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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Lebanon's Al Manar TV "Marked for Death"

Under US Executive Order 12334, Lebanon's Al Manar TV was the first television station ever to be legally designated a 'terrorist entity' equivalent to Al Qaeda. The Bush administration, at Israel's urging, silenced Al Manar satellite transmissions into the US. In 2006 the order was expanded to include Al Noor Radio, Al Ahed & Al Intiqad Newspapers and their parent company the Lebanese Media Group. On March 23, the US Treasury Department froze Al Manar's financial assets.


On March 14, 2006 Indymedia found out it is on the "Terrorist Watch List." While the reasons are hotly debated, they remain unknown, because charges against the accused have been censored.

Lebanon's Al Manar TV "Marked for Death"
Trish Schuh, Middle East Media Center, July 17, 2006

An interesting report on the media freedoms and the situation some media outlets find themselves in.

Now, to those willing to surmise that my goal is to "defend" Al Manar my response is, "Not so fast!" I do defend Al Manar's right to publish what they see fit; that does not mean I support them or endorse their message.

Quite likely a lot of it is extremist propaganda and hate speech. I am a fan of neither.

And lastly but not leastly - according to Kevin Barrett, FOX News' host Bill O'Reilly has recently issued a death threat against - or, should I say, call to assassination of - Mr Barrett. Now, I think Mr Barrett is a bit too aggressive himself - though, given what he has been through that is understandable.

I haven't seen the segment where O'Reilly threatens Barrett myself, but given O'Reilly's history that sounds entirely believable. So if such a threat was indeed issued, and Barrett is assaulted, and it turns out his assailant or assailants were motivated by O'Reilly's call to violence I would think authorities would be well advised to consider bringing charges against O'Reilly under the notion of command responsibility.

But, oh, I guess I must have gone slightly off topic here. Here we have a major news organization, FOX News, calling for violence towards dissidents and seeking to turn a peaceful exchange of ideas into a violent struggle. Are they spoiling for a civil war? I don't know but they sometimes act like they are. Are they seeking to intimidate the opposition? Well, threats of violence are sometimes used as a means to that very end. Are they on the "Terrorist Watch List" yet?

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