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CNN reports Daniel Pearl is dead
February 21, 2002 1:37 PM   Subscribe

CNN reports Daniel Pearl is dead
Damn.
posted by brookish (69 comments total)

 
The WSJ announces they have reason to believe it's true.
posted by brookish at 1:39 PM on February 21, 2002


That's upsetting, if no longer surprising. It's a real shame they didn't find him in time.
posted by donkeyschlong at 1:40 PM on February 21, 2002


From MediaNews.org:

Statement by Peter R. Kann, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and Paul E. Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, on the death of Daniel Pearl

We now believe, based on reports from the U.S. State Department and police officials of the Pakistani province of Sind, that Danny Pearl was killed by his captors.

We are heartbroken at his death. Danny was an outstanding colleague, a great reporter, and a dear friend of many at the Journal.

His murder is an act of barbarism that makes a mockery of everything Danny's kidnappers claimed to believe in. They claimed to be Pakistani nationalists, but their actions must surely bring shame to all true Pakistani patriots.

We will, in coming months, find ways, public and private, to celebrate the great work and good works Danny did. But today is a day to grieve. This loss is, of course, most painful for Danny's family, in this country and elsewhere. We ask our colleagues in the press to respect their privacy, and to permit them to grieve undisturbed. The Wall Street Journal is a public institution, but the Pearls are private citizens. We hope also that our colleagues, too, will be permitted some time and space to begin the very difficult process of making peace with this profound loss.
posted by krewson at 1:45 PM on February 21, 2002


I was just wondering about this. Damn, indeed.
posted by ColdChef at 1:46 PM on February 21, 2002


Wow. Time.com wins the race for fastest obit. They obviously, cynically, had this prepared in part in preparation for this eventuality.
posted by brookish at 2:21 PM on February 21, 2002


"A senior U.S. administration source said law enforcement officials received a videotape in recent hours that gave them reason to believe the 38-year-old Pearl was dead. The source would not elaborate." Terrible. A few weeks ago someone said that perhaps the US bombed the wrong country.
posted by tranquileye at 2:21 PM on February 21, 2002


With all due respect -- and no aspersions on Time's cynicism in everything else -- that's not really an obit ... it's just a story. An obit would have reviewed his career...
posted by SpaceKadet at 2:25 PM on February 21, 2002


Drudge: "FBI had obtained a videotape purportedly showing Pearl being killed..."
posted by tranquileye at 2:28 PM on February 21, 2002


Cynicism? Yeah, and funeral parlors actually prebuy coffins, apparently cynically predicting that someone will die.
posted by HTuttle at 2:31 PM on February 21, 2002


It's quite a common thing for news organizations to write and periodically update obits for Important People who will, it can be reasonably expected, die someday.



Obviously Danny Pearl was not exactly Bob Hope, but if indeed Time's piece was prepared in advance, that's not cynicism, it's just the news business.
posted by Sapphireblue at 2:32 PM on February 21, 2002


Double faux pas: my break tags and my more or less exact echo of HTuttle's sentiment. Don't mind me, just passing through.
posted by Sapphireblue at 2:33 PM on February 21, 2002


i've been seeing trailers for "harrison's flowers" (2000) in theaters recently. i thought it was eerie at first, but then i was thinking they might be trying to capitalize on a very unfortunate situation...
posted by kliuless at 2:38 PM on February 21, 2002


I knew it would end up this way. Danny just isn't a valuable hostage. Imagine if they kidnapped a high ranking US military official or a politician.

Maybe I'm just being cynical, but he's a reporter for the Wall Street Journal not exactly an international figure.
posted by skallas at 2:46 PM on February 21, 2002


*waiting for the innevitable claims that Pearl brought it on himself*

Or is this somehow different now that it looks like it's true?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:48 PM on February 21, 2002


I would submit this is not news. Moral of the story: if you are (1) American journalist (2) working for pro-business publication with (3) Jewish-sounding family name, go to Pakistan at your own risk.

And at 2:47 pm PST, in the other thread, we have a winner!
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:15 PM on February 21, 2002


Remember what Moe said about the Iranian hostages: "Aah...they shouldn't have been there in the first place."

