Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Are reporters trying to stay on kidnappers' good side?
I thought of this today when Drudge linked to the Australian reporter, John Martinkus, who was freed after being Googled by his kidnappers. Curious to see what they found, I googled Martinkus myself and discovered that he is a darling of the anti-war left. One review of his book, Travels in American Iraq, is titled "A People Unbowed." If this review is accurate, Martinkus would seem to basically support the Michael Moore position that “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow—and they will win.”
Whether this interpretation of Martinkus' writings is warranted I cannot say. The question here is whether a reporter who Googled-out to be an optimist about the liberation of Iraq would have been freed, and whether reporters in Iraq are making this calculation. Anyone who is reporting from Iraq today is brave, but most of our reporters are on the left to begin with. Being intimidated into saying what they are prone to say anyway would probably not leave them too conscience stricken.
The enemy knows the importance of the press and would certainly like to co-opt them. Interdicting press intimidation by tracking down the kidnap rings should be a high priority for our intelligence operations. It is tempting to say that the press are all on the side of the enemy anyway, so why bother, but if press intimidation goes unchecked, the bias of the media will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.