IRVINE, CA–An alleged conspiracy between journalists and terrorists to promote the Palestinian cause should be thoroughly investigated, said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute.

The director of Israel’s Government Press Office, Daniel Seaman, accused Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, BBC, ABC and CBS of hiring directors and producers appointed by the Palestinian Authority who conspired with a major Palestinian terrorist to “spin”–and even fabricate–reports in favor of the Palestinians. “Three senior producers” working for foreign networks, Seaman charged, were “coordinat[ing] with [terrorist] Marwan Barghouti” to fabricate news stories.

According to Seaman, Barghouti would call these producers and tell them where his gunmen were going to stage an attack on Israelis so that the cameras would record the Israeli response but not the Palestinian provocation, making Israel look like the initiator of violence. The clear implication of Seaman’s charge is that journalists not only advised Barghouti on how to stage these events “to get the Palestinian message across better,” but chose to let Israelis die so that their cameramen could get good pictures.”

“If these charges are true,” said Dr. Brook, “what we have here is not only an egregious example of non-objective journalism, but criminal behavior on the part of mainstream media: an active role in aiding and abetting terrorism. It is bad enough to have the media biased against Israel, the innocent victim of terrorism–but it is immoral to have the media, on which we depend for objective news, actively collaborating with terrorists.”

The networks have recalled several of the Western journalists allegedly involved, noted Dr. Brook, “but those news organizations should publicly announce that collaborating with terrorists is unethical and that any journalist in their employ doing it will be fired and would face criminal charges. This won’t solve the problem of media bias against Israel,” Dr. Brook concluded, “but it may help reduce non-objective reporting on the Middle East situation.”

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Scott A. McConnell

Scott McConnell is director of communications of the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif.

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