It’s simple really, particularly for non-democratic institutions, regimes and groups: threaten them.

It’s long been known that the Palestinians in PA controlled areas of Gaza, Judea and Samaria/West Bank, have threatened to withhold credentials from individuals or even from news organizations when reporters have not toed the line. In addition, they’ve imposed restrictions like compelling reporters to work with Palestinian “handlers” and have demanded that Palestinians be employed by these organizations – a fact that has led to situations where many of the stringers as well as official reporters may be unbiased, but some are certainly biased and their reporting output shows this cleary. Reuters and AP, unfortunately, are examples of organizations whose news stories from the area may not always represent ideals of objectivity.

Sometimes, violence is threatened against reporters, as was the case with the Italian video team that captured the lynching mob that destroyed the lives and bodies of the two Israeli reservists a couple of years ago.

Now I am not such a big fan of Fox News. That is irrelevant, however, because they are permitted to their views and their style of reporting. Most who watch Fox recognize that their reporting and editorializing slants in the direction of the Right. They support Bush and the Republicans quite openly. They also tend to be supportive of Israel in many of their reports. It should come as no surprise to anybody then that some Palestinians (from a heretofore unknown group, which suggests that Hamas is behind this) have decided to influence Fox and others who might emulate that editorial line by kidnapping and now threatening the lives of two Fox reporters.

In some respects this isn’t exactly the US’s fight, but let’s hope they can apply enough pressure on Hamas to release these two men, or at least not kill them.

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  • Since you can’t get objective journalism anywhere, I’d rather watch the news that caters to my personal bias. I’ll take Fox over anti-Israel, Ted Turner inspired CNN Fauxjournalism any day.

  • It’s amazing that even here, a fair assessment of the conflict is viewed as “supportive” of Israel.

    Unlike some media outlets that have taken to feeding directly from the propaganda-trough, FOX remains “fair and balanced” on the conflict – even when they are directly affected.

    All media have political agenda’s – there’s no denying it, but to their credit FOX has kept my eyes open about this conflict, and are often the first to report instances of image tampering and the like.

  • There’s only so far you can even strech the preverbial elastic band called ‘liberal objective reporter’. So 9/11 wasn’t enough of a wake up call, but they’ll get their day.

  • What I want to know is why it took a week and my email to hear about these Fox newsboys on the news? What was going on??

  • Muffti agrees: capturing journalists in barbaric. Much better is a nice, gentle goverment who refuses to talk to the press (nearly ever) and witholds press passes to anyone who asks pointed questions while inviting fake journalists like Jeff Gannon. Ah, long live the free press!

    As for watching news that caters to your personal bias, there was a study released a while ago about fox news watchers and the war in Iraq (you can see a report on it here – it was called ‘Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War’) which you may want to consider in the game of ‘we report, you decide’.

  • Uh, Grandmufti, (first of all, welcome back!) what’s your point?

    Keshet, it wasn’t in the news much because they were missing and nobody knew where they were. The Israeli papers had a couple of articles.

  • Great, apparently thsi grandmuffti is one of those Jews. Wonderful, another member of our tribe who will fight for our enemies rights to murder us. Thanks. It’s my experience that even useful idiots get their day. I can imagine a dirty bomb attack in NY and Muffti upset about the lack of Fox News coverage to uncover Bush’s plot to destroy NY. So before you get on your high horse and jewschool me, save it, I’m not interested in your American Jew liberal jive that was cool forty years ago when it was necessary.

  • oh eric. how so very off you are. Haj Amin Al Husseini, the grand mufti of jerusalem who consorted with hitler is who you are thinking about. The grand muffti who just commented and is a regular jewlicious contributor spells his nickname MUFFTI not MUFTI. Mufti liked hitler and hated Jews. MUFFTI well, muffti likes er… muff. Welcome to Jewlicious eric. Check your indignation at the door 😉

  • I’m well aware of who he is. I’m also well aware of my indignation and disgust with the actions of many liberal American Jews who worry more about wire taps, tax cuts and deficits, Katsav’s indiscretions, painting Israel negatively, etc., more than killing our enemies. I’ve been reading the blog for a long time and it takes a lot to get me to comment. I do appreciate your comments as well as TheMiddle’s comments generally here as well as at I’m not objective. I wasn’t born in the cushy American Jew paradise. I’ve seen real evil committed in the FSU by Muslims as well as Communists that many American Jews admire so much and wonder what we do to make them hate us so much. Every one of these Kapo Jews of Conscience would be murdered in cold blood if the people they defend had their way and in some ways, I feel they would deserve it. I am not objective nor do I feign to be. My only concern is the preservation of Israel and the Jewish People by all means necessary. You want to know where my conscience is? It was burned along with my relatives during the Shoah. Let these Jews worry about their conscience while lone gunmen pick us off at JCCs around the country one by one.

