Wednesday, September 21, 2005

European Commission Proposes Guidelines to Prevent Media Aiding Terrorists

Somebody pinch me. This is coming from Europe?

From the Guardian (United Kingdom):
Europe's media should draw up a code of conduct to ensure that newspapers, television stations and the internet do not act as propagandists for terrorists, the European commission will say today.
In a move which is likely to provoke a debate on state controls of the media, the commission warns that journalists pose "specific risks" in the fight against "violent radicalisation". The paper - Violent Radicalisation and Terrorism Recruitment - warns that the media are taking an over-simplified view of the world, which plays into terrorist hands.
This will no doubt provoke apocalyptic whining from newsweasels everywhere. The commission goes on to state what everyone in the world knows (but those whose rice bowl is based on "journalism" deny) - the media are played like kazoos by terrorists:
The commission also accuses the media of playing a role in helping terrorists recruit by allowing contacts between "radicalised individuals" on the internet and acting inadvertently as messengers for terrorists. "The media are the main vehicle through which [terrorism] attempts to affect citizens and leaders alike," the commission says. "Journalists face the difficult responsibility of reconciling their duty to inform the public with the need not to facilitate the aims of terrorists."
Well, duh.

The commission also targets internet service providers:
Mr Frattini takes a tougher approach with internet service providers who must do more to end incitement, which he says happens "on a daily basis" on websites. "The growth in use of the internet enables people ... to create networks through which it becomes easy to incite racial and religious hatred and also coordinate terrorist actions," the document says.
Why isn't anyone in authority in the US castigating our own merry band of seditionists and terrorist sympathizers dedicated journalists? The current issue of Time magazine could be used without redaction as a recruiting tool for Islamofascists everywhere. And oddly, Time doesn't name the reporters for their cover story, as is their usual practice.

Lest anyone think that the commission represents a renaissance among Europeans in their thinking about terrorism, however, there is also this:
One striking proposal is a call for people to refrain from talking about Islamic terrorism. In an attempt to ensure that the vast majority of peaceful Muslims are not portrayed as terrorist sympathisers, the paper says: "The commission believes there is no such thing as 'Islamic terrorism', nor 'Catholic', nor 'red' terrorism ...
Didn't we Yanks try to pretend that the Mafia didn't exist either, once upon a time?

Via Greg Sheffield writing for News Busters.