If the shoe (bomb?) fits… Patriotism, professionalism, military intervention, and journalistic integrity

Did Muntader az-Zaidi cross the line between professionalism and activism, or was he acting in the journalistic spirit?

Did Muntader az-Zaidi cross the line between professionalism and activism, or was he acting in the journalistic spirit?

Hopefully this will be my last post on “shoe-gate,” or, the “shoe intifada.” I’m heading off for South Africa in a few days and I need to concentrate on preparations.  So, as you can see from my extended subtitle, I intend to kill a lot of birds with one (shoe).

Ali the Translator, an Iraqi blogger, on the day of Muntader az-Zaidi gave his now famed send-off for his dearly beloved Bush, remarks, “No matter how funny it was, it was kinda disappointing at the same time cuz ‘Journalists’ are supposed to be professional and neutral.”

Consider also American blogger Rick Perlstein, who waves his finger at liberals:

Liberals should not make light of or license the physical assault on the leader of a sovereign state, no matter how much he’s deservedly hated. This is not how we do politics, unless we’re in favor something tending toward anarchy, or fascism.  This seems open and shut to me: the Iraqi journalist should go to jail for a rather long time.

And indeed, Perlstein may very well get his wish.  The BBC reports that az-Zaidi is getting a warm reception in Iraqi jail, and by “warm” I mean a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding. Which leads me to a troubling phenomenon: the defamation of Iraqis as “ungrateful” by American bloggers.

Continue reading