Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Too Disturbing for TV

According to an article prepared by Agence Française de Presse...

(I have to pause for a moment because I so enjoy the musical quality of that name, "Agence Française de Presse")

"...a recent video of kidnapped U.S. reporter Jill Carroll is 'too disturbing' for American television stations to broadcast."

I say, good for the broadcasters. Not only is the video too disturbing, but it can lead to unwarranted prejudices. (Similarly, the reluctance to broadcast footage of the 9/11 "tragedy" has only improved intercultural relations.)

Unlike the barbaric atrocities of Abu Ghraib that The New York Times selflessly displayed on its front page for 32 consecutive days, this nuanced kidnapping must be understood in a different light:

- The hostage, Ms. Carroll, raises a legitimate point in the video, that Iraqi prisoners should be released.

- The kidnapping is unrelated to Islam. Here's proof, from the article itself: "Iraq's Committee of Muslim Scholars, the top Sunni religious organization, also called for her release."

- Ms. Carroll is "tearful" and "weeping" in the video. A public airing of this would only contribute to anti-female stereotypes. In fact, why must this irrelevant detail even be mentioned?

- Are we any better than the kidnappers? After all, the United States is presently holding four Iraqi women prisoner!

Needless to say, none of this would even be an issue if we only pulled out of Iraq immediately, gave up all our weapons, and promised to never lift a finger of hegemonist aggression against anyone ever again.

"If you strike me, I will not strike back." History has proven that there is no more effective way of avoiding disputes.

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