Thursday, May 19, 2005

Linda Foley, Provocateur

Linda Foley, has been caught on tape wildly throwing out unsupported accusations that the military intentionally target journalists for killing. (ht: Brain Droppings)

More to come here ... and, at least, a couple other places, I would guess. Nothing like having a statement from a provocateur, in the guise of a reporter, to sully the profession yet again. Nothing like the prospect of having an immensely stupid remark from one of our betters hit the net for expecting a blogging frenzy late in the news week.

The blogosphere is chock full of Harry Callahans waking to another full day of "Go ahead, make my day" attitude.

The venue for the Ms. Foley's remarks was the 2005 National Conference for Media Reform. The webstie for the conference is here at Free Press, who was the organizer. Get a load of the list of guest speakers.

Much of the conference was videotaped. You get the whole video of the session where Ms Foley made the remarks at Cambridge Community Television, here. It is on the right at "Media Ownership and Consolidation Session." (It's a 52 odd minute zipped download for Quicktime. She starts at 19:10 and the accusation writ as truth starts at 38:18 30:18.) Or you can get the clip narrowed to the specific remark abut the military, here. Junk Yard Blog has other vids (BD's original source, BTW) and lots of information. I suggest you listen to the longer remarks from the orignal to get her full conspiratorial tone and more of the full video to note how out of place it is in the session.

In addition to being the President of the International Newspapers Guild and President of the Communication Workers of America, per JYB, she is also a Vice-President of the Internation Federation of Journalists, and per Ms Foley's intro on the video, she is also Secretary-Treasurer of the Department of Professional Employees at the AFL-CIO. Nice gigs if you can get them ... and keep them.

Update II: It would be nice if someone did a longer vid clip. Teaser: she starts off with blaming Republicans for targeting reporters and ends with laying the blame on mega-corporate influence. In between is where she blames at the military.

Update III: Is it a question of who she gets it from, who she gives it to, or is this just a case of birds of a feather. Here's an article on the IFJ from April 2003. It's not like this attitude has been festering, has it. From this article it sounds like they float back and forth from probing questions to wild accusations, as though they have dual personalities, one of which is a reproter and the other ... well, you decide. Anyway, Ms Foley definitely let her Ms. Hyde show at the conference.

Update IV: Here's another IFJ press release from August 2003 where they stagger around yet again to pin the blame somewhere.

Update V: Here's an April 8, 2005 press release by IFJ again demanding investigations of journalist killed in Iraq, with particular mention of the Palestinian Hotel incident. Reproduced, in full, below, so that the full context is not lost:
"The International Federation of Journalists today called on the United States government to end all speculation over targeted killings of journalists and media staff by providing “credible and convincing” reports on incidents in which 14 media staff have been killed since the invasion of the country in March 2003.

“The United States stands accused of failing to meet its obligations to deliver justice and fair treatment to the victims of violence by its own soldiers,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White in a letter to President George Bush. Similar letters calling for the US to carry out exhaustive investigation into these cases have been sent by IFJ affiliates to US officials and many countries.

April 8th marks the second anniversary of the United States attack on Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel, which at the time contained scores of reporters and media people reporting on the US invasion. Two journalists were killed and others wounded. On the same morning, a journalist was killed when the Baghdad offices of the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera was attacked by US fighter planes. The IFJ says there are another 11 other cases of unexplained killings in which US soldiers were involved that require answers.

“The ordeal of family, friends and colleagues of media victims continues as they wait for justice from the authorities about how and why their loved ones died,” said White.

The IFJ says that two years after the invasion of Iraq the pain of the war is deeply felt by journalists and media staff and particularly by Iraqi journalists themselves who joined today’s protests.

The Federation accuses the US of carrying out “whitewash” reports of the killings – and in many instances cases there have been no reports at all.

“These reports follow the same unconvincing and incredible pattern: secrecy over the detail and nature of the report, a failure to examine all the evidence, paltry and cruelly insensitive shrugs of regret, and complete exoneration of responsibility of US personnel at all levels of command,” said White. “It is denial of justice on a shocking scale.”

The IFJ says that the April 8th has come to symbolise for many the crisis of impunity which sees scores of journalists killed in targeted assassinations each year, but few are the subject of serious investigation and only a handful ever lead to prosecution of those responsible.

The IFJ recognises that most targeted journalists are the victims of cruel extremists “with whom it is impossible to make a moral compact.”

“We condemn unreservedly those attacks and the people behind the current wave of hostage taking which has seen the kidnapping of our colleagues Florence Aubenas, of Liberation, her driver Hussein Hanoun as well as Romanian reporters Eduard Ohanesian of Romania Liberia, Marie-Jeanne Ion and Sorin Miscoci of Prima TV”.

We will campaign vigorously for their release and for the isolation, arrest and trial of all those responsible for murder and kidnapping of journalists,” said White.

But at the same time, the IFJ says the United States needs to act to defend its traditions of liberty and justice by addressing the concerns of journalists around the world over the failure to take responsibility for the deaths of journalists and media staff in Iraq.

“A prompt and convincing response to the questions raised over these deaths will end speculation over the targeting of journalists and media and provide irrefutable evidence for Iraq journalists and the people of Iraq that the democracy now in the making will deliver justice for all,” said White."

Corrections: (23 May) I noticed an incorrect time for the longer Foley vid. Her accusation begins at 30:18 (I hate those zeros with the diagonal through it, especially when the text is small.) Also, I am sorry I didn't link to Junk Yard Blog, right after that. I had meant to put in the link, but in rushing the update out, I missed that I hadn't done it. It is there now.

Linda Foley Related Posts:
(Reverse Chronological Order)
Looking Ahead: Military in the Cross-Hairs
"Media credibility is in the toilet, even if the Koran isn't."
Linda Foley's Context and Asides - A Comparison
Still Holding To "Context" But. Where's "Aside"?
More of Linda Foley's Talk
Journalist as Provocateurs
Linda Foley, Provocateur

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