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April 01, 2006

Why do these wingnuts hate Jill Carroll?

ThinkProgress has a transcript from Thursday's Imus in the Morning:

MCGUIRK: She strikes me as the kind of woman who would wear one of those suicide vests. You know, walk into the, try and sneak into the Green Zone.

IMUS: Oh, no. No, no, no, no.

MCCORD: Just because she always appears in traditional Arab garb and wearing a burka.

MCGUIRK: Yeah, what’s with the head gear? Take it off. Let’s see.

IMUS: No, no. This is not –

MCCORD: That’s why the Arab world called for her to be released, because, you know, she defended Iraqis. She was against the war in Iraq and, I wouldn’t be surprised if —

IMUS: Well, so are we. So am I!

MCCORD: Exactly. She cooked with them, lived with them.

IMUS: This is not helping.

MCGUIRK: She may be carrying Habib’s baby at this point.


IMUS: Shut up! I’m begging you to shut up. Both of you. I’m going to murder both of you.

MCCORD: Just because she slept with them doesn’t mean she slept in the manner he’s talking about.

MCGUIRK: Something stinks.

IMUS: You are an SOB Steve McCord. Stop it! I am begging you both. Stop it! Stop it now! Stop it! This is outrageous.

Bernard McGuirk is the executive producer of Imus in the Morning. Charles McCord is billed as Imus's "sidekick."

A commenter at Little Green Footballs says of Carroll:

"I've been watching this traitor bitch fawn all over her captors this morning. "Nice furniture, safe, nice clothes, they NEVER threatened me". I'm very glad you were so comforatble while working to undermine our efforts in Iraq. Now, wipe that muslim DNA from your face and confess to pre-planning this?"

"She's probably coming home with a suitcase full of cash (her kickback) and a dose of the clap."

It's almost like these guys are disappointed that Jill Carroll wasn't raped and tortured.

Carroll was still in captivity when she gave an interview wearing a headscarf in which she stressed that her kidnappers hadn't abused her in custody. Howie Kurtz mentions this almost as an aside:

As my colleagues in Baghdad point out, when that interview was taped, Carroll was still in the custody of a Sunni political party with ties to the insurgency. [WaPo]

Of course, the right wing attack squad won't be deterred by the fact that Carroll was forced to make the propaganda video as a condition of her release. [CSM] These smear mongers won't hesitate to use terrorist propaganda if they find it useful. These guys would just as happily cite a snuff film as "proof" that Jill Carroll was sleeping with the enemy.


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» Why Any Anger at Carroll? from The Website of LP: FBIHOP
Over at majikthise, they have a great post called Why do these wingnuts hate Jill Carroll? It uses the same jumping off points as I did in my posts, so it is similar, but she also adds a couple of things I didn't mention, along with some food for ... [Read More]


It's almost like they're disappointed that Jill Carroll wasn't raped and tortured.


I've been trying to figure this out well enough to post on it. The vitriol toward Carroll is pretty much identical to what we saw from the same people with Rachel Corrie. I've sensed a little bit of weirdness before from some on the right specifically re: young women whom they perceive as on the "other side." The sexual nature of the Carroll attacks confirms my feeling that there's something weird going on there. There's some big unifying pattern that connects the Carroll response, the Corrie response, Chris Muir's drawing and plotting, and Adam Yoshida's famous "comfort women" remark, but I'm less than 100% sure what it is.

I think these guys are indulging in victim-blaming because Jill Carroll's case is an embarrassment to them. Her abduction is very high-profile evidence that Iraq is not a safe place for journalists or anyone else.

I think their sexual animosity is typical of men who view women as property. If you see victims of violent crime as people, the immediate reaction is to blame the perp and sympathize with the victim. Whereas, if you see women as property, you also feel humiliated when other men take "your" women. One way to deal with that humiliation is to blame both the victim and the perpetrator for your discomfort.

Although it looks like that may've been a commenter, not Charles Johnson.

You're right Eli. The C&L post says that the comment was Charles-Johnson approved, but that it was a commenter who said it and not CJ himself.

Wow. That's pretty vile stuff. This Imus thing is a college radio program, right? Or was it a secret recording of the chatter in the line-up at the cafeteria in the university engineering faculty? A mainstream broadcaster would never permit such openly hateful slander, surely?