  • I am totally against kidnapping in general. Especially journalists.

    But I am for kids napping. Especially journalists.

    I’m glad this is in the press finally. I wrote about it here what seems like two weeks ago, but which was likely just two days ago…

  • TM, I don’t blame you. Don’t worry though, Roy and Nahash Lilah are holding the front. And they do a fine job of it. Besides, you were offering up too much good data for the 50 or so braindead marxist radical terror apologists to appreciate. – Bar Yus

  • I’m with Esther on this one. Naps: yet another thing wasted on the young! Most big time jouro’s I know are napping most of the time. This is why they’re so dim as a rule. And yeah, I think Fox is just as clueless as the dolts over at CNN & the Big 3 & the NYT. I don’t watch any of them on any regular basis. The entire coverage just sickens me. I see it as so much PR and blatant manipulation, and Fox is right in there doing the same damn things. We’ve got probably a half dozen major conflicts in Africa that generate more horror & death daily & weekly than was seen in the latest Lebanon war, yet all of them remain willfully ignorant of these facts.

    I’ve not read the NYT since their cover-ups in the 1980’s. If you thought Walter Duranty was a criminal fraud, you don’t know what they did to Ray Bonner, See:(‘Lost history’ by Robert Parry).

    It would be nice to get the soldier they kidnapped too, but our State Dept. is working very hard on this one. Murdoch is a big time bud of the Bush’s & a big money contributor to The Party. And after all were paying the PA something like $2-300 Million in ‘humanitarian’ aid a year, so they really do owe us, right?

    By the way, if this Bush is the best thing for Israel yet seen of any Prez, how come things are so much worse off not only in Israel, but all across the ME & SW Asia? Just a rhetorical question… Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • No kidding, I’m always being told by my Repug Jewish friends (my Doc for one), that Bush is & was ‘the best for Israel’, along with all the Bush clique’s Reconstructionist & Fundie pals who just Lurve them Jews ’cause they want to be right when the ‘Rapture’ comes. Pretty damn sad all around. But yeah, pick up Commentary and read it for the last 5 years. Ditto TNR, and even the damnable NYT which spreads this garbage too. How bad wrong do you need to consistently be before no one will listen? We’ve reached that point with Bush. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • I don’t like Bush, but blaming him for the ME situation doesn’t make sense. Everyone was asleep at the wheel before 9-11. The first WTC bombing, USS Cole, and other attacks happened before 9-11. How easily we forget the way things were before we were awakened on 9-11. Bush may not be the best person for the position, but any US President would have had similar policies after 9-11. Remember, Clinton bombed Muslims in Sudan, Iraq, and Somalia when he was President. Do you think he would have been more dovish after 9-11? I doubt it. Showing weakness to the enemies of Western Liberalism is hardly the tactic we can afford to take right now. Weakness in the past is what got us here.

  • The question isn’t one of dovishness. The question is how do you fight a “war on terror.” Do you attack Iraq? Do you go to war at all? Can’t the “war on terror” be fought quietly and in a highly targeted fashion that doesn’t give the Muslims who consider America an enemy significant leverage over the US? Have we given Iran tremendous power by letting Shi’ites dominate Iraqi politics and eliminating the Hussein regime which held Iran in check as its sworn enemy? Have we encouraged the forces of Islamism in the Middle East? Have we given great prominence to the leaders of a little known terror group by giving them a war in Iraq when we should have been focused solely on them?

    Those questions are being asked without even getting into the question of how the war in Iraq was handled from its inception through to now.

