MICHAEL TOTTEN: Hanging with Hezbollah.
The first time I met Hussein Naboulsi, Hezbollahâ€™s media relations liaison, he was perfectly friendly. But he later threatened me with physical violence because I cracked a joke about Hezbollah on my blog. On another occasion I was detained for two hours by Hezbollah because they suspected one of my photojournalist colleagues was a Jew. A reporter friend (and Iâ€™ll keep his name out of this) was harassed because of an entirely innocuous article he wrote about them for a mainstream left-wing American magazine. Chris Allbritton, who works on occasion for Time magazine, wrote the following on his blog during the July War: â€œHizbullah is launching Katyushas, but Iâ€™m loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalistâ€™s passport, and theyâ€™ve already hassled a number of us and threatened one.â€
This is how Hezbollah treats Western journalists. Iâ€™d say Iâ€™m surprised more journalists donâ€™t mention this sort of thing in their articles. But most journalists donâ€™t write first-person narratives. Industry rules generally donâ€™t allow them to describe these kinds of incidents.
Actually, I’m pretty sure that if the Israelis were acting similarly, industry rules would require them to describe these kinds of incidents. But read the whole thing to find out why hassling bloggers is different.