And should all this sexual innuendo be surprising? Do you know any guys like this who don't conflate sex and violence? For these guys Iraq is all about dominance, and since sex is also about dominance for them, the two are subconsiously coexetensive.


At LGF it is always the commenters who make those remarks but still it is Johnson's faults. Unlike most sites where these people are the Trolls LGF was created and is maintained specifically for them. It is a community where the hate filled can go and find their compatriots. Johnson knows this and continues to maintain it as a service to that community. Compare him to the guy who runs the bar where all the clansmen meet, plan, and return to gloat, maybe not burning and lynching himself but not exactly an innocent bystander either

I've noted some consistencies over the years regarding released hostages who were, in fact, treated decently during their captivity. The first media reports tend to focus on the former prisoner's comments on, and gratitude for, the respectful behavior of the kidnappers. We even hear thanks and generous words about the character and doting of the sentries. We don't get any idea as to whether the person, newly returned to freedom, has the slightest clue that they were real victims of a real crime, perpetrated by real terrorists, who have committed real atrocities upon other people. In the matter of Jill Carroll, her translator was shot dead by her kidnappers.

So what is going on? Why no condemnation of the bad guys, in proportion to our outrage and our worry over the fate of the imprisoned? Does she not know what we've been going through while she was taking daily showers and eating very well?

I suspect that the kidnapped individuals had a lot more to say about their experiences, and maybe some of the first-on-scene journalists asked wider ranging questions. However, the first questions that need asking are: Where you raped? Did they torture you? Could you urinate and defecate in private? Were the guards a bunch of voyeurs and leches? If the story is not barbarianism and a disgusting routine, then the story becomes, "Freed hostage says terrorists are really very nice guys."

But, how can she be so obtuse? I suspect she is not, and neither are other freed hostages over the years. I would like to hear more from Jill and maybe we will, eventually.

Now for a bit of speculation. I can't imagine Jill not being coached and indoctrinated on how to behave if kidnapped; perhaps by The Christian Science Monitor or a consultant or military briefer. The objective is to do what needs to be done to stay alive and wait for rescue or release. At the very least the rules call for engaging your captives on a personal basis to get them to see you on a human level, not as an object. Jill is fluent in the language and steeped in the culture. Whether coached or not, one of the best things she could do for future hostages, is to reinforce the decent behavior and release by her captors. This is going to stick in a lot of outraged craws.

Finally, there is every reason to suspect that Jill's release was secured by a ransom payment. A US State Department official at one of the first briefings announced, with excruciating carefulness in his sentence structure and choice of words, that no US official or US agent delivered any money to any of the terrorists. A simple, "I have no knowlegde of any ransom payment," would have been sufficient. In any case, we need to reinforce negotiating behavior on the part of the kidnappers, as well.

Welcome home, Jill! I'm so glad you're safe. I hope you will tell us more about your experience when you are ready to do so.

Imus is someone that I used to respect for his warped humor. But more than once he abused his position to attack people who could not fight back.

Some years ago, he did a promotional appearance in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania and stayed overnight there. He gave strict instructions to the hotel not to put any calls through.

His dim-bulb wife Deirdre called the hotel, and... they did not put her call through.

Well, he went into a purple rage the next day, criticizing the hotel and the operator there on national radio. It was a big story at the time. I stopped listening to him that day.

I have my suspicions about his well-publicized " Imus Ranch " for children as well.

He's one of these people who loves humanity but hates people. I do not wish him or his wife well.

Carroll denounced the statements she made while in captivity as soon as she was safely out of the country. It would be nice if Imus, et al. apologized.

This pissed me off so much I had to rant about it. That video she was forced to make could have easily ended with her decapitation ferchrissake. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Lindsay, you read much more of the blogosphere than I ever really get a chance to see. But I wonder how widespread the sentiments you're reporting on are. The closest I've seen to any criticism of Carroll, apart from what you report, was someone implicitly criticisizing her by contrasting her "I was well treated" with the fact that her kidnappers murdered her interpreter. To which that fellow was pummelled with responses. (This was on a list-serv, not a blog, so no links).