  • The Middle got it right here. This post at the Huffington Post says it all: By David Fiderer
    How George Bush Turned Iraq Into a Satellite State of Iran: The Numbers Tell the Story

    The Iraq venture was a disaster foretold. We attacked the Only member of the infamous ‘axis of evil’ w/o an active WMD research program OR production capacity, in order to ‘bring democracy to the ME & SW Asia’. Is there a sillier and more tragic foreign policy debacle in all our history? And yeah, we threw out the plans for doing it right, just because Rummy & Cheney wanted to ‘do it on the cheap’ just to ‘prove something’. The war 5 years on is not even a line item in the budget for damn sake! Cheney and Rummy wanted to do it with as little as 50K troops, which would have been interesting to see, if only thru the lens of history. BushCo has put us & the world on a course for disaster and hourly undermines our national security with their flawed hubris filled yet arrogantly expressed incompetence. In EVERY venue, everywhere. Either we committed the troops we KNEW were necessary to win the war & the occupation or we should just have decided NOT to go or stay. Win or leave.

    It is ever thus. I’ve said it before. The Iraq war is being fought worse than ‘Nam was, by better troops, yet less honorably, and for far higher stakes. That’s just a complete and utter failure of command that it will reverberate though the ages. Our decline and fall will be dated precisely to Bush’s assumption of power in 2001. Count on it. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • I’m of the belief (and not the only one) that Iraq was a staging ground for an attack on Iran, and not by some accident. It’s called long term strategic planning. But I’m sure all the armchair BDS generals will concoct some other excuse when it suits them. Look, I don’t like George Bush, but I don’t even want to imagine what kind of position we would be in if hallow Kerry had been elected. I’ll hold off my condomnation of the Iraq war AFTER Iran is nuetralized. Only then will we know if it was a good idea or not. But those of you who think GW is a bigger threat than our sworn enemies can believe whatever you want.

  • Um Eric, We CAN’T ‘take care of Iran’ BECA– USE we attacked Iraq. We don’t have the troops, the equipment OR the proper leadership. Again history will show that they HAD plans for the invasion of Iraq for about 10 years. The State Dept. had a follow on plan for the occupation. Both were summarily disposed of in Bush’s heedless rush to war. (Gee, almost all military disasters start off sounding the same…) We have since LOST our capacity, militarily, diplomatically & logistically to deal with any Iranian crisis. Bush IGNORED this threat for much of his first term BTW. Iraq is ALREADY a disaster. A debacle of almost unimaginable proportions, and yet many people predicted it would be that. It’s very clearly our worst foreign policy crisis in over 150 years, and Bush is failing miserably at it on EVERY front. And Kerry vs. Bush? Please guy. Tell me one substantial policy that Bush has gotten right, or executed well, or actually planned well. Just one. Geesh. This guy is the worst Prez we ever had. And with the grand desires of his fellow plutocrats, he might be our last too! See this Editorial by Gary Hart in the Huffington Post on Bush’s 21st century Roman Rule: []

    Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • Muffti is sort of confused, Eric; he’s not sure what you mean. Muffti was just saying that we should be aware that control of the media happens in a broad set of ways, from the physical intimidation and kidnapping to the more subtle denial of press passes to reporters who don’t toe the line.

    As for Fox news, Muffti cited a study. If you want to respond, that’s cool. If you want to be an asshole, that’s cool too. But it would be nice to know what you thought rather than just be insulted.

  • Middle suggests (or poses the question whether) America would be safer from Islamic extremism without Iraq. One should be careful of that line of reasoning, because the first step in insulating ourselves against jihadism is cutting our ties with the Zionist entity.

    Ask the Spaniards who lost loved ones in the Madrid train bombings whether there’s any hiding from al Qaeda.

    And isn’t “war on terror” a misnomer to describe what’s happening in the Middle East– which includes terrorism, the Israel-Palestinian dispute, the prevalence of corrupt Arab regimes sitting atop the world’s oil, and governments (Iraq, Iran) which (social policies aside) seek to alter the international status quo? This is a multifarious challenge to the West, not one that can be oversimplified as the “war on terror”.

  • Middle suggests (or poses the question whether) America would be safer from Islamic extremism without Iraq. One should be careful of that line of reasoning, because the first step in insulating ourselves against jihadism is cutting our ties with the Zionist entity.

    I posed a different question. Whether we would be safer had we not gone in there in the first place. You and I both read newspapers and know that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, 9/11, the Cole Attack or the strain of Sunni affiliated with them. In fact, although you could make the argument that Afghanistan was harboring these monsters and therefore going to war there was justified (something I agree with, although I believe that war, too, was mismanaged with respect to its key objective), Iraq wasn’t affiliated with them or tangentially so.

