Friday, March 17, 2006

Katherine Grahm: Safeguarding Our Freedoms As We Cover Terrorist Acts

Kesher Talk recalls the 1977 take over of B'nai Brith Headquarters in Washington DC. One of the Hannifi Muslims demands was Hollywood shouldn't release the movie The Message because it came to close to depicting Muhammed. Kesher links a description of the even from John Leo's blog,
Later, a group of black American Muslims attacked three buildings in Washington, D.C., taking 149 hostages. One of their demands was that The Message must not be released. In a 39-hour siege, a reporter was killed and many hostages were stabbed, beaten, or shot. The movie, in an Arabic version, was shown in the Middle East. The English version, never released, appeared for the first time on a DVD last November 1, not long after the appearance of the Danish cartoons.
While googling for the post, Kesher Talk found this editorial by Katherine Graham. She recalls the event and talks about the Media's responsiblities covering terrorists acts. She wrote it in 1986 but all applies today. I found this paragraph interesting too,
Tragically, however, we in the media have made mistakes. You may recall that in April 1983, some 60 people were killed in a bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut. At the time, there was coded radio traffic between Syria, where the operation was being run, and Iran, which was supporting it. Alas, one television network and a newspaper columnist reported that the U.S. government had intercepted the traffic. Shortly thereafter the traffic ceased. This undermined efforts to capture the terrorist leaders and eliminated a source of information about future attacks. Five months later, apparently the same terrorists struck again at the Marine barracks in Beirut; 241 servicemen were killed.
Makes you appreciate why the Gov likes to keep secrets.

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