In The Western Press and Hezbollah, Lee Smith describes how the terrorist group is easily able to manipulate the press:
In Beirut, it’s well understood that the U.S. press corps is at least deftly managed by Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian lapdogs, if not actively in the party’s corner. First stop for most is Michel Samaha, Lebanon’s former minister of Information, an apparatchik of the Damascus regime, who arranges interviews with Hezbollah higher-ups and other friends of the Islamic resistance. The only people who don’t understand how the game is played in Lebanon are American media consumers, because the foreign desk editors back in the U.S. surely know what’s up.But don't pity the press, it's not as if this is just a matter of Hezbollah exploiting the press--the fact is that the press itself has long been head over heels over Hezbollah:
...This is why a group of Lebanese colleagues and I decided to bring over delegations of American journalists during the last two years, so that there was at least someone listening to the other side.
This infatuation with Hezbollah has been going on for years, and it’s not just because the party established a formidable style of press criticism by kidnapping journalists back in the ’80s. The U.S. media actually likes Hezbollah--it is an impressive thing, after all, to be able to kill your enemies--whether they are Jews or fellow Lebanese--whereas liberalism, non-violent resistance, rule of law, and opposition to political murder lacks sex appeal. Let’s not forget that since the February 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri the U.S. media had tended to dismiss the Cedar Revolution as insufficiently authentic. The multi-sectarian coalition was not, in the eyes of most American journalists, made up of “real” Arabs, like Hezbollah; rather, it was a “Gucci” revolution.Such is the situation in the Lebanon, where terrorist Samir Kuntar--whose claim to fame is murdering 4- and 6-year old girs--was welcomed as a hero:
Hassan Nasrallah is “respected” as a man of vision and probity, even as he hides in a bunker four years after dragging his country to war on behalf of Iran and Syria. On the other hand, Samir Geagea, the Christian leader of the Lebanese Forces, is despised even after he spent more than a decade in solitary confinement as the only militia leader to pay for his crimes during the Lebanese civil war rather than make his amends with the regime in Damascus.Read the whole thing.
Pity that truth in the media is not nearly as 'sexy'.
Technorati Tag: Hezbollah and Media Bias.