    Whatever reasons the Administration had for going to war in Iraq – Neo-Con ideological influence; concern about US control over Mid-East oil supplies; personal vendetta stemming from the Gulf War – the result has been to decimate a central, powerful, secular, nationalistic dictatorship that held the state as a unified entity and provided balance to Iranian theological extremism and in fact held it in check to some degree. The result has been to strengthen Iran, but especially to build up the influence of religious and sectarian divisions within Iraq resulting in a ripe environment for terrorism to flourish. Some, with the benefit of hindsight, use the honey pot theory to justify centralizing so much terror and the flow of wannabe and successful terrorists to one place, thus protecting the US and taking the fight elsewhere.


    More likely, however, the crowd we were and are seeking were to be found in small cells in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Europe, Canada and here in the US. The only governments that seemed to be openly supportive was the Taliban and, surreptitiously, Pakistan.

    Thus, my point is that we misdirected our fire and consequently, our resources (which, contrary to the fiscal management style of the current Administration and House, are limited) when a more subtle, well directed, well aimed campaign would have given us a chance and the resources to beat down these extremists without giving them the ammo to fuel a much bigger fight because they could tap into a bigger constituency of support.

    At this point, it is too late and too difficult to extricate ourselves from Iraq until their army is well enough established that their government can evince the same control that…Saddam did prior to the war. Of course, the likelihood of any government not falling eventually to Shi’ite cleriks, some with strong Iranian backing, is small.

    You break it, you buy it. We broke it and as a result it will be challenging for the US to leave Iraq at all. Imagine the power $100 billion a year would have over global terror and Jihadism without the Iraq War. Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians cost US taxpayers $5.3 billion a year in comparison (although this money flows right back into our economy creating a nice subsidy for the arms industry that is already getting $400 billion of our tax money annually).

    Cutting support for Israel is also problematic on many levels, not the least of which is the moral one. In any case, since that wasn’t my point or line of reasoning with respect to Iraq, it doesn’t apply here.

    Ask the Spaniards who lost loved ones in the Madrid train bombings whether there’s any hiding from Al Qaeda.

    We’re in agreement on this. We disagree as to whether going to Iraq helped in that fight. Wouldn’t it have been better to deeply fund anti-terrorism activities while making certain laws more robust? For example, one of the key problems facing Western governments is penetration of certain Islamic circles. Another is the limited number of Arab translators and security services operatives. Another is the issue of profiling in secular, liberal and egalitarian societies. Even a quarter of our annual expenditures in Iraq would have strengthened our and our allies’ hands in this matter. Not going to Iraq would have maintained the sympathy and leadership position on this problem that 9/11 threw in our Western laps.

    And isn’t “war on terror” a misnomer…

    I actually don’t think so. It is becoming now a cultural war, but it need not have become this. We have strengthened Iran with this war and given it strategic importance it would not have had otherwise while tying our hands with respect to its nuclear ambitions. If we hadn’t done that, this war would be against a well financed and well armed international but small army of Jihadists. We would have won that war in a matter of years and with far less cost if that had been the war we had chosen to fight. Issues like nasty governments sitting on oil are dealt with in different ways that include politics and diplomacy.

  • Certainly, the downsides to the Iraq invasion is now on full display, and you catalogue them well. It remains to be seen if these will persist for years, with Iraq will become a failed state. Obviously, the jury is still out (however messy things may look now).

    I think your view of ancien regime Iraq is too benign. I suspect an irridentist Iraq, with Saddam’s sons in charge and the sanctions regime a shambles, would pose a threat to security, regional and otherwise.

    As for Iran: it’s a powerful country, its “strategic importance” exists independent of Saddam, US policy, or the mullahs. We’ll see if you and I both overrate the power of the current Teheran regime. Can it do more than make trouble? That’s far from clear. Even in Lebanon, H’s election results were in decline prior to the Israeli war.

    Finally, it’s not the Jews and crusaders who’ve brought what you aptly term a cultural war upon the West. It’s not even confined to the West (see, e.g., Nigeria, the Phillipines, Chechnya, western China). Whether through warfare or otherwise, we can’t avoid dealing with the threat that a premodern version of Islam poses to our values.

  • Middle doesn’t seem terribly enamored of our democratic experiment in Iraq– so what if an authoritarian regime less toxic than Saddam’s too over (a highly possible result)? Would you deem that a success and an improvement?

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