May 22, 2004

This is Why

. . . I was so touchy about the manner in which the infamous Nick Berg "questions" were handled: "Bloggers Doubt Berg Execution Video" (via Violins on Television).

Of course, note that no actual blogger is linked or referenced in the piece. Al Jazeera: Your Source for Unattributed Sources!

Furthermore, I do think Al Jazeera would have raised these questions themselves had no one else helpfully stepped up to do so.

But as it happens, plenty of bloggers did step up--some with what can only be termed unbridled enthusiasm--thus earning a generic tip of the hat from Al Jazeera.

Think I'm being too harsh? See if you recognize any of these Al Jazeera talking points from your blog reading on the subject:

Even at first glance, internet bloggers were asking on Thursday why Nick Berg was wearing an orange jumpsuit just like US prisoners wear.
. . .
There are plenty of questions raised concerning the video too. The body is completely motionless even as the knife is brought to bear not so much as an instinctive wriggle.
. . .
More graphically, some claim that cutting the throat's artery would cause a significant amount of blood to gush out. But little emerges and when the head was raised not a drop of blood is seen to fall.
. . .
Other questions presented by bloggers are Berg's peculiar circumstances in the weeks before his death. Why would a private Jewish American citizen choose to wander around Iraq by himself?
And let me address that last one particularly, because it seemed to me that for many of the bloggers and commenters I read, this seemed the hardest notion to swallow: That a man would choose to go to such an unstable country as Iraq both to do some good and to make some money.

Here's what I will always wonder, a question to which I will probably never have the answer: What if Nick Berg had not been a Jew? What if he had been an evangelical Christian who felt "called" to apply his talents to rebuilding Iraq? Would his motives have been questioned and scrutinized as eagerly?

Or would such questions and scrutiny have been decried by the religious right portion of the blogosphere (note: I am not using "religious right" pejoratively) as scurrilous attacks by the left-wing media against a noble martyr?

Like I said, I'll never know. But it disturbs me to think that we may still be more willing to attribute the virtue of charity to Christians than we are to Jews.

(By the way, the first person who comments that if he'd been Christian, he'd never have been beheaded in the first place, gets the coveted Thanks for Missing the Point, Asshole Award. Besides, we don't know that. God knows what might have happened to these girls, for example, if not for the efforts of the Northern Alliance.)

Posted by Ilyka at May 22, 2004 09:01 PM in news

Hi! My name's Paul and for some unfathomable reason, Kevin Aylward gracefully permits me to spew all over his otherwise excellent blog, Wizbang!

I don't like people to disagree with me, so I deal with this by calling them names on their blogs like "coward" or "hypocrite." Then I leave an obviously fake email address so they can't respond to me! Tee hee! I'm such a clever blogger!

I also like to take their remarks out of context, infer motives to them that clearly aren't there in the actual text, and then write entire posts "exposing" them. It really does wonders for my raging insecurity! You should try it sometime!

MATT DRUDGE RULEZ! But I'm better than him!


L.L. Small P.
(Ladies Loathe Small Paul)

Posted by: Paul at May 23, 2004 12:12 AM

Wow, Paul. You absolutely reek of culture, class and a mastery of the finer points of discourse.


Posted by: Jim at May 23, 2004 04:46 AM