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Monday, April 03, 2006
 
Jill Carroll Redux

Frequent commenter Paul undoubtedly feels I owe Jill Carroll an apology over this post. I'm kinda torn on the issue; in my defense I linked to two articles on the controversy from ABC News and the Washington Post. Paul's apparently upset at the title:

Mujahedeen Jill Carroll?

But of course that question mark is there to indicate that I don't know, but that was what she was being accused of by others. Anyway, the controversy is now brewing hard over the reactions of bloggers.

Mark Coffey's "apology" to Debbie Schlussel seems just a tad ironic:

So yes, I’ll apologize. I’m sorry I assumed you knew that the right to dissent is one of the most basic rights a citizen of a democracy has…and I’m really sorry you couldn’t wait one day to start tearing down Jill Carroll - one lousy day, to celebrate the freedom of an American captive. And I’m sorry you feel the need to misrepresent my work.

Schlussel responds with both barrels:

Over the last few months, since Jill Carroll was kidnapped and upon her release, I posted her REAL views (here and here). They remain her views, and she has NOT denied or disavowed them. I never once cited a video that was made in captivity, as others did and as others are now claiming I owe an apology for. I do not. They owe me an apology for projecting the video onto my work. And for pretending to be able to read, when clearly they cannot.

Schlussel does indeed seem to be basing her opinion of Carroll on previous statements and not on the video tape.

Right Wing Nuthouse delivers a more temperate message.

I will not name names nor link to bloggers who thought the worst of Miss Carroll. They and their readers know who they are and I trust they will be suitably chastised. And if they have an ounce of integrity, they will write a public apology.

I do think it was probably premature to comment on the story last week, although I certainly did not attack Ms Carroll the way some others did, but linked to the controversy. My apologies to my readers if anybody was misled by the headline into believing I had taken any official position on the situation.

But let me say also that the calls for apologies here seem just a trifle disingenuous. At times we rush to judgment and others just as rapidly rush to nonjudgment, and then it rapidly degenerates into "I was right and you were wrong". Let's all take a couple deep breaths and see what the next few days bring us.

Meanwhile, Art Levine writes about some of the Lefty bloggers who used Carroll for their own purposes.

For instance, Think Progress, a normally insightful outlet of the Center for American Progress, attacked The New York Post's John Podhoretz for raising the possibility of a Stockholm syndrome. Instead of assuming that something was indeed amiss -- such as Carroll being forced to make a statement -- the Think Progress blogger responded to Carroll's passionate anti-Bush attacks in a positve way, because it matched the vituperative terms we on the left often use. He concluded, " This is a day that we should celebrate Jill Carroll's courage. She put herself in danger to try to give the world a more accurate picture of Iraq. It is totally inappropriate to assume that her description of how she was treated is motivated by anything other than a desire to tell the truth." (Boldface in original)

It never occurred to him, apparently, that as a working journalist who writes for a mainstream publication, The Christian Science Monitor, she would never voice such pro-terrorist views publicly(see again what she said about her captors) or lavish praise on her treatment if she had been allowed to speak freely. Those sorts of public statements are totally out of character for a professional journalist, even under the highly unlikely circumstances she actually held those beliefs.
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