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Fox News Giving Away Hezbollah Positions?

Reported by Judy - July 25, 2006 -

Fox News Channel's video reports from the Middle East may have been airing locations of Hezbollah rocket launchers, helping Israel target and bomb Hezbollah fighters. On "Dayside" on Tuesday (July 25, 2006), reporter Greg Palkot admitted Hezbollah had warned Fox News Channel to stop showing the launch of rockets.

"Dayside" co-host Mike Jerrick alluded to a "directive to the American media, including Fox News Channel. In fact, it started with Fox." Rick Leventhal, reporting from Kiryat Shmona, Israel, said that Hezbollah had warned the media not to show outgoing Katyusha rocket fire, but referred Jerrick to Palkot for more information.

In Tyre, Lebanon, Palkot admitted, "We have been advised by the Hezbollah miltia here not to show the exact positions where those missiles, those rockets are launched from. Not just us, but other western media organizations, abiding by that. And concerned about the safety of the media here, we’re working within those guidelines. I think we can give you a pretty complete picture of the battlefield here on this side of the border," he said.

As Palkot spoke, the Fox News chyron read "Hezbollah's Request," perhaps wanting to call attention to Hezbollah officials that it was acknowledging their request and agreeing to it. Gee, does that mean Fox News was negotiating with terrorists? Why can Fox News do that, but not the U.S. government?

Later in the show, "Dayside" went back to Palkot for an update from Tyre. He never mentioned the "directive."

None of the three fox News personnel who discussed the Hezbollah "directive" on "Dayside" bothered to explain what had prompted it.

An hour earlier, Bill Hemmer, in a report on Fox News Live from Metula, Israel, pointed out the highest hill overlooking the valley behind him and "speculated" that was where Katyusha rockets were coming from, possibly providing important information to Israel.

"The last hour a number of Katyusha rockets were fired down the valley. Now it’s possible that since that is the highest point looking up in the valley, that the Katyusha rockets may have been coming from that site, which would serve logic there if the F-16 went in there to take it out," he said.

Later, Hemmer pointed to a far ridge behind him and said, "It's possible the latest Katyusha rocket round left that high point and went down valley."

Was that the incident that prompted the "directive" or was it something that Palkot did? Fox News did not say during "Dayside," leaving viewers having to guess exactly what happened. The implication is that Hezbollah thought Fox News' video was helping Israeli war planes figure out where the rockets were being launched from. Based on what Jerrick said, Hezbollah warned Fox News before other media, so they may have thought they were the primary offenders, but their recklessness may be endangering other journalists' lives.