I guess I'm just concerned because it actually appears, from your link above, that your report is roughly fourth or fifth hand, and on what commentators on a given blog have said. This is not unlike what I've seen right-wingers do with comments they find on the Democratic Underground or the Daily Kos.

"MCGUIRK: She may be carrying Habib’s baby at this point."

"...wipe that muslim DNA from your face..."

Tell me again how these folks are distinguished from illiterate, hayseed Taliban?

>That video she was forced to make could have easily ended with her decapitation ferchrissake. What the hell is wrong with these people?

That's one of those "rants" that I would just call, um, "exactly what I was thinking."

Let's certainly hope that these sentiments were not widespread. It was only obvious how frightened she was, when she was forced to plead for her captors to be given everything they asked for. There is something called Stockholm Syndrome, which is understandable, but even if she didn't have that, she was being coerced with a very terrifying situation. Everyone else who's been captured has been that frightened too.

And the sexual mudslinging is, I think, known as "stretching." When someone goes over in a spirit of kindness and tries to help, people either disparage her kindness as the naivete of a silly little girl, or make it out to be "spreading your legs for the enemy." Consider the source; these aren't deep thinkers we're talking about here. I'm prepared to assume that most on the right are also glad she's back, and aren't going to try to grasp any straw so they can swift-boat her, like these few people seem to be doing.

If there's bitterness toward her, it seems clearly to be due to the fact that she was there in the spirit of outreach to the Iraqis, instead of just blindly hating them. But since our men and women in uniform over there are often shown on our nightly news doing just such humanitarian work, it seems very wrong to call her a traitor just for that. Personally, I was very concerned about her, and I'm just very glad that she's back. Lay off the woman. Assume the best about her, and give her some peace and quiet. She's one of our people, and I'm thankful that she's safe.

Just went to the Associated Press wire, and found:

Carroll: Statements Made Under Threat

- - - - - - - - - - - -

By MATT MOORE Associated Press Writer

April 01,2006 | RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Protected by the U.S. military and far from the country where she had been held hostage, Jill Carroll strongly disavowed statements she had made during captivity in Iraq and shortly after her release, saying Saturday she had been repeatedly threatened.

In a video, recorded before she was freed and posted by her captors on an Islamist Web site, Carroll spoke out against the U.S. military presence. But in a statement Saturday, she said the recording was made under threat. Her editor has said three men were pointing guns at her at the time.

"During my last night in captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video. They told me I would be released if I cooperated. I was living in a threatening environment, under their control, and wanted to go home alive. So I agreed," she said in a statement read by her editor in Boston.

"Things that I was forced to say while captive are now being taken by some as an accurate reflection of my personal views. They are not."


"I will not engage in polemics. But let me be clear: I abhor all who kidnap and murder civilians, and my captors are clearly guilty of both crimes," she said.


"This has been a taxing 12 weeks for me and for my family," she said. "Please allow us some quiet time alone, together."

Once again: "I will not engage in polemics." I think we've got a rare person here: someone who doesn't yell, and someone who thinks for herself. This is a real reporter. Welcome back home, Jill.

On third thought, maybe it's neither the fact that she's female, nor the humanitarian work; maybe it's just that the right-bloggers don't like reporters.

I think it's just misogyny. They both say they were against the war.

It would seem you have a poor comprehension of how stupid the human animal can be, Lindsay.
Check out Al-Jazeera's Jan 25 report with different essays on the situation in Iraq ( Iraq 3 Years On ). Reasonable people with the means to do so are getting out : many of the remainder are marginalized and not peaceful, moral, nor considerate. You get the idea. Admittedly, such a characterization is overdone : the breakdown in civil life is not. People do react to stresses imposed on them, often in reprehensible ways. Fear/Anger is not a reasonable nor conciliatory primal driver.
How does this relate to the twisted blamewars going on ? Innocents who are not at hand may safely be derided. It is merely the idiocy of those who are so small they strive to look "big" by running others down. Such is the level of the gutter. It transcends race, culture and geography. ( That last could be from Dickens. Add time to the list.)

Re the comments on Little Green Footballs-

It is one of the most important websites. It is a daily must-read. It has the moral courage to confront the evil of Islam ( " Religion of Peace " ) and damns it with its own words on a regular basis. Its in-your-face, but it is one of the small number of websites that is essential.

