Jordan’s King Abdullah made it clear to House members that the terrorist group ISIS — the world’s largers producer of widely viewed snuff films — will face merciless retribution for its decision to burn a young Jordanian air force pilot alive, and then almost gleefully offer up a 20 minute video of his agony on the Internet.
Most responsible news organizations and websites didn’t run or embed the horrorific video. But, in case you haven’t heard, only Fox News — among all major American news outlets — chose to show the video on the air, and embed it on its website, offering the lame excuse that its decision to, in effect, become an ISIS propaganda delivery outlet was all about showing how mean the group is. (FYI, Fox News: everyone has gotten the idea and ISIS’s latest barbarity is about spreading fear and trying to use the near-pornographic SM snuff death-by-fire film as a recruiting tool to young people who think this is really cool). Most t assuredly, ratings, audience share and hits had nothing to do with Fox’s decision…
According to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, Jordan’s King is vowing a no-mercy response, is now all-in on battling ISIS and is quoting Clint Eastwood films in an event that has stirred up the kind of shock, anger and thirst for a no-holds-barred response that the U.S. faced right after 9/11:
“He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen,” said Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, who was in the meeting with the king. “He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.”
Hunter would not say which part of “Unforgiven” the king quoted, but noted it was where Eastwood’s character describes how he is going to deliver his retribution. There is a scene in the picture in which Eastwood’s character, William Munny, says, “Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a bitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends and burn his damn house down.”
The House members met with King Abdullah hours after he learned of the murder of the Jordanian pilot. If there’s a consensus now, it’s that ISIS has found a new depth of barbarity and sadism.
A film of someone being burned alive that clearly is propagand would N-E-V-E-R be posted by a responsible news outlet following the kinds of news judgment standards broadcasters have used over the decades in the U.S. and many other countries. And it sure isn’t the kind of decision a journalism prof would advise. But, then, Fox News gets the ratings, creates its own rules and then defines it as solid journalism. And the partisans that swear by it will accept what they do because they perceive Fox to be on their political sports team’s side, so what Fox News does must be valid and how Fox News justifies it must be correct.
“He’s angry,” Hunter said of King Abdullah. “They’re starting more sorties tomorrow than they’ve ever had. They’re starting tomorrow. And he said, ‘The only problem we’re going to have is running out of fuel and bullets.'”
“He’s ready to get it on,” Hunter added. “He really is. It reminded me of how we were after 9/11. We were ready to give it to them.”
QUESTION ONE: Has ISIS gone too far? The answer: perhaps yes, if the outrage stays but no if it fades and all that remains on the part of countries impact and their military is fear of a ruthless, almost unimaginably cruel organization. NPR reports:
In Jordan, reactions to the pilot’s killing have ranged from sorrow to anger. Today, the pilot’s father said that ISIS must be eliminated.
“The execution today is only a small part of our revenge,” Saif al-Kasaesbeh said, according to NPR’s Peter Kenyon. “My son’s blood is worth more than [those two].” He added that the task is clear: “to destroy this terrorist group.”
He urged Muslims to fight ISIS, saying, “they will destroy the image of our religion around the world.”
From Beirut, NPR’s Alison Meuse reports:
“Muath al-Kaseasbeh’s father says he feels great pain for the loss of his son. He calls on fellow Jordanians to be patient, but he also wants the perpetrators punished. The dawn executions of two convicted al-Qaida members are not enough, he says on TV network Al-Arabiya, adding, ‘I expect the government to seek revenge for the blood of Muath against this horrid organization, which is far from the spirit of Islam.’
“When Muath was taken captive, his parents criticized Jordan’s participation in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. The father told NPR that Jordan shouldn’t be going on the offensive and attacking fellow Muslims. But his tone has changed in the wake of the grisly video which purports to shows his son being burned to death. Now he says the coalition must eradicate ISIS
QUESTION TWO: Will Fox News escape severe criticism by those who a)want to uphold traditional journalism values (which partisan and hit-seeking blogs are more likely to ignore by posting snuff videos uncut on their sites) b)agree with its stands politically and would have gone ballistic if MSNBC or CNN had run the video and Fox News hadn’t on the grounds that running it helps Isis?
There’s already criticism, reports Politics USA’s Jason Easley:
Terrorism expert Rick Nelson explained why Fox News erred by giving ISIS an American platform, “They’re a terror organisation. They seek to strike terror in the hearts and minds of people globally, and by perpetuating these videos and putting them out there into the internet, it certainly expands the audience and potential effects. These groups need a platform, and this gives them a platform.”
This may come as a surprise to Fox News, but it possible to report the news without helping the terrorists spread their propaganda. The decision to publish the video was a sensationalistic attempt to get attention on the part of Fox News. What Fox News did was aid and assist ISIS by publishing their video.
The goal of terrorism is not to kill. Terrorists want to spread fear. By giving ISIS a platform in the United States, Fox News has given ISIS a platform.
And I’d say that is indeed a fair and balanced assessment of Fox News’ decision to run free, syndicated snuff films on its newscast and offer them online.
graphic via shutterstock.com
UPDATE: To be fair to Fox, there are some who have newspaper standards. Shep Smith didn’t want to show it to his viewers but felt a duty to describe it in detail.
The Fox News host took a very interesting approach to reporting on the video Tuesday afternoon. Rather than showing the video or sharing images, Smith said that he took detailed notes and would provide a descriptive breakdown of what happened so that viewers “can get the information” they want.
“I’m going to tell you about [the video], all of it, every bit of it,” Smith said. “I watched it over the last hour, not because I wanted to. I absolutely did not. I watched it because I felt like those of you who want to know what’s on it, but don’t want to watch it or be subjected to some sort of gruesome descriptive adjectives, can get the information.
“If you don’t want to know about it, I suggest you mute the TV for about the next five or six minutes,” Smith warned viewers.
The anchor then continued to provide a more than 10-minute, thorough account of the video from “start to finish.” An emotional Smith appeared visibly distraught while describing the horrific moment the pilot caught fire.
“It was a video of the burning alive of a human being,” he concluded. “A ratcheting up of the rhetoric.”
Go to the link and you can watch his actual video.