heads in the sand II: denial of access

First, al-Jazeera's new english website was hacked (see my earlier post)

Now, Al-Jazeera has been banned from the floor of the NYSE:

Al-Jazeera raised the ire of Americans on Sunday when it aired shaken U.S. prisoners of war and dead U.S. soldiers with gaping bullet wounds, prompting the Pentagon to issue a rare appeal to U.S. networks not to use the footage.
As the storm over the American soldier footage raged this week, the New York Stock Exchange withdrew credentials for two al-Jazeera journalists. It said it had to cut back on the number of reporters on the exchange floor.

Media pundits were stunned by the exchange's decision, saying it smacked of a dangerous opening salvo in a game of media quid pro quo which could see Western media's access cut off. Iraq last week ordered CNN journalists to leave Baghdad.

"The New York Stock Exchange has many useful functions, especially in turbulent times. Making foreign policy is not one of them," the New York Times wrote in a Wednesday editorial.

NASDAQ has joined in, too. In the comments of the first post in this series, I stated that I don't believe the Bush Administration is behind the hacker attack on the english website, but this is another matter entirely. I realise that there are many people who disagree with me about al-Jazeera's value as a media press entity. But consider, given that our ostensible purpose is to liberate Iraq, the suppression of al-Jazeera by the NYSE at the very least undermines our PR as we strive to convince Iraqis that it's about liberty, not oil. So even if one is unwilling to grant freedom of the Press (not as popular a Right as gun ownership, I realise), it must be acknowledged that tyhese actions are still harmful from a pragmatic perspective. This is something that we all need to agree on.

You can follow this story through the Google News...

No comments: