That’s what happened to one couple in Mumbai. Hiding under a table at the Taj Hotel, Lynne and Kenneth Shaw of Wales begged the CNN reporters to be very cautious about what was broadcast. They believed that the terrorists were watching CNN as it was broadcast over the hotel’s English language channel. And it seems the Shaws were correct. Safe at home after a harrowing experience, Mrs. Shaw said:
“The terrorists were watching CNN and they came down from where they were in a lift after hearing about us on television. For that reason I would appeal to the media to be very careful about what they broadcast.”
Clearly, the bright boys and girls at CNN disregarded the Shaws’ plea, perhaps figuring face-time and logo time outweighed the potential of further endangering those already in peril.
But CNN has no reason to worry. They’re just keeping alive the flickering mainstream media flame, that long tradition of press reports that end up informing terrorists about things better off kept secret. Remember the Treasury Department’s Terror Tracking Finance Program? Sure you do. The New York Times reported on it back in 2006. It was top secret before then, but the Times decided that everyone needed to know about it, including of course, the very terrorists who were being monitored. So much for that successful anti-terrorist tool.
What about that NSA program that monitored terrorists’ international communications? Yep, we heard about that, too, again courtesy of the New York Times. As a result, terrorists now favor untraceable disposable cell phones.
And then there was the CIA’s agreement with our allies in the war on terror to detain high-level Al Qaeda operatives? Reported by our good friends at the Washington Post and Time Magazine.
So CNN is certainly in “good” company when it endangers innocent civilians in its reporting. After all, these days, if it weren’t for terrorists, who’d be paying any attention to the mainstream media at all?