Toulouse Terrorist Sends Video of His Killings to Aljazeera. Station Refused to Broadcast it.

What really annoys me about this New York Times story is that it’s assuming that since Aljazeera is refusing to broadcast footage of children being killed at close range, that somehow means that the station is changing its editorial policy:

The decision [not to air the footage], made at the very top of the sprawling international network, provided an opportunity for Al Jazeera to display its journalistic restraint at a time of management upheaval and accusations of a double standard in its coverage of uprisings in the Middle East. Experts said Mr. Merah’s video offered a possible hint of the broadcaster’s future editorial direction.

This is rubbish. Aljazeera has angered the Americans in the past because it broadcasted Bin Laden’s propaganda and videos of American hostages, videos that have editorial value despite being unsavory to uncle Sam. But I can’t think of any instant in which Aljazeera actually broadcasted a murder scene, let alone one involving children. To somehow suggest that this latest “restraint” is out of character is deeply disingenuous. I mean, listen to the kind of video we’re talking about:

it showed the seven killings with music, religious chants and the reading of Koranic verses in the background. “You hear the gunshots and the cries of the victims,”

Did Aljazeera ever broadcast something like this? I accept that the station is at a political inflection point, but the premise of this article is completely unfounded.

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  • Dona

    But why did the killer send it to Aljazeera then? Didn’t he make the same assumption as NYT did? That Aljazeera is the go-to guy for terrorist propaganda? Yes there is a subtle difference, but Aljazeera has a long history of anti-Americanism and sympathy to AQ

  • Craig

    Aljazeera has angered the Americans in the past because it broadcasted Bin Laden’s propaganda and videos of American hostages…

    Aljazeera is loathed by Americans because of its own propagandizing not because it serves as a mere conduit for Al Qaida. As far as the article, I don’t really understand why it needed to be written. Americans don’t watch Aljazeera and that particular act of terrorism wasn’t related to the US in any way. It’s not like Americans are going to give Aljazeera another chance, or that we need more reason to dislike AJ than we already do. It seems as bizarre to me as major Arab media organization writing up a big story examining some editorial decision Fox News made. For what purpose?

  • Wael

    The reason they gave is BS. The French warned AJ of dire consequences if they broadcast it. The footage would have cause uproar in Europe and consequently calsl to ban the station in all Europe and they didn’t dare to take that risk.

  • ken

    Trouble is that they said they would “consider it.” That tells me allI need to know about the bastards.