15 August 2006

Fox News Crew Abducted In Gaza

On 14 August 2006, Palestinian terrorists kidnapped Steve Centanni, a reporter for Fox News, and his cameraman, Olaf Wiig. Fox News is keeping tight-lipped about the incident, apparently under instruction from Fox News Channel Senior Vice President John Moody.

None of the major Palestinian terror organizations have claimed responsibility for the abduction, and there have been no indications that any smaller or previously unknown groups have taken credit.

The witness said two vehicles blocked the journalist's transmission truck in the center of Gaza City and a masked man put a gun to the bodyguard's head, forcing him to the ground.

The men, along with a bodyguard, were parked near the headquarters of the Palestinian security services when two trucks filled with masked gunmen pulled up and boxed them in, the Fox employee said. The gunmen took the two men out of their sports utility vehicle, which was marked "TV," and drove away, he said.
AP, via The San Francisco Chronicle

A television transmission truck is not inconspicuous, and neither is an SUV with "TV" clearly marked on it. The terrorists who did pull this off had to have known that they were grabbing members of the media, but why snag reporters?

If you start abducting members of the press, their presence in the area will be scaled back, and they will not be presenting your side of the story to the world. The Palestinians have used the media to their advantage quite skillfully, albeit dishonestly and deceptively, so I can't imagine that they would want to allow their relationship with the press to be diminished.

My first thoughts for the motivations of the terrorists in this incident are:

1 - Retribution: Fox News, I think it's fair to say, is the most conservative of the broadcast MSM. As such, their coverage may tend to side more with Israel, or at least less with the terrorists. Fox may have covered something that someone didn't like, or covered something in a manner that someone didn't like. The terrorists could be trying to send the message that the media needs to watch what they're doing, or how they're doing it, or else they will be targeted.

2 - Silencing: The kidnapped crew may have just recorded something that the terrorists don't want exposed, and the abduction could be part of an attempt to keep that something from ever coming to light.

3 - Getting Noticed: A smaller organization within Gaza may be attempting to garner name recognition and stature by pulling off such a stunt. Nab a couple of journalists, tell them your story while "negotiating," and then release them unharmed so that they can tell the world about your group.

4 - Secret Interview: It's possible that this is all a ruse to prevent anyone from following the reporters to the hiding place of the interviewee. As effective as the Israelis have been in finding and targeting terrorist leaders in Gaza, this scenario is not entirely implausible.

No one who knows anything is talking right now, so the rest of us will remain in the dark on the details of the situation. All we can do is hold fast and say a little prayer for the crew's safe and speedy release.


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