Arguably not the most charitable thing vis-a-vis Mr. Pearl...but the comment from the other thread is sort of accurate. "At your own risk" certainly seems like sage advice. I heard on CNN that several other journalists (unsure of affiliation or country) have died in Afghanistan in the last few months, too, outnumbering US military casualties of war. I just hope Pearl was able to extract some blood from his captors in some way.
posted by davidmsc at 3:20 PM on February 21, 2002


He did bring it on himself, in that he made decisions in doing his job that left him vulnerable. That's much different than recklessness, or "asking for it."

He was doing his job, by all descriptions. He wasn't some daredevil jumping off a cliff with a hang-glider and a video camera strapped to his butt. He was trying to talk to people who are important to the story of what's happening there, in order to tell the world about it.

Any reporter in a dangerous place - whether it's a Bronx crackhouse or a Pakistani ghetto - essentially takes risks. To report those stories, they have to. Mostly, they survive.
posted by sacre_bleu at 3:21 PM on February 21, 2002


I would submit this is not news. Moral of the story: if you are (1) American journalist (2) working for pro-business publication with (3) Jewish-sounding family name, go to Pakistan at your own peril.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:27 PM on February 21, 2002


Prewriting obits of famous people is a standard entry-level reporting job. Then they're all stored in a file someplace, so they can be yanked the moment the person dies. All you usually have to do is tack on the fresh first paragraph, and voila. There's a term for the file they keep all those pre-obits in, but I'm blanking on what it is. (It's not the "morgue"; that's where the files of already-published newspapers are kept.)
posted by aaron at 3:28 PM on February 21, 2002


Paris:

1. You could argue it's not appropriate for MeFi, but "not news"?

2. What's your point? Serves him right, you're saying?
posted by sacre_bleu at 3:31 PM on February 21, 2002


Executed on video apparently. Bastards.
posted by maudlin at 3:33 PM on February 21, 2002


perhaps the US bombed the wrong country
Yes, but the Pakistanis have nuclear bombs. The possibility of war against them is pretty complicated, I'd say

And, about the "inevitable claims that Pearl brought it on himself", there's only one thing to say. All of us have to thank brave journalists like Daniel Pearl, because without them, all we'd be able to read on the papers and watch on tv would be propaganda. All of us who actually like democracy tonight should think about people like Daniel Pearl, and thank them. And maybe even pray for Pearl if we do such things.

If somebody thinks that "he brought it on himself", OK, it's not illegal to be a cynical asshole: but don't complain about bad journalism if you have ideas like that
posted by matteo at 3:36 PM on February 21, 2002


Pearl leaves behind a wife and an unborn child who will never know him. There isn't punishment enough for the bastards who committed this senseless act. The WSJ called it barbarism, I think they were being kind.

And ParisParamus, he did go at his own peril, and this is the result. Whether it's "news" or not is subjective, but why so glib about a dead man? he didn't ask for this, nor deserve it. Can't a murder victim be spared your schaudenfraude for at least a day?
posted by Dreama at 3:38 PM on February 21, 2002


There's no schaudenfraude going on. Death is almost always very depressing. But my reaction is similar to those who climb Mr. Everest and die, especially if they have families. I consider such conduct irresponsible. I am also somewhat indignant about sympathy being misdirected.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:55 PM on February 21, 2002


When I said "not news," I simply meant that I assumed he was murdered weeks ago.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:58 PM on February 21, 2002


Paris is absolutely right. We should send only terminally ill reporters, with no families or friends to speak of, to Pakistan to report the news. Furthermore, he's correct in the assertion that you should feel sympathy for a murder victim, and his/her family, ONLY if said victim was murdered while in the belly of a heavily fortified bunker, attended by armed guards and wild dogs.
posted by Doug at 4:01 PM on February 21, 2002


Doug. This was Pakistan post-9/11. It wasn't Paramus, Paris, or even Damascus. Still, it does suck.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:06 PM on February 21, 2002


I consider such conduct irresponsible.

I give thanks there are people willing to serve society in this way. If there weren't, all we'd get for information on such matters would be predigested fully spun press releases from the White House.

