Thursday, February 03, 2005

Elite Fluff Patrol squadron leader is safe and sound and on page A16 of this morning's paper

Blame it on a quick read (due to oversleeping) or on the large photo of Condoleeza Rice that emphasizes her hair style (which as Cedric has noted appears to be some sort of hommage to Lucy from Peanuts), or just that as the paper overdoses on fluff, it's hard for even Elisabeth Bumiller to stand out.

But she's not M.I.A., she's teamed with Anne E. Kornblut on A16 for "A Show of Solidarity With Fingers Inked Purple." Reading the article on the train this morning, it became obvious that the squadron leader was on an extra special mission -- selling the "meaning" of it all.

Apparently to do so requires her to present Iraqi Safia Taleb al-Suhail as just another "Shiite married to a Sunni Kurd" and "daughter of a tribal sheik . . . shot down by Saddam Hussein"
and "wife of "an official in Iraq's Human Rights Ministry."

Just another dull homebody who reads Good Housekeeping?

Not quite. Either ignoring reality or just not interested in it (can even Bumiller determine which at this late date), Bumiller's need for a simplistic narrative robs Safia Taleb al-Suhail of her proper credentials:

Safia Taleb al-Suhail, editor of the paper Al-Manar Al-Arabi and head of the Arab and Islamic section of the humans rights group International Alliance for Justice, received several death threats, as did family members in Amman and Beirut. Suhail, the daughter of Sheikh Taleb al-Suhail, head of the Bani Tamim tribe who was murdered by Iraqi government agents in Beirut in 1994, said the threats came from regime agents. In April, she wrote several articles in the London-based paper Azzaman about the abuses committed by the Iraqi regime. She had organised a conference in Jordan on 9 March about human rights in Iraq, at which calls were made for legal action against Iraqi Vice-President Ibrahim al-Duri.

That's from Reporters Without Borders. Bumiller probably hears a name like that and scoffs, "Boarders! I don't take in any boarders! We really need to set some professional standards!" She should hypothetically talk.

But to any who read the earlier entry or noticed her MIA from the front page, please do not worry that she'd been whisked away in a "Vette" with Colin Powell -- Bumiller is present and accounted for. The paper just needed her extreme hackery to sell the "fingers inked purple" as "note worthy."
[Note: This post has been corrected for spelling and font of a quote section has been reduced.]