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Vice News and Isis have formed a bizarre symbiotic relationship

15 August 2014

11:00 AM

15 August 2014

11:00 AM

If you haven’t watched Vice News’s five-part documentary about Isis yet, I’d highly recommend it. They’ve gone where no other media company has managed: into the heart of the Islamic State. As a result, Isis and Vice have formed a bizarre symbiotic relationship. Both are youth-focused, both have global ambitions and both have a pioneering spirit. Even their black-and-white branding is similar.

The documentary veers between the terrifying and the absurd, and wouldn’t pass any of the BBC’s impartiality tests. But Vice scooped their deep-pocketed rivals by bedding in with these mad jihadis. They may be the new kids on the block, but they deserve to be taken seriously. I’ve reviewed their documentary in this week’s Spectator, which you can read here.

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Show comments
  • andy_gill

    The one on the left of the prat with the Koran wants to go to the lavatory. And why is the other one wearing a TV remote?

  • Colonel Mustard

    There is an entirely inappropriate whiff of admiration in this article. “Pioneering spirit”? About as “pioneering” as regressing to the worst aspects of the religious wars of the 16th and 17th Centuries. The “spirit” part is entirely twisted and evil. Black and white branding? That’s a bit like saying the SS were monstrous but their uniforms were cool.

    Sadly I can see some on the left gravitating towards the “romance” of “insurgency” against the mythic “man”, as they have done with every other murdering bunch of low-lifes from the Viet Cong to the IRA.

  • David

    Why should we listen to ISIS side of the story? We know what they want and now it is time to execute every single one of them. I’m afraid I don’t want to learn to understand (much less forgive) my enemies. I want to survive them.

    • Johny Jacques

      And this is why we live in a world of never ending war, no one wants to listen to the other side of the story but everyone wants to shoot the other side dead

      • David

        You have to come to realize that coexistence with groups like IS is not possible or desirable. We don’t need to learn to live alongside our enemies. We need to learn to survive them. And protect others from them. This is the principle that makes pacifism immoral.

        • Johny Jacques

          David, your ideas sound romantic and simplistic…we can’t live alongside our enemies so let’s close our ears to them and destroy…sound a bit Shakespearian…but in the real world it’s BS because we’ve always lived alongside our enemies…as an American I accept the truths in that we create and arm our enemies so they can fight their enemies only to later see them turn the guns on us and our “interests” so would be hypocritical to say we don’t listen to our enemies when often times we are the ones helping them. As far as living alongside them, we live with Hezbolah don’t we? Well in the 80s and early 90s they were the big boogie men, the ISIS of that era and now look at them, living alongside Americans in peace, so yeah your logic sounds great in theory but would make for horrible policy in the real world…ISIS whatever we think of them is on the edge of becoming an actual government which we will not be able to just wipe off the face of the earth…and let’s not forget we have soldiers in the Midwest playing video games with people’s lives, in some eyes we are the ultimate evil, some can argue we far less morals then ISIS

          • David

            I acknowledge the importance of diplomacy in these matters. Our negotiations with Iran are testament to this. We can also assert our values in other ways than by force – by setting examples of why our core values are better. Your suggestion that we could be seen as evil as IS is contemptible. It is a masochistic point of view I hear a lot. The principles I uphold (self determination, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, women/minority rights) are not just different from their opposites – they are better. I still believe we can encourage Islam out of its infancy and to become more moderate. After all, the enemy is not really a person, it is the always a war of ideas.

            I also understand (and know) of our history of providing weapons to people in proxy wars against greater enemies. Many liberal anti-war commentators constantly talk about how we sold weapons to Osama Bin Laden which made him dangerous. I have argued for a long time that the US was entirely justified selling weapons to Afghanistan to defend themselves against Soviet invasion. The only alternative seems to sit idly and watch the Soviets commit genocide in another country.

            However, we should not be slow to notice where there is no possibility of negotiation. IS wants to annihilate every infidel across its declared caliphate. They want to destroy Israel and all the Jews. What are we going to do? Allow them to annihilate 25% of the Jews?

  • kevin foy

    In a few years these people will be running the beeb.

    • evad666

      they already are.

  • Augustus

    And just look at that guy with the anti-aircraft gun on top of the Toyota truck. What an amateur. Who trained him? He couldn’t even shoots at a stationary drone. Then there’s that tank which nobody can control, or fire the thing. And ISIS blokes on horseback. What time zone do they think they’re living in? Any decent army could sweep this lot away very quickly.

    • Holly

      The actions and behaviour of these males, show that they are raised to constantly feel inferior, and grow up with an inferiority complex, about women, their relationships, their religion, the only way they can ever get THEIR way is either through force, booze/drugs, or violence.
      Thousands of inadequate, impotent males….
      I could be wrong though.

      • Andy

        You’re not, and they should be hanged.

  • Stereotomy

    Look, we’ve got a bunch of hobgoblin radicals called the Ecumenical
    Liberation Army who go around taking home movies of themselves robbing
    banks. Now, maybe they’ll take movies of themselves kidnapping
    heiresses, hijacking 747s, bombing bridges, assassinating ambassadors.
    We’d open each week’s segment with their authentic footage, hire a
    couple of writers to write a story behind that footage, and we’ve got
    ourselves a series.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Hold it… slow down and let me catch up… I’m writing this up for a submittal to Hollywood. We’ll have to work in some titillating material somehow, and include the requisite LGBT stuff. But nothing here appears insurmountable. How are we fixed for global warmingism and the fight against transfats in the ISIS camp?

  • WatTylersGhost

    “BBC impartiality” – when was that ever the case?

  • In2minds

    ” and wouldn’t pass any of the BBC’s impartiality tests” –

    Give it time?

  • English Majority

    That’s because there’s a large number of Islamists, Black cultural terrorists and extreme-Left Whites in the Vice staff.

    • Adro

      Have you actually watched the whole video? Because as a piece of ‘here are these people, this is what they claim to be about’ journalism it’s actually rather good. The journalist didn’t turn round and challenge these people too explicitly – mainly because doing so would have meant no documentary and probably death. That doesn’t make him (or anyone else at Vice for that matter) any of the things you absurdly claim above (“black cultural terrorists”? Please, this isn’t 1950s Alabama).

      To be perfectly honest the more documentaries are made like this by Vice et al, the more we can get to see just how insane those from IS truly are. It might even help persuade people that we should take some action to clean up the mess that we largely created in Iraq, and wipe these monsters out.

      • tjamesjones

        good point Adro.

      • English Majority

        Yeah, I saw part one and two when Vice first posted them.

        And yeah, I admit their vids are always informative and well made.

        My other comment still stands, as its the truth.