…over the spate of videotaped beheadings and assassinations?That's the question asked by Mamoun Fandy in a provocative piece in the Sunday Outlook section of the Washington Post. After noting that the running of ultra-violent footage of beheadings and similar acts is actually quite new to television networks in the Arab world, he writes:
I am aware of only a handful of columnists, most notably the Kuwaiti journalist Ahmed al-Rubai, who condemned the killings unequivocally. Some reporters and analysts intimated to me that they were afraid to denounce the beheadings; others provided distorted coverage that blurred the line between terrorism and Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation.
Fandy also implicates "the American media," both for talking to a narrow range of commentators that excludes "moderates" (that is, Arabs who denounce terrorism but are also critical of U.S. actions in the region) and for essentially doing exactly what the terrorists want:
The American media should also stop replaying images of violence from al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, because when the Arab media air these gruesome images, they animate the logic of terror. They export fear to America. If the Americans did not import these pictures, the Arab media would stop manufacturing them. That could be a first step toward defeating the terrorists who kill not just for Allah and jihad, but for airtime.
I'm not fully convinced by Fandy, but his piece is worth reading. Whole thing here.