Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bad company

Anita McNaught was a familiar sight on Kiwi television screens in the 1990s, when she worked as a newsreader and reporter for TVNZ. McNaught receded from view at the end of the 90s, when she went to Britain and landed a plum job with the BBC, but she's lately returned to prominence in this country as the star of a real-life soap opera.

McNaught's husband, a cameraman for Murdoch's Faux News network, was recently kidnapped in Gaza; the campaign to secure his release has seen McNaught making numerous appearances on TV screens in New Zealand and across the Middle East. The fate of Olaf Wiig has managed to rival even the sorry end of the Jonbenet murder investigation and the death of the Maori queen as a news story in this part of the world, but precious little attention has been paid to the circumstances surrounding the abduction of Anita's nearest and dearest.

Over the last month Israel's invasion of Lebanon has been paralleled by a series of attacks on the long-suffering inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, attacks that have claimed the lives of at least two hundred people, the vast majority of them civilians. These killings aroused almost no attention from the same media outlets that have been so excited by McNaught's crisis.

Wiig's kidnappers have been characterised as either fanatical extremists or simple criminals by most of the media, but could the inhabitants of Gaza have a legitimate case against Faux news, which has always acted as an attack dog for the most extreme part of the US and Israeli political establishments, and which has provided its audiences with an unceasingly hostile coverage of the plight of the Palestinian people? Only last week two senior producers for Fox News resigned from their jobs over the network's coverage of Middle East events, telling Murdoch and his mates that 'Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are warmongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism.'

Wiig was kidnapped along with reporter Steve Centanni, who has been a Faux News hound since the channel's launch in 1996. During the invasion of Iraq - or 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' as Faux News called it, in their normal objective manner - he was embedded with US Navy Seals. Centanni had filed this report from Gaza on the same day he was abducted, in which he managed to justify the deaths of three more Palestinian civilians (not that you would know they were civilians, of course).

When does one stop being a journalist and begin to be a warmonger, and a target for a people resisting imperialism?


Blogger Mark K said...

I unreservedly defend the actions of taking these Zionist agents prisoner, but that youtube clip of Centani's report was one of the most innocuous pieces of reporting I've ever seen on FN – even by BBC standards on Palestine, it was relatively balanced.

Of course the report was clearly from an Israeli perspective – which I find interesting, because I've seen the kidnapping condemned on the basis that it will stop jouranlists from reporting from Gaza, but it's quite obvious that this guy was just repeating the official version and hadn't done any real reporting – which makes me wonder how the hell he got himself kidnapped in the first place.

9:12 am  

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