You might be cool with that, Paris, but I'd consider that a Bad Thing.
posted by sacre_bleu at 4:07 PM on February 21, 2002


yes, it was pakistan post 9/11, and the reason he was there - unlike people climbing mount everest - was so that you and i could learn about what's happening in the world around us. journalists put themselves at risk all the time so that the rest of us can participate in a culture that wants immediate information. this was not thrillseeking. it seems callous of you to equate it.
posted by judith at 4:08 PM on February 21, 2002


I mean in no wise to countenance an act of this sort. I feel it is reprehensible, wasteful, and accomplishes nothing.

But Dreama, not be flip or anything, even the bad guys leave behind wives and kids sometimes. We are so often subjected to the parade of disconsolate relatives used to heighten our sense of outrage. I sincerely grow weary of having that emotional button pushed. One can almost hear the rush of journalistic piranhas to capture the horrified wife on film and ask her meaningless questions about her emotional state to sate the public lust for this sort of thing. I do not understand it or necessarily blame the reporters: people really seem to want to see this kind of thing.

This act was heinous on its own (lack of) merits, even if Pearl had been a bachelor orphan.
posted by umberto at 4:09 PM on February 21, 2002


Maybe the type of morons who kidnapped him will realize more than ever we won't negotiate. Oh wait, they still think Osama didn't do it. Nevermind.
posted by owillis at 4:12 PM on February 21, 2002


it seems callous of you to equate it.

To clarify, this is horrible. This sucks. But it's not surprising. And yes, reporters do perform a very important function, which distinguishes them from climbers.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:17 PM on February 21, 2002


Pearl didn't "bring this on himself." He took the risk in much the same way that guys like Ernie Pyle did in World War II. And yet people back then didn't call Pyle's death "an act of barbarism," even though the same principles applied: journalist enters dangerous situation and gets killed in an untimely way. While I'm incredibly sorry to hear that these guys killed Pearl, where the hell was CNN for the 8 other journalists killed in Afghanistan back in November? What about Johanne Sutton, Pierre Billaud and Volker Handloik, who were ambushed and shot by Taliban troops, to name just three? Surely, those were acts of barbarism too?

Oh yeah, those other reporters weren't the Wall Street Journal. They didn't have an unborn kid. They weren't working for the biggest financial newspaper in the nation. In other news, the other reporters didn't entail the "model citizen" type that Pearl epitomized so well.

The notion that one type of execution is more "barbaric" than another, that one reporter's life is worth more than Pearl's, absolutely appalls me. If you ask me, the real "act of barbarism" is prioritizing one life over another based on newspaper status and marital situation, particularly when these journalists take tremendous risks to give jingoistic warbloggers the opportunity to post smarmy wisecracks while safe in the homeland.
posted by ed at 4:31 PM on February 21, 2002


They did it on video so they could show their friends. Like those kids who vandalize stuff.

Also in another thread I said something about him wearing a big puffy gay jacket but I'd like to say that I'm ashamed already.
posted by Settle at 4:32 PM on February 21, 2002


This is so horrible. I just found this out on MeFi. My dad is a president with Dow Jones and is going to Europe next week, my uncle works at the Journal as well, and was Danny's boss during their time in London (he is in NYC now). I haven't talked to them yet, but I know that my uncle has had a hard time sleeping since the kidnapping happened. This is awful.

And many thanks to Matt for banning the jerkoff who would have trampled on this thread were he still around.

And please, for the love of all that is sacred and pure, forget the he brought it on himself crap. We bring it on ourselves every day we step out of the house.

I'd like to say that I'm ashamed already.

I hope so.
posted by adampsyche at 4:39 PM on February 21, 2002


(3) Jewish-sounding family name

Paris - Do you really think that the people who did this went through a laundry list of every reporter in Pakistan at the time and picked one because of the "sound" of his name? Is there any evidence that an assumption of his ethnicity figured into this at all? Given the hundreds of people from the Western media in Pakistan at the time, do you think its likely that at least a few had names that sounded more Jewish than "Pearl?" (and no, I'm not propogating some Jewish-media conspiracy, just thinking in terms of the odds)

Or are you just, in your own small way, exploiting this man's death to once again flog your own persecution complex and paint every tragedy that happens in the Middle East as a direct attack on Jews, and Israel by extension?

