Michael Totten

Hezbollah's Media Relations

Michael Young has “a terrific article”:http://www.reason.com/news/show/125203.html in Reason magazine about the collateral damage (as he put it) in think tanks, academia, and the media after the assassination of Hezbollah Commander Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus. He zeroes in on leftist icons “Noam Chomsky”:http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP116506%20 and “Norman Finkelstein”:http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=1676wmv&ak=null for their full-throated support for the Syrian- and Iranian-backed terrorist militia. (Be sure to watch Finkelstein’s performance on Lebanon’s Future TV “here”:http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=1676wmv&ak=null, and note how exasperated his interviewer Najat Sharafeddine is with his views.) The absurd alliance of violent Islamists and leftists has been covered elsewhere at length. At least Finkelstein and Chomsky are honest with their audience about what they believe and where they’re coming from.
Young also points out what may be a more serious problem, one much harder for most observers to see. Certain things are expected of those who want to maintain access to groups like Hezbollah. As Young points out,

Hezbollah is adept at turning contacts with the party into valuable favors . . . Writers and scholars, particularly Westerners, who lay claim to Hezbollah sources, are regarded as special for penetrating so closed a society. That’s why their writing is often edited with minimal rigor. Hezbollah always denied everything that was said about Mughniyeh, and few authors (or editors) showed the curiosity to push further than that. The mere fact of getting such a denial was considered an achievement in itself, a sign of rare access, and no one was about to jeopardize that access by calling Hezbollah liars.

“Read the rest in Commentary Magazine”:http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/totten/2836.