[Promoted by susanhu. This is an important take on Jill Carroll’s situation that I’ve not read elsewhere.]

Written last night, cross-posted at the paper tiger

Well, one of them anyway. Hey, I’m pissed off about a lot of things tonight. But I’ll leave the gross outrages to other, more articulate bloggers (check out this post from Digby for a little soul-soothing, if you are in need of it, as I was).

Here’s my smaller outrage of the day: the headline to this AP article about abducted journalist Jill Carroll –

“New Video Shows Kidnapped Reporter Weeping.”

Followed by this lede and opening:

The U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, weeping and veiled, appeared on a new videotape aired Monday by Al-Jazeera, and the Arab television station said she appealed for the release of all Iraqi women prisoners.

The video was dated Saturday, two days after the U.S. military released five Iraqi women from custody.

Carroll, 28, was crying and wore a conservative Islamic veil as she spoke to the camera, sitting in front of a yellow and black tapestry. The Al-Jazeera newscaster said she appealed for U.S. and Iraqi authorities to free all women prisoners to help “in winning her release.”

Well, okay. It’s legitimate to report that Carroll was crying in the video. But to lead with it?continued below

Did the headlines about injured ABC anchorman Bob Woodruff read: “Wounded News Anchor Cries in Pain After Roadside Bombing”? Which he did, apparently. I mean, wouldn’t you?

Jill Carroll was abducted three weeks ago, and I don’t want to think too much about how she’s been treated and what kind of condition she’s in, because the whole situation is horrific and devastating. But to lead with the terror and degradation aspects of this strikes me as…I don’t know. Prurient? Sexist, certainly. A way to whip up the outrage level to support a war that most of the American public has grown weary of, maybe.

From what I’ve read about Jill Carroll, she is a brave, resourceful journalist who cares deeply about her work. Reducing her to a weeping victim in a headline is disrespectful and dehumanizing. The most important news here is that Carroll is still alive, or at least she was two days ago, more than a week after the deadline set by her kidnappers for her execution. And that’s what the headline should have said. “New Tape Shows Kidnapped Reporter Alive.” You know? Something like that.

Every time I see this fucking headline, which has been in the top news stories on Yahoo all day and all night, I feel sick. I am sick with outrage at her kidnappers, who really are thugs and barbarians and cowardly swine. I am sick with outrage that a talented woman has been reduced to a weak, weeping stereotype. And I am sick with outrage at an American President who started this war to fulfill neocon dreams of Imperial ambition and his own sick need to prove that he’s a bigger man than his father.

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