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the Fox News Journalists
today's update on Fox journalists' release below]
I come across
a lot of junk on the Internet but was truly shocked when I
saw a column by
a popular left-wing writer and former local Democratic Party
official named Mike Whitney that served to justify the kidnapping
of Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig by a Palestinian
terrorist group possibly connected to al Qaeda. Whitney claimed
that the Fox employees are "an integral part of the American
war machine" and should not be considered non-combatants.
holding Centanni and Wiig want Muslim prisoners in U.S. jails
released in exchange for their freedom. They have produced
a video which aired on Al-Jazeera, the terrorists' favorite
propaganda channel, showing the captive journalists claiming
they have been treated well and asking for help in getting
freed. The U.S. was given 72 hours to make a decision and time
is running out. The lives of Centanni and Wiig are hanging
in the balance.
Cliff Kincaid, serves as editor of the Accuracy
in Media (AIM) Report. A veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff has
appeared on the Fox News programs Hannity & Colmes and The O'Reilly Factor,
where he debated O'Reilly on global warming, the death penalty, and the homosexual
agenda. He was a guest co-host on CNN's Crossfire (filling in for Pat Buchanan)
in the 1980s, where he confronted the then-Libyan Ambassador to the U.N. with
evidence of Libyan involvement in international terrorism. Through his America's
Survival, Inc., organization (www.usasurvival.org),
he has been an advocate on behalf of the families of victims of terrorism and
has published reports and held conferences critical of the United Nations.
His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles,
Human Events, Insight, and other publications. He served on the staff
of Human Events for several years and was an editorial writer and
newsletter editor for former National Security Council staffer Oliver North
at his Freedom Alliance educational foundation. He has written or co-authored
nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues. Cliff is
married and has three sons.[go to Kincaid index]
a former official of the Snohomish County
Democrats in Washington State, declared that "The
group which captured the two Fox employees
did what they felt they had to do to address
the egregious human rights abuses at American
gulags at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. When
peaceful means for acquiring justice are
foreclosed, violence becomes inevitable.
This truism is even enshrined in our own
Declaration of Independence."
a brief phone interview, before the line
suddenly went dead, Whitney said he did not
intend to justify the kidnapping of the Fox
News Journalists but that "I certainly understand
it." When I told him that his column had
put the lives of the journalists in danger,
he shot back, "I think that [responsibility]
belongs to George Bush, not me." He said
he doesn't want to see the journalists murdered.
Whitney's column, being
circulated around the world on the Internet, has undoubtedly
contributed to putting the lives of Centanni
and Wiig in jeopardy. That has to be one
reason why Steve Centanni's brother Ken has
just issued a new statement pleading for
a follow-up email, trying to mitigate the
damage his column may have caused, Whitney
expressed concern that his piece would become "cannon-fodder" for
a "smear campaign" against him and that he
does not regard Centanni and Wiig as "legitimate" targets
but we can "logically" expect that extremist
groups "will continue to act similarly in
solution is that "Bush could save their lives
by simply offering a prisoner swap for captives
in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib."
Whitney tried to back away from the implications
of his column in our phone interview, he
has not equivocated about the war in Iraq,
declaring in one column, "?I can say without
hesitation that I support the 'insurgency,'
and would do so even if my only 21 year old
son was serving in Iraq. There's simply no
other morally acceptable option."
column was headlined, "Why
America Needs to be Defeated in Iraq."
added, "We should be clear about our feelings
about the war and the occupation. The disparate
Iraqi resistance is the legitimate manifestation
of a national liberation movement. Its success
is imperative to the principles of national
sovereignty and self-determination; ideals
that are revered in the Declaration of Independence."
told me this article was "a blueprint for
getting out" of Iraq. In fact, it's a plea
for a terrorist victory.
is not an isolated crank. His columns have
appeared on websites that go by the names
of Information clearinghouse, Smirking Chimp,
Counterpunch, dailymuslims.com, the online
journal, axis of logic, Palestine Chronicle,
attack on Fox News represents the pathological
hatred that exists on the left for the channel
because it dares to give conservatives some
airtime. By appealing to conservatives, who
have not had a national television voice,
the channel has become a tremendous success.
