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September 28, 2004


James Hamilton

Where I think Gove errs in his article is where he a)attributes a higher level of sophistication to these particular terrorists than I think they deserve, and b) where he represents media coverage of the Bigley kidnapping as some sort of change of tone brought on by the situation. The terrorists are not in possession of some Iraqi kind of Caversham, and aren't able to monitor the British media to that kind of 'blogger's depth', nor were they able to rely upon the Bigley family to behave as they have. Whatever is putting them off killing poor Bigley is more likely to lie closer to them, in Iraq, and we just don't know what that is. As for the media, with the odd and honourable exception, they've been anti this whole caper throughout, and if the terrorists ARE doing this to manipulate our papers and broadcasters, it's hard to see much before-and-after difference. (For once, the Beeb is hard to blame: Today is by it's own admission a tabloid now, and can be discounted, but their TV news has been excellent. How it can manage that now but not last year is beyond me.)

John Farren

James: I'm not so sure.
I can think of quite a few possible sources in the UK who would be delighted to relay info. on media responses. Possiblilities include sympathisers in Arabic media, and the embassies of at least three countries I can think of offhand.
They could not rely on the family response, but they can react to it; and to the responses of others.

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