Paul Mirengoff of the popular blog PowerLine takes issue with my defense of Jill Carroll from right-wing attacks in a post called “‘Think Progress’ rallies to the defense of terrorists”:
By rejecting criticism of Carroll’s comments, and attacking those who place them in their proper perspective, the Think Progress author joins Carroll in casting the terrorists in a far better light than they deserve. Carroll did so after nearly three months of intense emotional distress. What is Think Progress’s excuse?
A couple of comments:
1. The authors of Powerline and other right-wing pundits are not in a position to put Carroll’s experience in its “proper perspective.” At most, they’ve seen a few seconds of video out of an 82-day ordeal. Just because Carroll’s initial comments didn’t fit in with their preferred narrative doesn’t mean there is something wrong with her.
2. Everyone agrees that terrorists and kidnappers are bad people. Powerline and others confuse Carroll’s efforts as a journalist to accurately describe her conditions in captivity with some subversive effort to rehabilitate the reputation of terrorists.
3. It’s quite possible that, in time, Carroll will provide more details about her treatment in captivity. These comments may or may not be completely consistent with what she said moments after being released. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, it seems inappropriate to attack her mental state, her patriotism or her character because she didn’t use the right’s preferred buzzwords about terrorists.
Jill Carroll being released from captivity is a piece of genuine good news from Iraq. Why is it so hard for the right to accept it.