Yesterday on this blog I said that Americans would be wise to look at the Islamic State group’s execution video of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh. Fox News apparently took the same viewpoint and provided a link for viewers who were comfortable with the decision. CNN International executive Tony Maddox, however, took the “Wizard of Oz” approach: “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
Mediaite reported Feb. 4:
“There was absolutely no editorial justification for showing it at all. You could describe what happened, and in describing what happened it is deeply and profoundly disturbing. As we were discussing Michael, you and I unfortunately have had a lot of exposure to these images. And even by that threshold this is just out-and-out appalling. It makes one despair. Nothing can be gained by showing that. And a key criteria is ISIS want us to show it. If ISIS wants you to show something, you should start with the principle ‘How can we avoid doing that?'”
Wrong, Tony. Nothing can be more powerful than witnessing an event first hand. Since CNN viewers can not bend space and time to their will, the next best thing is to see actual video of newsworthy events with world-wide repercussions.
On Sept. 11, 2001 I was scouring different stations for anything I could find on the terrorists attacks. I stopped on a Mexican television station that showed images of men and women jumping to their demise from the World Trade Center Towers. Those images affected in me in ways that no amount of description alone could ever duplicate. To say that “nothing” was gained from that experience would be a lie.
If I sit down with a man and we’re given the exact same amount of information on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — but I am given access to audio and video of the event — my understanding of reality should be the one that is closest to reality.
The ability to see just how barbaric the individuals Western civilization is up against is an invaluable asset, and, ironically, it is given to us by the enemy. Yes, the videos serve as a propaganda too for terrorist groups, but it’s a double-edged sword. The U.S. doesn’t have to go out of its way to make it’s own propaganda because the enemy has already demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is evil.
Mediaite asked after Fox’s decision to link to the videos: “when a terrorist group’s actions are as undeniably horrible as beheadings and burning people alive, do you really need to see it with your own eyes to know it’s despicable?”
In a world with a working moral compass, evidence that the videos exist and that they are real would probably be enough. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the President refuses to call the Islamic State group “Islamic,” the State Department doesn’t want to put “labels” on The Taliban, the Obama administration has called terrorism “man caused disasters,” the Fort Hood shooting was called “workplace violence,” and it was only months ago that said commander in chief was calling Moaz al-Kassasbeh’s future killers a “J.V. team.”
Yes, sadly, watching these videos is precisely what many Americans need to do. They could also watch the 9/11 attacks while they’re at it, since many of them said “Never forget!” … just before they forgot.
While CNN pats itself on the back for segments in which it is seriously put forth that a missing airplane may have fallen into a black hole, Fox is busy showing America the true face of a terrorist organization with global ambitions. Americans should obviously not be forced to look at a man’s last moments as he is burned alive, but the evidence of a terrorist group’s ghoulish atrocities should be readily available for any man who wants to see why eternal vigilance is needed to protect his freedom.
For those of you who prefer your news thoroughly sterilized before you watch it, just remember: “There’s no place like home.”