Thursday, August 04, 2005


Russia bans ABC News

In retaliation for ABC News' decision to broadcast an interview with the Chechen terrorist leader who claims to be responsible for the massacre of schoolchildren in Beslan, Sky News reports that the Putin government has cut off access to Russian officials and will not renew accreditation for ABC.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said: "ABC is now unwelcome to contact any Russian state organisations or bodies.

"A decision was taken that at the end of their period, the accreditations of the workers of this company will not be renewed."

Russian officials were left outraged by the Basayev interview, the terrorist who said he was behind the attack on a school in Beslan last September which killed around 300 people.

ABC News president David Westin said: "The mission of a free press is to cover news events - even those involving illegal acts - to help our audience better understand the important issues that confront us all."

"ABC News deeply regrets the action taken by the Russian government against ABC journalists operating in Russia, but we cannot allow any government to deter us from reporting the news fully and accurately."

I have mixed feelings about this. A free press is a wonderful thing. But I'm old fashioned, and I believe that with rights come responsibilities. I'm not sure providing a media platform for terrorists who murder schoolchildren is necessary to convey "the news". You might legitimately wonder how a media blackout would effect some of these whackos.

And I personally have a real problem with the long-standing tendency of the MSM to treat terrorists and criminals favorably, apparently based on a presumption that it's always the government (any government) that is the bad guys.

(Hat tip to the Jawa Report)

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