Olaf Wiig, the New Zealand camerman kidnapped in Gaza, and wife of Anita McNaught, has got a lot of news coverage, as you'd expect. But the thing that interested me most was that he'd been working for Fox News. I'm not the only person who was surprised that such a decent person (as he appears to be), would work for such an outfit. On Nine to Noon last week Olaf Wiig's brother was explaining that it was Olaf Wiig's passion for the underdog, and love for telling people's stories , and Kathryn Ryan replied "well why was he working for Fox News?"*
Reading the Maps asks whether Olaf Wiig was a legitimate targets:
Wiig's kidnappers have been characterised as either fanatical extremists or simple criminals by most of the media, but could the inhabitants of Gaza have a legitimate case against Faux news, which has always acted as an attack dog for the most extreme part of the US and Israeli political establishments, and which has provided its audiences with an unceasingly hostile coverage of the plight of the Palestinian people? Only last week two senior producers for Fox News resigned from their jobs over the network's coverage of Middle East events, telling Murdoch and his mates that 'Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are warmongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism.'There had been no suggestion that these two reporters were targetted because of the station they worked for. But, I see Scott's point - Britain and America have bombed Al Jazera in Iraq and Afghanistan, and discussed bombing its headquarters. Fox news is a far more legitimate target than Al Jazera. If the people of Gaza could attack Fox news headquarters I think that could be a legitimate target. But I wouldn't extend this out to those who work for Fox. Too often I have seen people blame workers, rather than bosses, for the distruction businesses create.
But personally I'd disagree with waging war on any part of Fox news (although Dennis Potter once said that he'd cheerfully shoot Rupert Murdoch, and it's a little bit of a shame he had so much television to write before he died that he didn't get a chance). My views on violent resistance are complicated (I believe in people's write to self-defence, but I'm a little fuzzy on what I mean by that), but one of my bottom lines is that I think that violent resistance is justifiable only if there is to be some chance that it's going to make a difference. Bombing a news network would just make them angrier.
*It's possible that the insult wasn't that obvious, but Kathryn Ryan certainly implied that working for Fox News wasn't the job for anyone who believed in the underdog.