I didn’t comment on the kidnapping of two Fox newsmen in Iraq. This was not because I didn’t care, but because I had nothing original to say beyond “gee, I hope they get home OK.”
Now that they are home, they’re being slammed by righties because they didn’t die.
I’m serious. Check out this post, titled “Kidnapped Fox Newsmen Let Us Down By Not Dying.” [Update: OK, I was snookered. This post is a satire. I missed it. Me bad.]
At first, conservative bloggers were pulling for Centanni and Wiig. They clamored for their release and attacked their kidnappers, knowing that the more they blogged about it, the more likely that the kidnappers would capitulate in the face of this virtual onslaught and release them.
The forces of evil tremble in fear of the wrath of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders.
They were outraged that the story wasn’t getting the attention it deserved from mainstream media and speculated that it was because of bias against Fox News. … Although Fox News President Roger Ailes later revealed that he had asked the rest of the media to keep a lid on its reporting while negotiations were going on, which might have accounted for the lack of stories by the MSM,”
“that does not negate the possibility that they did, in fact, have contempt for the Fox News journalists anyway.
Nor does it negate the possibility that every professional journalist in America prayed mightily for the safety of the two Fox News guys. But now that the newsmen are released, the Right wishes them dead. A rightie named David Warren explains why. [Note: This post is not a satire.]
They were told to convert to Islam under implicit threat (blindfolded and hand-tied, they could not judge what threat), and agreed to make the propaganda broadcasts to guarantee their own safety. That much we can understand, as conventional cowardice. (Understand; not forgive.) But it is obvious from their later statements that they never thought twice; that they could see nothing wrong in serving the enemy, so long as it meant they’d be safe.
I assume they are not Christians (few journalists are), but had they ever been instructed in that faith, they might have grasped that conversion to Islam means denial of Christ, and that is something many millions of Christians (few of them intellectuals) have refused to do, even at the cost of excruciating deaths. Christianity still lives, because of such martyrs. Not suicide bombers: but truly defenceless martyrs.
Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1-2, King James version) I’m not saying Mr. Warren won’t be allowed into heaven, but Saint Peter is gonna make Mr. Warren write the first two verses of Matthew about 20 million times on the celestial blackboard first.
[Update: More about Warren here.]
But let’s go back to the writer of the first post cited, who calls himself Jon Swift.
Michelle Malkin even quoted some liberals who expressed contempt for Fox News and seemed to feel the men deserved to be kidnapped, including such well-known and respected thinkers on the Left as Bob Laurence, the TV critic for the San Diego Tribune and former Snohomish County, Wash., Democrat party official Mike Whitney. They seemed to be speaking the unexpressed thoughts of all liberals.
First off, let me express gratitude to this blogger for telling me that the TV critic for the San Diego Tribune is a “well-known and respected thinker on the Left.” I generally don’t look to TV critics for political insight; maybe I’ve been missing something.
Next: We lefties do express contempt for Fox News, but “seemed to feel the men deserved to be kidnapped”? Really? Of course every groups has its assholes. But here is Mr. Swift’s first example of liberals expressing contempt: Glenn Greenwald, who wrote:
Justifying the targeting of Fox News journalists in a war zone, on the ground that they are so biased in favor of the Bush administration that they are basically propaganda agents, is outrageous. It is in everyone’s interests to ensure that journalists of all stripes are free to operate in war zones and report on what is happening without fear of being targeted, and there is no legitimate moral basis for celebrating attacks on them. For that reason, anyone publicly justifying the Fox kidnappings would be viciously stigmatized and probably permanently shunned.
Hello? But then Glenn linked to a Power Line post by John Hinderaker, who wrote in a different context:
Given Reuters’s coverage of the conflict in Lebanon, it would perhaps be understandable if the Israelis started firing on Reuters vehicles.
So if a leftie wishes death on a journalists it’s bad, but if a rightie does it, that’s just fine.
Another example of an evil liberal expressing contempt for the Fox News journalists came from Bob Laurence, TV critic of the San Diego Union-Tribune. But in the linked article Laurence does not express contempt for the journalists. Instead, he speculates that the lack of MSM coverage reflects some coolness between Fox and the rest of the media.
Starting at the top with Roger Ailes, the Fox sales pitch has been to deride other media, to declare itself the one source of the real truth, the sole source of ‘fair and accurate’ news reporting. As a result, there’s not a reservoir of kinship or good will with Fox on the part of the rest of the news media. You can’t keep insulting people and then expect friendship when you need it.
That’s actually not too far from what the righties were saying — the MSM is not covering the story because they don’t like Fox News. And it’s no where near expressing contempt for the captured journalists or wishing they come to harm.
But at last, the frantic search through the Internets for liberals being hateful turned up former Snohomish County, Wash., Democrat party official Mike Whitney. Whitney wrote an opinion piece that does veer rather close to saying the journalists deserved to be kidnapped because they work for Fox News.
And you know the rightie rule — if one “liberal” says something nasty, no matter how obscure that liberal may be, he is “speaking the unexpressed thoughts of all liberals.”
I love the way righties believe they understand our thoughts even when we don’t express them.
For the record, I think Whitney is out of line, and that no journalist attempting to cover a war deserves to be kidnapped or fired upon by anyone for any reason. There, Mr. Swift; that’s an expressed thought.