Fox News posts video of Jordanian pilot execution

Fox News has stirred up a lot of controversy by posting the Islamic State-made video showing in horrifically graphic detail, the death of Jordanian pilot. Some are praising the network for showing Islamic State barbarity so that the American people can better understand the threat. Others, mostly anti-terrorism experts, are condmening Fox for playing into the hands of IS and AQ..

We won't post the video here. But here's the link to Fox. (WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO)

If you don't want to watch the video, Shep Smith describes it here in chilling detail.

Fox issued a statement justifying their action:

“After careful consideration, we decided that giving readers of the option to see for themselves the barbarity of ISIS outweighed legitimate concerns about the graphic nature of the video," the statement said. "Online users can choose to view or not view this disturbing content."

Some experts quoted in the Guardian story have a point:

Malcolm Nance, the executive director of the Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideology thinktank and an expert on counter-terrorism and radical extremism told the Guardian that by posting the video Fox News was propagating “exactly what Isis wants to propagate”.

“The whole value of terror is using the media to spread terror,” he said.

Rick Nelson, a senior associate in homeland security and terrorism at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that posting the video actually empowers Isis.

“They’re a terror organisation,” he said. “They seek to strike terror in the hearts and minds of people globally, and by perpetuating these videos and putting them out there into the internet, it certainly expands the audience and potential effects.”

“These groups need a platform, and this gives them a platform,” he added.

Nance told the Guardian that showing the video would also further endanger other hostages, including the 26-year-old American aid worker currently held by the militant group.

“[Fox News] are literally – literally – working for al-Qaida and Isis’s media arm,” he added.

“They might as well start sending them royalty checks.”

But doesn't the video have propaganda value to us too? You can read a thousand newspaper articles quoting the "experts" but a few seconds of watching this video does more to advance our understanding of the true nature of Islamic State than any other medium. The few recruits IS may realize from the posting of this video is a small price to pay for generating wholesale revulsion against the enemy.

It's a close call but I think Fox got it right.