...for something that our media is giving away for free.
THE WESTERN PRESS IS NOW THE PR WING OF THE ISLAMIC STATE
There are two possible consequences of the Western media’s lapping-up of IS snuff movies. The first is that they will help IS recruit more nihilistic Westerners. As George Packer of the New Yorker said of last week’s execution of the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, there is ‘an undeniable attraction in this horror for a number of young people around… Europe and America, who want to leave behind the comfort and safety of normal life for the exaltation of the caliphate’. It’s a sad fact that, for complicated reasons, we live in societies in which fairly significant numbers of young people feel estranged from mainstream politics and morality and drawn towards nihilistic ways of thinking, and these media-spread videos act as an invitation to some of these youngsters to pursue their nihilistic urges with the one global group devoted to such despicable behaviour. The second consequence of the media’s publicity for IS horrors is that IS will feel encouraged, incited in fact, to up the ante. Its horrendous new video suggests it is learning the lesson of diminishing returns — that the media had tired somewhat of its beheading videos and so IS needed to do something new and spectacular to get back on the front pages. So it did, and it worked. What will it do next? Who knows. But it will have to be extra atrocious if IS wants the Western media to carry on doing it a favour by making a global spectacle of its squalid murders.