Michael J. Totten: Hanging with Hezbollah

Michael J. Totten’s blog demonstrates how the medium can be used to bring a depth of reporting that one doesn’t ordinarily find in the so-called mainstream media. Totten has no corporate backing, relying instead on donations and, I presume, the sale of his freelance writing and photography yet one can only be impressed by his work. His latest Hanging with Hezbollah piece is a good example of that:

The first time I met Hussein Naboulsi, Hezbollah’s media relations liaison, he was perfectly friendly. But he later threatened me with physical violence because I cracked a joke about Hezbollah on my blog. On another occasion I was detained for two hours by Hezbollah because they suspected one of my photojournalist colleagues was a Jew. A reporter friend (and I’ll keep his name out of this) was harassed because of an entirely innocuous article he wrote about them for a mainstream left-wing American magazine. Chris Allbritton, who works on occasion for Time magazine, wrote the following on his blog during the July War: “Hizbullah is launching Katyushas, but I’m loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalist’s passport, and they’ve already hassled a number of us and threatened one.”

It’s worth a read (and a bookmark).