believes that this phenomenon significantly interferes with the journalist's work. Due to competition, journalists are forced to report immediately without even checking the information they have received, Liebes said. "They chase rockets and report on them live and create the atmosphere that everyplace is under attack, they don't invest time in research work, they are led instead of leading," she said.

Posted by TS at June 26, 2007 02:07 AM


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