When is journalism not journalism? When it's jihad, like Al-Aqsa TV, the official Hamas-run television channel based in Gaza. Its broadcasts range from the bizarre -- it aired clerics insisting that Iceland's volcano was God punishing Europe -- to the sick -- a puppet on a children's show stabbing President Bush to death while another kids show featured a Mickey Mouse knock-off wanting to "wipe out the Jews" -- to the old-school anti-Semitic -- Jews slaughter Christians and make matzos with the blood. The station uses some terrestrial transmitters, but many viewers access the content via satellite or web-cast (URL omitted).
President Obama's Treasury Department classed Al-Aqsa TV as a terrorist organization. But others seem reluctant to pull the plug: the channel's been warned about its racist content, and even banned from France. Yet, the content still is sent by satellites "covering the whole of Europe and the Mediterranean basin."
Al-Aqsa's all-incitement-all-the-time prompted renewed regulation this week: the European Commission demanded further action from France, which ordered the satellite provider to terminate the station's transmissions. Given repeated words without action, I'll believe it when it happens.
This isn't a post about censorship--I'm doubtful about speech bans. Indeed, the station's still on other birds and the net, so -- even if enforced -- the French order is "largely symbolic." Rather, my point is this: Al-Aqsa and similar content poisons viewers and hijacks the debate. If it can't be stopped, can it at least be countered?