He died because he was American, high-profile, and in a vulnerable position, trying to get an interview. He died because he was willing to take a risk and put himself at the mercy of some very dangerous people, hoping that they would have some respect for the customary amnesty given journalists in the center of a conflict. He miscalculated, they broke the rules, and now he's dead. Had some other reporter taken that risk instead of Pearl, it would be their body in a ditch instead of his. Don't insult his memory and our intelligence by construing the situation to fit your prejudices.
posted by hipstertrash at 4:54 PM on February 21, 2002


perhaps the US bombed the wrong country

Say what?! Because some jerkoff/deranged militants committed an isolated and hateful crime? Sometimes I'm really not sure who the bad guys are.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:58 PM on February 21, 2002


hipstertrash - Is there any evidence that an assumption of his ethnicity figured into this at all?


To be fair to Paris, one of the men in custody for kidnapping Pearl, did say that "Pearl was kidnapped because he was a Jew working against Islam"
posted by rsinha at 5:00 PM on February 21, 2002


Just wondering if anyone was actually surprised by this news? Don't want to sound cynical, but how many times do nationalist terrorist groups take a hostage, tell you they will kill him unless you do certain things, then chicken out when you refuse to do them?
posted by Hildago at 5:03 PM on February 21, 2002


the wsj put up a selection of daniel pearl's work. i think you might need a subscription tho.
posted by kliuless at 5:10 PM on February 21, 2002


rsinha - Thank you. Point taken. I hadn't seen this item. If this suspect is proven guilty, and if his statement accurately reflects the motivations of the people that he answers to, I stand corrected and I apologize to Paris.
posted by hipstertrash at 5:18 PM on February 21, 2002


Just wondering if anyone was actually surprised by this news?

Is suprise really relevant?
posted by amanda at 5:34 PM on February 21, 2002


But Dreama, not be flip or anything, even the bad guys leave behind wives and kids sometimes. We are so often subjected to the parade of disconsolate relatives used to heighten our sense of outrage. I sincerely grow weary of having that emotional button pushed.

I'm sorry if my comments seemed to suggest that this act is more horrible because of who Pearl leaves behind. It is reprehensible regardless -- however, my comments were a reflection of my personal sense of heartbreak for Daniel's widow and the child who will never have the privilege and pleasure of knowing his/her father.

However, a big part of the reason why murder (and other untimely and/or violent death) is so reviled is because of the impact it makes on those who are left behind. Of course it is a tragedy that a life was lost, but the tragedy doesn't end with the victim. Survivors are victims as well, and their suffering can go on for years without abatement. While a "parade" of survivors for no purpose other than emotional ploy-making is becoming a tired tactic, I don't think that the plight of survivors should be overlooked entirely, either.
posted by Dreama at 5:42 PM on February 21, 2002


This really does not seem to be a big deal to me. One person died.

This is fodder for those who say that the US can't handle a real war.

Was every death front-page news in WW2? Vietnam? No. Why is it now?
posted by benh57 at 6:12 PM on February 21, 2002


Actually, hipstertrash, I was exploiting your blindness regarding certain realities in the world. Thank you, rsinha.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:22 PM on February 21, 2002


Journalists Memorial
posted by todd at 6:23 PM on February 21, 2002


This really does not seem to be a big deal to me. One person died.

I think it bears to mention that he was a journalist, not a soldier. He was also kidnapped to make a statement and as a tactic of terror, not of warfare (and yes, I am making a distinction). There have been more than a handful of US deaths. I think the circumstances in this case deviate a little from normal combat-related deaths.

Operative words: "to me".
posted by adampsyche at 6:29 PM on February 21, 2002


I give thanks there are people willing to serve society in this way.

How about this: Join the military and defend your country, where you may go to dangerous places, but they protect you in a significant way. Or be a journalist. But don't be a journalist AND become a father AND go to a place on the verge of anarchy where lots of people hate you for the aforementioned statuses.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:36 PM on February 21, 2002


ParisParamus, do you feel bad when an Israeli citizen is murdered? I mean, it's irresponsible to raise children in Israel, isn't it, with such a good chance of them being killed? When I hear of a bomb going off there, I think, "Well, they should have known better than to live in such a dangerous place."