Eli compares Jill Carroll with Rachel Corrie. I think that Jill Carroll is a good person who had the bad judgement to roam around Iraq. Rachel Corrie was a horrid person who was stupid enough to jump in front of a large earthmover. She had a problem with the Jewish state, and should be a candidate for a Darwin Award.


Imus harms noone. Bad and stupid and played out as he is, I don't recall him chopping anyone's head off or stoning them to death, as did our Taliban friends.


Lindsay's and verbatim's comments about sexual dominance and women as property are just silly. Imus is a senile moron with declining ratings. He makes " outrageous " comments about women and men and everyone. Reading anything more into it is a little bit of dorm-room philosophy.

Much respect, Phantom, but I still wish that you wouldn't fan the flames of hatred against the muslims. From the days of Ali onward, there's only been a tiny minority of about 1% of muslims that support terrorism. The majority of muslims don't believe in terrorism or annihilation of the "infidel." Look at the Ottoman Empire: warlike they were, but when they had conquered a people, they incorporated non-muslims and allowed them to flourish. Remember, the Jews of Iberia fled Catholic Spain to come to the muslim Ottoman Empire, because the Ottomans were not only far less likely to be violent to them, but allowed them to make a positive contribution. And the Ottomans were the standard-bearers for Islam for 800 years. Why judge the whole religion by this present age only, and by the terrorists only? Why not judge them by their best instead of their worst?

Terrorism is a problem, and there is violence from the muslims in southeast asia, and those in the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Such chaos happens when a people doesn't have a settled political system. These are power struggles. When they hit us, then yes, we must hit back, but the enemy is the small terrorist faction, not the whole religion, any more than all of Christianity is to blame for the Spanish Inquisition, or all Buddhists are violent, because of the way the Mauryan emperors conquered.

I know you may have a religion of your own to which you're partial, but if it's Judaism, you could as well call Judaism intrinsically violent because King David was a warrior king. That's just as wrong. Judaism and Christianity are different from Islam, in that the prophet, Moses or Jesus, had a separate warrior-king, David or Constantine the Great, to do the conquering and preach the evangel, whereas Mohammed had to be both the prophet and the conqueror. But that doesn't make either of the former two religions intrinsically non-violent, nor the latter intrinsically violent. You can pull passages from the Koran to make it seem that way, but same with the pentateuch or the whole Old Testament. If you incite hatred and advise armed response against all muslims, then how can you point fingers against them for being violent?

But thank you, little green footballs did provide the complete quote that Associated Press truncated above:

"I want to be judged as a journalist, not as a hostage. I remain as committed as ever to fairness and accuracy - to discovering the truth - and so I will not engage in polemics."

Jill Carroll: "I want to be judged as a journalist, not as a hostage. I remain as committed as ever to fairness and accuracy - to discovering the truth - and so I will not engage in polemics."

Now there's a real professional journalist, and an integrated human being! What a role model!

and on what commentators on a given blog have said.

And, of course, what the executive producer and co-host of one of the top-rated nationally syndicated talk radio shows said.

Phantom: I compared the standard LGF reaction to Carroll with the standard LGF reaction to Corrie - I wasn't comparing the two individuals. There's disgusting, dehumanizing, irrational hatred for Carroll, and there was disgusting, dehumanizing, irrational hatred for Corrie. Corrie never did anything to warrant anyone having anything but contempt for people who get off on the thought of her dying a terrifying early death. People, apparently, like you.

This is fairly pathetic to witness, but I think the proof is in the pudding. The HOSTAGE had to release a statement on national television telling the country that she was indeed a hostage because conservative shit-heels couldn't slow down long enough to provide thoughtful analysis on a subject. Screw all the right-wing/left-wing nonsense. We're now divided into the terminally stupid and the intellectually fat. The things this moron producer is quoted as saying are two analytically challenged steps away from calling for race war. He'd probably enjoy clubbing (baby) seals for a living if it paid as much as producing junk radio-and that's (probably) not hyperbole. I think there's a real disconnect and David Letterman put his finger on it when he was talking about Cindy Sheehan: "See, I'm very concerned about people like yourself who don't have [anything] but endless sympathy for a woman like Cindy Sheehan. Honest to Christ." Five friggin' year olds know better.

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