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Missing Fox News crew: Blogburst

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 22, 2006 04:36 AM

***scroll for updates…a TV critic attacks Fox News…see below for Fox-hater’s donor record…Aug. 23 1240am…Christian Science Monitor covers the kidnappings and context:

“We have confirmed many times that foreign journalists are not to be attacked. On the contrary, we should protect them, because they work very hard to reveal the real image of the Palestinians, and what happened really damaged the image of the Palestinians,” says Abu Mujahid, a spokesman from the group, using an apparent nickname, which means father of one who wages holy war, or engages in religious struggle. “We have even offered security officials all our means and abilities to finding out who is behind this and to release them.”

Security conditions in Gaza have gradually deteriorated since the start of the year. After Hamas, the Islamic militant group, was elected in a landslide victory in January, the US and many European countries froze diplomatic relations, financial assistance, and other aid projects in the Palestinian territories. The effort to isolate Hamas has caused increased economic and social instability, and led to increasingly high levels of anti-Western sentiment.

Soon after the Palestinian parliamentary elections, the worldwide controversy over a series of Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad led to riots in Gaza that targeted international offices. Since then, many Western countries have pulled their nationals out of Gaza and have not allowed them to return.

More recently, parts of Gaza have become a more perilous battlefield in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On June 25, Palestinian guerrillas connected to Hamas tunneled from Gaza into Israel and killed two soldiers, capturing a third, Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Soon after, Israel launched an ongoing military offensive in Gaza, aimed both at gaining Corporal Shalit’s release and at stopping the launching of Kassam rockets into southern Israel.

That war, which has gradually fallen off the front pages as the even deadlier Israeli-Hizbullah war took the spotlight, has included Israeli-Palestinian gunbattles as well as aerial attacks by Israel. Amid the violence, Gaza has seen an even larger exodus of foreigners from the coastal territory.

Despite this, the level of perceived danger for reporters or other foreigners, such as aid workers, has not risen to anything like that faced by foreigners working in Iraq. Most journalists have not substantially changed how they travel in Gaza and do not work with professional security teams as do most foreign media organizations in Baghdad.

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Fox News Channel reporter Steve Centanni and freelance cameraman Olaf Wiig are still missing. It has now been more than a week since their kidnapping at gunpoint in Gaza by unknown terrorists. FNC top management, the journalists’ families, and Palestinian journalists continue to press for their release.

Following up on my post late Sunday night, some media types are now musing that one possible reason the story is not getting the attention it deserves is that there aren’t any “new” developments to report. Vaughn Ververs, CJR Daily, and Stephen Spruiell at The Media Blog weigh in. TV blogs are covering the story: check TV Newser, Johnny Dollar, and Inside Cable News.

My opinion: No news is news. So is unchecked terrorist thuggery against Western journalists. The disappearance of Centanni and Wiig is at least as newsworthy as–and far more threatening to our national security than–people falling off cruise ships or getting eaten by alligators or attacked by bees.

If you have the time and inclination, please join me in posting a blog post today (doesn’t need to be long, even a quick “Still Missing” will do) in support of our fellow American, Steve Centanni, and New Zealand-based cameraman Olaf Wiig. Let their families know that they are not forgotten.

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Update: Tim Graham sends this disgusting post from TV critic Bob Laurence:

Fox has deliberately set itself apart from other news media. Starting at the top with Roger Ailes, the Fox sales pitch has been to deride other media, to declare itself the one source of the real truth, the sole source of ‘fair and accurate’ news reporting. As a result, there’s not a reservoir of kinship or good will with Fox on the part of the rest of the news media. You can’t keep insulting people and then expect friendship when you need it.

They’ve made it a policy to keep a distance between themselves and the rest of the media, far beyond the usual competitive spirit, so that’s where they are: at a distance.

First, it’s “fair and balanced.” Second, what news organization doesn’t posit itself the best source of news in an aggressive media world? Third, Laurence and his ilk’s inability to set aside contempt for, or envy of, a successful competitor during a crisis is a damning indictment that speaks for itself.

Update:

Here’s a tidbit worth noting about Bob Laurence, the San Diego Union Tribune’s resident Fox News Channel hater. Allah caught this via Open Secrets. Big shocker…not:

laurence002.jpg

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Previous:

8/20/06 Kidnapped Fox News crew: prayers and outrage
8/16/06 Looking for Steve Centanni
8/14/06 Fox News’ Steve Centanni and cameraman kidnapped in Gaza
HA tracking

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