Posing As Journalists Posted by: MichaelW
on Thursday, July 24, 2008
No I'm not referring to the professional media (although if the shoe fits ...), but instead to at least two of the daring Colombian hostage rescuers who fooled FARC rebels with their disguise (HT: Lance). Only, they didn't pose as just any journalists, but instead as members of a Venezuelan news team:
Two of the nine rescuers assumed the roles of journalist and cameraman from the news organization TeleSUR during the daring rescue, Juan Manuel Santos said.
TeleSUR is based in Venezuela and primarily funded by that country's government, but also receives funding from other Latin American countries.
"The supposed journalist had a microphone that said 'TeleSUR,' " Santos said. "I don't know if it was the same one or a different one."
Keep in mind that last year Hugo Chavez eliminated the last news program that was critical of his regime, and solidified his control over the Venezuelan media. TeleSUR is a Hugo mouthpiece invented to spread his message throughout South America, and run as a counter to independent stations such as CNN en Español. Which raises an interesting question: can one pose as a fake journalist?
Of course, none of that has kept the so-called "real" journalists from voicing their discontent:
Jean-Francois Julliard, deputy director of the press advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders, said authorities can endanger journalists when they pose as members of the news media.
"We think it is a dangerous practice because it puts in danger real journalists," he said.
The next time a reporter approaches FARC rebels, he said, the FARC members "will be very suspicious and maybe they will take some physical measures against these journalists because they will think that they are not real journalists."
Well, I don't think you're real journalists, but that doesn't mean I'm going to take any "physical measures" against you. So maybe the problem isn't with the fake posers (or is that posing fakers?), but instead with the terrorists who've kidnapped and held innocent people hostage for years and years, killed indiscriminately, and generally visited a reign of terror upon the Colombian people. In fact, the FARC "rebels" aren't really even proper socialist revolutionaries, but a state-backeddrug cartel. So they're really posers too. Maybe that's why they get along so well with journalists, some kind of poser's creed? Honor amongst fakes?
In any case, even if we were to accept that real journalists might be endangered by the Colombian rescue team's actions, what exactly is it that's been lost? Stay away from the rebels and you won't have to worry about being mistaken for a good guy. This has the added benefit of depriving a bunch of faux rebels from getting the attention they so desperately desire, which seems like a good thing. After all, we're supposed to ignore kids when they act out for attention, perhaps we could try the same tactic here. It's not like terrorists have much to say of any import anyway, so what are we missing if they no longer have "journalists" at their beck and call?
Fake revolutionaries, posed journalists, and manufactured outrage. Forgive me if the only tears I can muster are of the crocodile variety.
Sure Retief because "Fair and Balanced" equals State-controlled propaganda...I will let you go this route as long as you also say, MSNBC=TeleSUR...because if you got a case of the @rse with Fox, you surely have a case of the @rse with Olberman, right?