Your argument is silly, and offensive.
posted by Doug at 6:52 PM on February 21, 2002


I'm taking back my comment about being ashamed. I'm not ashamed, I merely regret not thinking of something funnier.

My new opinion is that Pakistan is a shitty place to be and of all people a Journalist knows this the best. Though it isn't the man's fault, he had no way of knowing. Oddly, I'll have more sympathy for the journalist who is next kidnapped, one who was oblivious the the dangers of the outdoors.

All this because you hoped for my shame, Adampsych. Though I don't really blame you; it is very common for people like you to get huffy when one of your own has his throat slit in a place neither you nor I have the balls to visit.

(If that doesn't piss you off nothing will)
posted by Settle at 6:54 PM on February 21, 2002


Well, personally the reason I think pearl was such big news was because his death was 'drawn out', and because there was some hope of his release, not because of his rank or 'citizen-modelness'

Anyway, I do think Pearl is a little responsible for what happened to him, he was being reckless, in fact, the group that ended up kidnapping and killing him wasn't even the same group he thought he was going to go meet.

I mean, he got into a car, unarmed, with a group of unknown Nationalist (as opposed to Islamist) terrorists. Not really the smartest thing to do.

A while ago I read a story written by a Newsweek reporter, I think, about a time someone drove a truck up to the Washington monument. He claimed to have a bomb, and opposed Nuclear weapons. The bomber offered to be interviewed, and the military there decided to allow the Newsweek reporter to go because he didn't have kids and a family of his own.

That seems reasonable to me, we don't send mothers and fathers off to fight in the trenches. Pearl was reckless with his life when other people were depending on him (of course, his family will probably get a ton of money now, but I'm sure they'd still rather have him back safe and sound)

Maybe pearl was providing a service to the world, but I don't think his death needs to be mourned anymore then those countless thousands of people who died in Afghanistan or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 7:09 PM on February 21, 2002


do you feel bad when an Israeli citizen is murdered? I mean, it's irresponsible to raise children in Israel, isn't it, with such a good chance of them being killed?

I didn't say I didn't feel bad that Mr. Pearl was murdered (although I am somewhat irked at the exposure his capture/murder has generated).

As for the rest of your question, several things come into play. In the first place, of the 6 million or so inhabitants of Israel, less than 300 were killed in the last two years or so from terrorism. I think that currently, the US murder rate is still several times higher than Israel's. So, there's not such a "good chance."

As for Jews living in Gaza or Hebron, I think they are wacky. And to bring children there is irresponsible. Which doesn't mean the deaths of such people are not sad and depressing.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:18 PM on February 21, 2002


Paris - Accepting a reality of the world (there is a sizable undercurrent of anti-semitism among some of the more radical elements in islam) is not the same as viewing the world with a bias formulated around said reality. The fact that there was some truth to your statements in this instance does not validate your skewed worldview. It just means that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

I was quick to jump to a conclusion in this case, hence my apology. But when a person cries wolf as much as you do, dont be surprised when people are quick to jump to such conclusions.
posted by hipstertrash at 7:22 PM on February 21, 2002


he was being reckless, in fact, the group that ended up kidnapping and killing him wasn't even the same group he thought he was going to go meet.

And I'm so sure he knew that. Omniscience is a wonderful thing for others, right delmoi?

That seems reasonable to me, we don't send mothers and fathers off to fight in the trenches.

Are you really ignorant enough to buy your own crap? How many cops and firemen are mothers or fathers? Are you exempt from the military just because you get married or spawn? You don't think those occupations carry more implied hazard than being a journalist in an ALLIED country?
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:26 PM on February 21, 2002


Contrary to some of the racist, reductive crap being spewed here, most Pakis find this sort of stuff just as horrifying, and given the embarrassment for the government (both US and Pak), I'm fairly certain the comeuppance for these kidnappers will make Joe Pesci's whack at the end of Casino look like a Mandy Moore movie, rest assured.
posted by artifex at 7:28 PM on February 21, 2002


But when a person cries wolf as much as you do...

