Thursday, June 15, 2006
Remember the movie Alien? How can we forget the scenes of the nasty little thing exploding from some poor bastard's chest and turning into a big nasty thing. A big nasty parasite feeding off the crew of the doomed spacecraft.

Now we have the terrorists feeding off the media who by and large are a lot more willing than Sigourney Weaver.

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

By Richard Morin of the Washington Post
Thursday, June 15, 2006; Page A02

More ink equals more blood, claim two economists who say that newspaper coverage of terrorist incidents leads directly to more attacks.

It's a macabre example of win-win in what economists call a "common-interest game," say Bruno S. Frey of the University of Zurich and Dominic Rohner of Cambridge University.

"Both the media and terrorists benefit from terrorist incidents," their study contends. Terrorists get free publicity for themselves and their cause. The media, meanwhile, make money "as reports of terror attacks increase newspaper sales and the number of television viewers."

The researchers counted direct references to terrorism between 1998 and 2005 in the New York Times and Neue Zuercher Zeitung, a respected Swiss newspaper. They also collected data on terrorist attacks around the world during that period. Using a statistical procedure called the Granger Causality Test, they attempted to determine whether more coverage directly led to more attacks.

The results, they said, were unequivocal: Coverage caused more attacks, and attacks caused more coverage -- a mutually beneficial spiral of death that they say has increased because of a heightened interest in terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001.

One partial solution: Deny groups publicity by not publicly naming the attackers, Frey said. But won't tbecome known anyway through informal channels such as the Internet?

Not necessarily, Frey said. "Many experiences show us that in virtually all cases several groups claimed responsibility for a particular terrorist act. I would like the same rule that obtains within a country: Nobody can be called a criminal -- in our case a terrorist -- if this has not been established by a court of law."

A court of law? Well if the guy just blew himself up there might not be anything to put on trial. When someone robs a bank, we do not say the bank was allegedly robbed by an alleged bank robber. We say a bank robber held up the bank. Simple as that.

UPDATE: from AJ :
There has been much reporting on the Al Qaeda document outlining the dire straits of Al Qaeda in Iraq. I believe this site has a more complete, if not complete, version of the document in English for those who are interested. I could not help but notice this strategy:

To use the media for spreading an effective and creative image of the resistance.

Yep, even AQ could detect useful idiots when they needed them. I do have to admit the plans for starting a war between Iran and the US sound like disinformation itself. I have trouble thinking AQ sees the world this way (Iran and US allies against them). But then again, AQ is a Sunni driven ideology and Iran is a Shia dominated country.


Knucklehead said...

They know perfectly well what they do. Seditionists and accomplices to murder.

terrye said...


David Thomson said...

Is anybody really surprised? I have long taken it for granted that these media stories added the terrorists. There is little doubt but that the insurgency in Iraq has been extended because of the political divisions within our own country. The terrorists are very well aware of the Vietnam era.

Rick Ballard said...

A bit more on the phenomenon from Mudville Gazette.