The Media: Terrorist Tool?

Terrorists and the U.S. government are both using the media to achieve propaganda goals, according to Hafez Al Mirazi, bureau chief of the Al-Jazeera satellite TV network. "If CNN or Fox or others are not going to have breaking news flashing on their screens if Palestinians are killed, but only if Israelis are killed, then [terrorists] will go out and kill an Israeli," he said. Speaking at the National Press Club, Al Mirazi joined a panel that included foreign policy analyst Lawrence Korb and Jerrold Post, director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University, who also stressed the symbiotic relationship between terrorism and the media. "If a terrorist act occurs, and it isn't reported, is it a terrorist act?" asked Post, adding that sophisticated terrorist groups actually have a VP of media relations and time their attacks to attract maximum media attention. "In effect, the media is serving as an uncritical megaphone for the terrorists," he said.