In terms of international coverage, however,
Fox News is not that significantly different
from other news organizations. Whitney seems
to forget that Fox News correspondent Geraldo
Rivera was expelled from Iraq for allegedly
divulging details of a future U.S. military
AIM, we have more recently been critical
of Fox News correspondent Jonathan Hunt's
coverage of the war in Lebanon for taking
an anti-Israeli slant. We previously were
critical of a Saudi prince, who is a significant
financial investor in News Corporation, the
parent of Fox News, for claiming to have
influenced the channel's coverage of the
Muslim riots in France.
Whitney, however, Fox News has to be demonized.
Not surprisingly, another one of his targets
is President Bush. According to one biography
of Whitney posted on the Internet, his interest
in politics began with the "appointment" of
Bush as president and he believes that "the
Cabal that presently occupies 1600 Pennsylvania
Ave." poses "a threat that is as real and
as far reaching as any we have seen since
the rise of Fascism in 1930s Germany."
remarks would be laughable were it not for
the fact that they seem to reflect a significant
percentage of the grass roots of the Democratic
Party and his views get such wide circulation
in this new media age. The newsworthy aspect
of this controversy, of course, is that dissent
has crossed the line into apparent support
for those who kill Americans. That cannot
be excused or condoned.
their part, the Snohomish
County Democrats are in good standing
with key figures in the party in Washington
State. A notice on the group's website says
that Senator Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jay
Inslee were "patrons" for its summer picnic.
official political platform does not openly
declare support for the terrorists in Iraq
but it does advocate a U.S. foreign policy
of "nonviolence and sustainability" that
would leave us defenseless against the enemy.
also declares support for:
growing of marijuana for personal "medical" use,
of the death penalty,
rights for ex-convicts,
treaties such as the Convention on the
Rights of the Child and the International
with the world community through the
United Nations and its agencies, including
the World Court.
a fair share of the United Nations' development,
peacekeeping, and defense initiatives.
his part, Whitney says he dropped out of
the Snohomish County Democrats a few years
ago. Asked why, he said, "I don't know." Perhaps
they were too moderate. CRO
AIM Hails Release of Fox News
WASHINGTON, DC -- Accuracy in Media (AIM) today
[8/28/06] hailed the release of Fox News journalists
Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig and said the case
demonstrates the danger of left-wing websites
targeting the channel for an alleged "pro-American" slant
in Middle East reporting.
"The Fox News Channel
has been the subject of pathological hatred
among members of the
political community in the U.S. who distribute
their anti-American diatribes around the globe," said
AIM editor Cliff Kincaid. "That vitriol
played no small role in the kidnapping of Centanni
and Wiig and was a threat to their very lives.
Thank God they have now been freed from the
clutches of their radical Islamic captors."
and Wiig, who were abducted by terrorists pointing
guns at their heads, were held for
13 days. They were forced to record a videotape
asking for their freedom that was aired by
Al-Jazeera, the terrorist propaganda channel,
and their captors had demanded the release
of Muslim prisoners in the U.S. in exchange
for the journalists' freedom. Centanni and
Wiig were forced at gunpoint to record another
videotape saying they had converted to Islam.
a column written before the journalists were
released, Kincaid strongly criticized
popular left-wing writer Mike Whitney for an
article that served to justify the kidnapping.
The Whitney column, "Are Fox News Employees
Really 'Noncombatants?,'" was circulated
around the world on the Internet and claimed
that the Fox News journalists were part of
the American "war machine." Whitney
said it was not his intention to put their
lives in jeopardy. However, after Kincaid questioned
Whitney about the column and then denounced it, the Whitney piece was withdrawn from the
Information Clearing House website "at
the request of the author." It is still
available on several other websites, including
one that presents itself as a source of news
from "occupied Iraq."
Articles of this nature are read by enemies
of the U.S. and inspire them to commit anti-American
terrorist actions," said Kincaid. "What
made the Whitney column even more objectionable
is that it appeared at a time when Centannni
and Wiig were actually in the hands of the
terrorists and their lives were literally hanging
in the balance."
Whitney, a former official
of the Snohomish (Washington) County Democratic
Party, had previously
written a column calling for a terrorist victory
in Iraq. After being questioned about this
by AIM's Kincaid, Whitney sent an email saying, "I
do not want to see my country defeated in Iraq,
I spoke in haste and rage. I do want to see
a complete and immediate withdrawal. The article
you mention caused great difficulty for people
I love and respect, (as well as people in the
antiwar movement) It was irresponsible and
America Needs to Be Defeated in Iraq," is
still available on the Internet and has not
at the request of the author.
2006 Accuracy in Media www.aim.org