Writing about the release of the Fox News employees, Cliff May stumbles onto a good point:
And that’s great news. But the Reuters story up on Drudge right now (it may not be up for long) says that Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig "appeared on a new videotape" and said "they had converted to Islam."There's a good point here, but May makes it by accident. While focusing on what is at best a minor issue---these mass conversions to Islam that journalists are undergoing at gunpoint distort the news we get!---he gives a disingenuous nod to the time when journalism-as-advocacy was the exception and not the rule. Is May just now learning that Fox News crossed that line long ago?
"They were shown separately sitting cross-legged, reading a statement which Fox said was an announcement that they had converted to Islam. At times in the video they were wearing long Muslim robes. Wiig called on leaders of the West to stop 'hiding behind the 'I don't negotiate with terrorists' myth'. He then read some words in Arabic."
I just watched the reporters give a news conferences in which I didn’t hear them discuss this (maybe I missed that part or perhaps they did talk about it but it wasn’t included on-air). Instead, they emphasized how important it is that journalists not be discouraged from covering Gaza from “telling the story of the Palestinian people.” Is the mission of Fox’s London bureau to tell the story of the British people?” Do reporters cover the White House in order to tell President Bush’s story?
I’m glad these guys are safe and free. I wish them well. But I hope there will be some attention paid by Fox and other media to the way in which kidnappings and similar threats coerce and intimidate journalists, and may influence their coverage.