Did the Press Endanger Quest Hostages?
CNN is reporting that Somali pirates have killed the four Americans aboard the yacht “Quest.”
When news outlets began reporting that one of the couples aboard was sailing around the world to distribute Bibles, I was very concerned that their lives were in greater jeopardy than those of most hostages of Somali pirates. You may recall that I mentioned in a recent post that pirates had begun, in some cases, executing hostages for the crime of not being Muslim.
We’ll probably never know whether that was why their captors killed them, if indeed, the reports of their deaths are true, but I couldn’t help wondering when the press started carrying the story, if it wouldn’t have been wise to delay discussing that aspect of their trip. What would it have hurt?
And don’t tell me about the duty of the press to publish every detail, come what may. In recent posts I’ve shown how western media go out of their way to avoid addressing the possibility of Islamic motivations to certain crimes. If they’re willing to exercise such discretion, it seems they could have done so in this case, and maybe bought some time for these unfortunate people.