Friday, August 05, 2005

ABC Drops Its Moral Compass in the Swamp

 
My Pet Jawa is delighted at Putin’s decision to ban ABC from Russia:
     At least the Russians know a terrorist collaborator and facilitator when they see one! If only we could do the same thing for the MSM's non-stop diatribe of Islamist-fueling anti-American articles:
A Russian government spokesman has said accreditations for ABC News reporters would not be renewed and that, in the meantime, they would not be allowed to talk to any Russian officials. This follows an ABC broadcast of an interview with warlord Shamil Basayev, a Chechen rebel leader (MSM-speak for a what everyone else would call a terrorist). In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said: "ABC is now unwelcome to contact any Russian state organisations or bodies.
Let's hear it for Putin. Way to go guy! We're talking about the terrorist who said he was behind the attack on a school in Beslan last September which killed around 300 people.
Geo-Political Review, on the other hand, sounds a note of caution:
     It is tempting to take pleasure at ABC News' banning from Russia, but like many decisions, this one may produce undesirable side effects. Consider this: news organizations have a (long) track record of withholding important information about a country or leader in order to gain access to premiere news content, or to even remain in said country. The perfect example of a more benign form of this practice is that of the American media's collaboration with FDR in the early 20th century to willingly conceal his handicap. But the most notorious example of collaboration on the other side of the spectrum is that of CNN. Former employee Peter Collins opined that CCN, in addition to other (unnamed) Western news organizations, willingly withheld negative information about the Hussein Regime in return for access to Baghdad. Collins even said he was ordered by CNN producers to read Hussein propaganda on camera as part of the unofficial agreement between his employer and Baghdad.
“Notorious” is right. CNN has fallen to the level of the New York Times in the estimation of many MSM-watchers. However, Geopolitical Review makes a telling point:
     The banning of ABC from Russia, while on the surface inconsequential, might induce other news organizations to sanitize their coverage on matters concerning Russia in order to retain their (privileged) access to Moscow. Such a situation would facilitate Russia’s slow, but evident return to a country that is better described as authoritarian then democratic. Putin has already eliminated essentially all domestic news agencies that could be critical of the government, this latest move against ABC indicates he might be taking aim at foreign news organizations as well. Regardless of whether the government’s disgust over the interview with the Belsan mastermind is genuine (it probably is), it is easy to infer the Kremlin saw a unique chance to put the foreign media on notice.
They’re both right. It is disturbing that a government would ban a whole news organization for one interview. In the context of Putin’s increasingly authoritarian moves, the ban on ABC seems part of a larger crackdown on freedom of speech. But it is equally disturbing that a news organization would be so morally obtuse as to interview someone utterly beyond the pale of human behavior.

It is as though Western journalism has lost its moral compass and is floundering around in a swamp of “all news — especially the sensationalist, voyeuristic and salacious kind — is always fit to print.” What a shame that it took Russia to tell them that no, it is definitely not all worth printing, or interviewing or photographing or otherwise giving validation to by paying attention to what they have to say. Such people deserve at best to be left on a desert island; under no circumstances should anyone consider it appropriate to talk to them, much less to broadcast what they have to say.

This criminal slime was responsible for the slow, gruesome murder of 172 children, many of them raped before they died. All told, 344 people died and many hundreds more were injured. Those who survived will never recover, not ever. Down the generations their terror will flow. And for what?? May he rot in hell. How dare they talk to such slime and call it news?

Beslan School TerrorWhat did ABC hope to accomplish? What could their conversation with a grotesque tell us that we did not already know? The MSM has confused freedom of speech with license. It is as though the Second Amendment — the right to bear arms — implied that anyone with a gun could shoot anyone he pleased.

********
Hat tip: Geopolitical Review

4 comments:

Newvictorian said...

If they had any humanity they, or the Russina journalist who did the interview, would tell the Russians the location wherethey spoke to the a*****e so they could get him, put him on trial and string him up.

Of course, then other terrorist leaders wouldn't want to be interviewed and might go to a different network.

And they might get scooped and beaten in the ratings.

And thatwould be a bigger tragedy than hundreds of dead children, I guess.

Jeff said...

(I briefly replied to your comment on my site, but I'll repost it here for the sake of convenience, with slight modifications.)

In a legitimate democracy, a news organization would not be banned for something such as this. In a free society, there are alternative means by which to punish/humiliate/shame ABC, without trampeling on the broader concept of free speech. Reference the reaction and resposes to Rathergate as a solid example. I think that's the crux of this matter.

But let it be known that my comments in no way absolve ABC of their poor judgment in interviewing a terrorist such as this. No journalist in their right mind would try to secure an interview with Bin Laden or any significant member of al Qaeda. Why would they with this butcher? The Dan had the guts to interview Hussein before he (they?) was (were?) removed from power, but that's the closest I can think of. The Dan didn't experience any backlash that I'm aware of, but I could be wrong.

Bill said...

I beg to differ with Jeff. I think there are quite a number of MSM journalists that given the chance to interview OBL or Al-Zaqwari would jump at the chance. Anymore I think all they see is "the Scoop". I don't think the Rathergate memo stuff provided any cautions for them.

Dymphna said...

Bill--

I agree with you. I went over to Jeff's site (Geopolitical Review, which if you don't see regularly, you should. Mostly I agree with him and he's got a good reading section) to discuss this.

I think Dan Rather fawned all over Sddam and I only read the transcript...if the MSM thought they wouldn't get killed like Daniel Perl, they'd be there in a minute. Journalism is full of whores, as was proved when what's-his-name, Felt(??), the famous Deep Throat, came out of the cold and turned out to be a government employee who acted in a venal, vindictive manner to bring down a sitting president because he didn't get the job he wanted. Bernstein and Woodward were/are/remain without integrity. Sell their souls for a scoop.