Monday, September 04, 2006

Journalism; The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

Mr. Steyn writes thus
Did you see that video of the two Fox journalists announcing they'd converted to Islam? The larger problem, it seems to me, is that much of the rest of the Western media have also converted to Islam, and there seems to be no way to get them to convert back to journalism.

Consider, for example, the bizarre behavior of Reuters, the once globally respected news agency now reduced to putting out laughably inept terrorist propaganda. A few days ago, it made a big hoo-ha about the Israelis intentionally firing a missile at its press vehicle and wounding its cameraman Fadel Shana. Shana was posed in an artful sprawl in a blood-spattered shirt. But it had ridden up and underneath his undershirt was spotlessly white, like a summer-stock Julius Caesar revealing the boxers under his toga. What's stunning is not that almost all Western media organizations reporting from the Middle East are reliant on local staff overwhelmingly sympathetic to one side in the conflict -- that's been known for some time -- but the amateurish level of fakery that head office is willing to go along with....

It's striking how, for all this alleged multiculti sensitivity, we're mostly entirely insensitive to other cultures: We find it all but impossible to imagine how differently they view the world. Go back to that video in which Fox's Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig announced their conversion to Islam. The moment the men were released, the Western media and their colleagues wrote off the scene as a stunt, a cunning ruse, of no more consequence than yelling "Behind you! He's got a gun!" and then kicking your distracted kidnapper in the teeth. Indeed, a few Web sites seemed to see the Islamic conversion routine as a useful get-out-of-jail-free card....

One hundred ten years later, for the Fox journalists and the Western media who reported their release, what's the big deal? Wear robes, change your name to Khaled, go on camera and drop Allah's name hither and yon: If that's your ticket out, seize it. Everyone'll know it's just a sham.

But that's not how the al-Jazeera audience sees it. If you're a Muslim, the video is anything but meaningless. Not even the dumbest jihadist believes these infidels are suddenly true believers. Rather, it confirms the central truth Osama and the mullahs have been peddling -- that the West is weak, that there's nothing -- no core, no bedrock -- nothing it's not willing to trade. In his new book The Conservative Soul, attempting to reconcile his sexual temperament and his alleged political one, Time magazine's gay Tory Andrew Sullivan enthuses, "By letting go, we become. By giving up, we gain. And we learn how to live -- now, which is the only time that matters." That's almost a literal restatement of Faust's bargain with the devil:

"When to the moment I shall say
'Linger awhile! so fair thou art!'
Then mayst thou fetter me straightway
Then to the abyss will I depart!"

In other words, if Faust becomes so enthralled by "the moment" that he wants to live in it forever, the devil will have him for all eternity. In the Muslim world, they watch the Centanni/Wiig video and see men so in love with the present, the now, that they will do or say anything to live in the moment. And they draw their own conclusions -- that these men are easier to force into the car than that 16-year-old girl in Sydney was. It doesn't matter how "understandable" Centanni and Wiig's actions are to us, what the target audience understands is quite different: that there is nothing we're willing to die for. And, to the Islamist mind, a society with nothing to die for is already dead.

As the saying goes, ‘those who believe in nothing will fall for anything’. From the New York Daily News, Mark Corallo types out a sloppy little defense of his crowd's tendency to reveal classified information with impunity and pontificates about the reign of terror he sees coming down on reporters and winds up with this knee slapper....

“The press is the last line of defense in a free society.”

If that is indeed the case then it’s already to late. Free society’s defenses were breached back when Christine Amanpour sold her credibility and western soul to Sadam in exchange for daily face time from Iraq, and the ‘last line’ has apparently failed completely as witnessed by the conversions of the boys at Fox.

I think Western Civilization is something worth fighting for. Let me know if I’m being too extreme here but I think we need to sew a little ‘J’ on the lapel of every ‘journalist’ so we can spot them more easily as the circulate among us. I’d also like to see a national campaign to cull the herd. Perhaps during the fall hunting season we could institute some reality T.V. programming and take several from each media group, give them their last meal and a ten-minute head start. This being Canada we would of course regulate the event; limited licenses, clean-kill legislation, etc., you’d be permitted one typist and two cameramen, or perhaps two foreign correspondents or one national anchorperson per season. The selective loss of life would be reported by the media with the ‘tragedy’ controls turned up to eleven, but so be it.

The press is not the last line of defense in a free society; we are.


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