ISIS recently released a video of their assassination of Lt. Moath al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, whom they burned alive inside a cage. Unlike any other major U.S. news agency, FoxNews.com posted the entire 22 minute propaganda video on their website.
Fox News has been criticized for showing this graphic video and making ISIS propaganda more readily available.
According to BusinessInsider.com, “The video is now being widely shared by ISIS proponents via the Fox News site.”
Anna MacLachlan, a freshman business major, had concerns about the brutality of the video and said, “Is that something we want to have accessible to everybody?”
“Fox is creating a bunch of controversy and putting the eye on them, so that could be good for their news agency. But I don’t think it’s right,” MacLachlan said. She added that seeing the brutality of the assassination is unnecessary.
“We can read about it, or hear other people talk about it, but I don’t want to see that. I don’t think that we should even have a choice to see it,” MacLachlan said.
“I just don’t think you need to be showing the public brutality like that and spreading that propaganda,” said Ryan Gulbranson, a sophomore construction management major.
Valarie McArthur, a freshman communication major, disagreed, saying that she is against censorship. She also said, “A lot of times, when people read about brutality, it doesn’t make it as impactful. They don’t realize exactly what’s going on until they see it, and, when they see it, it becomes real and then they want to do something about it.”
Mark Belvardi, a sophomore engineering major, echoed McArthur and said that it’s one thing to talk about something, and another thing to see a burning guy in a cage.
John Moody, Fox News executive vice president, issued a statement on Feb. 4 and said, “After careful consideration, we decided that giving readers of FoxNews.com the option to see for themselves the barbarity of ISIS outweighed legitimate concerns about the graphic nature of the video. Online users can choose to view or not to view this disturbing content.”
David Kamwana, senior engineering major from Zambia, echoed the words of Moody, saying that being able to watch the ISIS video is “something that should be the choice of an individual.”
“People need to wake up,” Kamwana said. He believes that the ISIS video needs to be seen in order to increase awareness of ISIS’ terrorism and “wake people up.”
Journalist Howard Kurtz was featured on a Fox News broadcast to discuss this controversial video posting. He expressed concerns about making the video available.
“I fear that many of us in the media are helping ISIS spread its propaganda, using its fear tactics. I felt the same way with the beheading video, still images of which became almost like wallpaper for every story about ISIS,” said Kurtz in the Fox interview.
Malcolm Nance, terrorist expert of the Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics, and Radical Ideology think tank, echoed Kurtz, saying, “Fox News are literally, literally, working for al-Qaida and ISIS’s media arm,” in an interview with the Guardian.
In a phone interview with MediaITE.com, Moody addressed the criticism of promoting the ISIS propaganda video by saying, “I really cannot imagine the person who would look at this video and come away admiring ISIS.”
Kamwana agreed: “If you’re a person or individual watching something like that, and coming to the conclusion that ‘yeah, I need to join this group,’ then there is something wrong with you.”