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Friday, April 16 2010

Hezbollah Media Figure to Address World Editors Forum

The June gathering of the annual World Editors Forum (from Elder of Ziyon, via Forbes Biz Blog) includes a lunch meeting with Hassan Fadlallah. He's a Hezbollah MP who not only chairs parliament's media committee, he's also the news director of Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV.

What's the value of the forum legitimizing one of Hezbollah's top propagandists? Fadlallah's views on jihadi journalism are well-known. Here's what came out when Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed Fadlallah in 2002:

I began by asking him to compare Al Manar and the most famous Arabic satellite channel, Al Jazeera. “Neutrality like that of Al Jazeera is out of the question for us,” Fadlallah said. “We cover only the victim, not the aggressor. CNN is the Zionist news network, Al Jazeera is neutral, and Al Manar takes the side of the Palestinians.” . . .

He said Al Manar’s opposition to neutrality means that, unlike Al Jazeera, his station would never feature interviews or comments by Israeli officials. “We’re not looking to interview Sharon,” Fadlallah said. “We want to get close to him in order to kill him.”

So don't expect news executives to ask for Fadlallah's take on current media issues like job cuts in newsrooms, broadcasting to mobile devices, or paywalls.

More problematic, however, is that Al-Manar is a designated terror group getting the WEF's stamp of legitimacy. 

This Washington Times editorial explains why Al-Manar broadcasts aren't protected by free speech. The same logic applies to the WEF's meeting with Fadlallah:

Al Manar had hoped to stave off the designation as a terrorist entity by framing criticism of its connection to Hezbollah as an effort to deprive it of its First Amendment rights. But as the Treasury Department made clear, the issue is not al Manar's role as a television station but its role in facilitating the activities of Hezbollah, an organization that has killed more Americans than every other terrorist group save al Qaeda.

"Any entity maintained by a terrorist group -- whether masquerading as a charity, a business or a media outlet -- is as culpable as the terrorist group itself," said Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey

By the way, this year's gathering takes place in Beirut -- ruling out any chance of Israeli news executives attending. Hmmmmmm.



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Cant we do anything to prevent ot Counteract this?

Fadlallah and his kind were responsible for murdering and raping Lebanese Christians. They even made mothers murder their own children and if not, then barbarically hacked them to death in a torturous manner in front of the mother. I can't blame Fadlallah because that is his nature and religion. I do, however, blame the educated western media for giving this monster a platform.

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