Friday, March 31, 2006

Other Items (Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now! today)

Ms. Carroll, who grew up in Michigan and graduated from the University of Massachusetts, was part of a small corps of intrepid young freelance reporters in Baghdad. She had learned more Arabic than many and had cultivated a keen interest in Iraqi society.
[. . .]
Dr. Alan Manevitz, a psychiatrist and trauma expert at New York Presbyterian Hospital, said it would not be surprising if she suffered from a degree of Stockholm syndrome, a condition in which hostages become sympathetic to their captors. The name comes from a bank robbery in Sweden in 1973 in which hostages were held in a vault for six days.
"It's a form of brainwashing in a deprived state where victims emotionally bond with the captors in order to survive," Dr. Manevitz said. He stressed that he did not know Ms. Carroll and could speak about the syndrome only in general terms. "People can feel helpless and hopeless, and any small act of kindness — not killing her, giving her food, letting her have a shower -- can lead to bonding with the captor." The captor, he said, becomes both tormentor and savior.

The above is from Dexter Filkins and Kirk Semple's "Reporter Freed in Iraq, 3 Months After Abduction" in this morning's New York Times. Dexy and Simple Semple. Well Dexy's not reading press releases live from the Green Zone for a change, end note notes that he is in "Kansas City, Mo." Maybe these cut and paste jobs are easy to do from there? Yes, Carroll did learn Arabic. A skill that would have come in handy for Filkins last Saturday when he was being fed information from a non-neutral organization.

Now Martha notes Ellen Knickmeyer's "'Like Falling Off a Cliff For 3 Months': Uncertainty of Captivity Ends for Reporter in Iraq" (Washington Post). Read her story and Dexy's and see what stands out. (Hint, we excerpted the problem with Dexy's above.)

Is Jill Carroll the new Patti Hearst? Dexy seems to think she is. Probably questions her sanity just because she didn't spit and polish for all the military officials he did. But let's talk reality here, the Times' so-called expert is a shame to his profession. He doesn't need to offer conjecture at this point. He's never met with Carroll. He has nothing to base a potential analysis on. He, in fact, has far less information than anything Bill Frist had when Frist was diagnosing by TV. It's embarrassing. (The Associated Press did the same thing yesterday, that doesn't lessen the Times' shame. Elaine pointed it out in a phone call last night and I'd hoped to note the AP in the indymedia entry but didn't have time.) Dr. Alan can save the insta-analysis for a call-in show. But he can drop the "doctor" before his name if he's truly attempting to diagnose someone he's never spoken to, never personally observed and knows nothing about. If his quote's been carefully arranged by Dexy (no surprise if it has been), then it's Dexy shame alone. If not, Dr. Alan has a bit of explaining to do.

You don't tell anyone emerging from an experience what their experience was. You let them, especially in Dr. Alan's profession, process it. Insta-analysis, if practiced by Dr. Alan, is embarrassing. The the Times suggests that it has occurred is humiliating for the paper. Regardless, the dime store psyche doesn't belong in the article, it's an insult to Carroll and the paper should be ashamed. Congratulations to the Washington Post for avoiding falling into cliches and, in fact, potential medical malpractice.

KeShawn was the first to note Margaret Kimberley's "Liberal Love for Right Wing Cory Booker" (Freedom Rider, The Black Commentator):

Wal-Mart heir John Walton used his Walton Family Foundation to channel $500,000 per year into the Newark pro-voucher movement. Booker is a board member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). That organization got off the ground in 1999 with $900,000 from the Walton Family Foundation and $2 million from the right wing Bradley Foundation. Who knew that liberals would support a Walton/Bradley supplicant? Booker knows they won't, so he tones down his connections to the right wing who put his name on the map.
Booker knows that liberal blogs like Huffington Post cater to very few conservatives and wouldn't let him write a single paragraph if he boasted of being in the thrall of Walton, Bradley, Noonan and Kristol. He has learned to tone down his connections to the right wing backing that put him on the map.
His supporters have done the same thing. If Booker had to pay for the positive media attention he has received it would have cost him millions in campaign dollars. As if he hadn't gotten enough of a free ride, a pro-Booker documentary about the 2002 campaign, "Street Fight," was nominated for an Academy Award. Thank goodness mating penguins generated more media buzz and deprived Booker of more free advertising.

Casual visitors who were confused last week, please note that Margaret Kimberley wrote the above.

Rod passes on today's scheduled topic for Democracy Now!:

* EXCLUSIVE: An hour with Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned linguist and political analyst. When the New York Times called him "arguably the most important intellectual alive" Chomsky responded, "What did I say wrong?" His new book is "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy"

Amy Goodman in Atlanta this evening. We'll go over the information for that and other appearances later today.

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[C.I. note: "Their" corrected (to "there") and "in" added to the sentence I left it out of.]