Three weeks ago these courageous media moguls decided not to show any of the Danish newspaper cartoons that precipitated violence, pillage and murder in more than a half-dozen Islamic countries. These are the same indomitable characters who "bravely" determined that it was "right" to expose a highly classified National Security Agency (NSA) program to intercept overseas calls to and from suspected terrorists. They also resolved that the NSA effort should be described as "domestic surveillance" -- thus ensuring maximum political impact.
Those who bemoan the demise of America's proud newspaper heritage or question why fewer people are tuning to the mainstream networks for news need only look at what they put "above the fold" and use as their "lead story." All of us in the business know the phrases "if it bleeds, it leads" and "celebrity sells."
That's why terrorist carnage in Afghanistan and Iraq get covered. Footage and photos shot by Arab cameramen, often traveling with the terrorists who plant the bombs, will always trump the story of American soldiers -- like those of the 67th Armored Regiment -- distributing more than 1,000 wheelchairs to disabled Iraqis.
And that's why two celebs -- Fonda and Streisand -- made "news" this week. From Australia, Fonda, known affectionately as "Hanoi Jane" for posing on an enemy anti-aircraft gun during the Vietnam war, labeled the war in Iraq as "a crime, a tragedy, disgusting and despicable." Streisand used her website to demand the impeachment of President Bush, claiming, among other things, that he "lied to the public about the presence of WMDs in Iraq and rushed to unilaterally invade the country after promising to work with the United Nations." The dynamic duo may be singing the same old song -- "Blame America First" -- but the masters of the mainstream media made it "news." One can be forgiven for believing that they did so because it is "politically correct" to castigate and denigrate this President while he is traveling overseas, for it will assuredly be picked up and used against us in the Islamic press.
Those who believe that such "coverage" is valid would do well to heed the words of Brigitt Gabrielle, a Middle East expert, who spoke a few days ago at the Intelligence Summit here in Washington. As a 10-year-old child, Gabrielle barely survived an attack by Islamic radicals. To underwhelming press coverage she observed, "Tolerating evil is a crime. Appeasing murderers doesn't buy protection, it earns disrespect and loathing in the enemy's eyes. Apathy is the weapon by which the west is committing suicide. Political correctness is a shackle around our ankles by which Islamists are leading us to our demise."
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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