Tuesday, March 20, 2007

On a Trafficked Human

The father of Alan Johnston, the BBC Gaza(n) journalist who has been missing for a week made an appeal for his saying: “that’s no way to treat a friend of the Palestinian people,” using any appeal possible, but forgetting that a journalist is not supposed to befriend the subject of their reporting. The BBC announced that they suspect that it’s just an armed gang looking for some money, and finally admitting that these kidnappings are frequently undertaken by factions as a means of harming one another, which hardly sounds like a simple ransom scenario.

Around the web, other scattered points are made of this matter, but not too loudly. As unsurprised as near-east watchers are, they certainly wouldn’t want to see any harm come to Johnston, even if he did report for the same World Service that spent an hour referring to Valerie Plame simply as “Valerie,” and reported he claim that her very being was a secret, and that she was some sort of highly placed operative who simply didn’t know that it was wrong to recommend a biased spouse to a position where he could do a political hatchet job against their countrymen.

As for Johnston, the BBCeye blog takes up the BBC on their ‘cause’ quoting former PA Information Minister:

"We are opposed to the kidnapping of foreign journalists who serve the Palestinian cause."
While a fine fellow from Sweden noted in straightforward manner quoted him, saying:
"We are opposed to the kidnapping of foreign journalists who serve the Palestinian cause," he added.

Or if you allow me to paraphrase: Don't touch our journalists who support us.
Is it journalism or is it advocacy? Is it because Johnston was only biased 90% of the time, or was it because on rare occasion he would hint that there is an internecine tribalistic feeding frenzy going on among the Palestinians at the very moment they have a chance at their own state?

The only thing that’s certain is that you can’t call the BBC’s reporting journalism, not because of its’ editorial political stance, but because they frequently suppress basic reporting that doesn’t support the world view of their reporters.

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