Does the Mainstream Media Pay Terrorists?
Steven Emerson asks the question: Do Hamas Columnists Get Paid?
The Washington Post is refusing to disclose this information.
Did the Post pay its standard fee for Zahar’s column? The Post compensates guest writers with a minimum $200 fee, spokeswoman Rima Calderon said. Other factors, including whether the column was solicited or had multiple authors, could increase the amount. So, what did the Post pay Zahar?
“As I suspected, we don’t make this information public,” Calderon said in an e-mail.
Payment of any amount could violate U.S. law banning material support or other transactions with the designated terrorist group Hamas, said Jeffrey Breinholt, senior fellow and national security law director at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. Breinholt knows the law well. Before taking leave last summer, he was the deputy chief of the Department of Justice’s counterterrorism section.
The 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) was passed in direct response to terrorist acts by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad aimed at thwarting U.S. peace efforts. It created a list of specially designated terrorist groups and individuals and outlawed providing any support to them. The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) gives the President the power to prohibit transactions with people or entities deemed enemies of the United States.
“They could say payments to individual Hamas leaders do not qualify as support to Hamas, but that’s fairly laughable,” Breinholt said.
No one is suggesting the papers are in legal jeopardy. But it may be time to rethink the editorial approach. This is the latest in a series of examples in which major American newspapers yield space for Hamas propaganda. Last July, the Los Angeles Times published “Hamas’ Stand,” by the group’s deputy political director Mousa Abu Marzook. Before that, the Post and New York Times published columns by Hamas spokesman Ahmed Yousef on the same day.