Do you even know what that expression means?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:32 PM on February 21, 2002


Contrary to some of the racist, reductive crap being spewed here, most Pakis find this sort of stuff just as horrifying, and given the embarrassment for the government (both US and Pak)

I don't doubt this, but a tiny minority is capable of rendering a place dangerous.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:37 PM on February 21, 2002


You don't think those occupations carry more implied hazard than being a journalist in an ALLIED country?

France, yes. Pakistan presently, no.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:40 PM on February 21, 2002


I just scanned this page so maybe someone else caught this and I didn't see it, but the US government got the videotape because one of their agents went in posing as a journalist. Not that I'm an agent myself, but I imagine this goes on all the time. Agents posing as journalists, so from the bad guys' perspective, all journalists are now agents, or could be. Any American tourist could be an agent for that matter. What would an American be doing in Afghanistan now unless they're spies? Either directly for the american government or indirectly for the world media? The bad guys don't care about the distinction. To them we're all the enemy.

I'm just saying that the reason journalists are in more danger nowadays than before is partly because government agents do pose as journalists on occasion, and the bad guys are wise to this. They can't say, "Oh you're with CNN? You can go." Well, they could but they'd probably be dead a lot faster which would be good for us but bad for them. Yet on the opposite side of that coin, they're not gonna waste their time attacking all journalists. Only the ones they perceive as a threat. For example, if Osama could get his hands on Christiane Amanpour, he'd have her head on a pike in a nanosecond. However, if I got on a plane to Afghanistan and walked around claiming to be a journalist, they'd take one look at me and know I'm an incompetent nerd so they wouldn't waste a bullet.

Also, awhile back I said the real reason why Pearl was targetted wasn't just because he was a journalist, but because he was getting too close. MSNBC is reporting that Pearl may have been lured into a trap. He was following the virtual paper trail via email between the shoe bomber and Pakistani militants.

I don't get to say "I told you so" very often cuz I'm usually wrong. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 9:37 PM on February 21, 2002


I never met Daniel Pearl. I wish I'd had the chance. I loved his writing: it was crisp and clear and it was clear to me that he *listened* to the people he met. We are all the poorer for his death. Damn damn damn.
posted by realjanetkagan at 10:39 PM on February 21, 2002


The notion that one type of execution is more "barbaric" than another, that one reporter's life is worth more than Pearl's, absolutely appalls me.

Ed, this act was beyond barbaric. Pearl's throat was not merely slit; he was essentially beheaded on the videotape. They put a camera in front of him and had some terrorist start "interviewing" him to divert his attention, and then some psycho came up from behind him and started slicing. So yeah, to me that ranks a tad higher on the scumbag scale than merely putting a bullet through his brain quickly and painlessly.

Pearl didn't "bring this on himself." He took the risk in much the same way that guys like Ernie Pyle did in World War II. And yet people back then didn't call Pyle's death "an act of barbarism," even though the same principles applied: journalist enters dangerous situation and gets killed in an untimely way.

Pyle was killed by sniper fire on the front lines of WWII, at a time when war reporters were given the (technical) rank of captain (I think), generally wore army uniforms, etc. In short, to the Japanese he looked like just another soldier, and he was taken out according to the rules of war. That's why it wasn't called an "act of barbarism."

While I'm incredibly sorry to hear that these guys killed Pearl, where the hell was CNN for the 8 other journalists killed in Afghanistan back in November? What about Johanne Sutton, Pierre Billaud and Volker Handloik, who were ambushed and shot by Taliban troops, to name just three? Surely, those were acts of barbarism too?

Yes, and they all got a good bit of coverage in the US. Not as much as Pearl, but a) when they were killed there was still a lot of war going on, and that took precedence. That plane crash in Queens in November, which usually would have been the top story in the US for a solid week, fell off the radar screen (no pun intended) within a few hours, once it was determined it almost certainly wasn't due to terrorism. b) They weren't American. Like it or not, a nation's media will always cover their own more than those of another country. That's just human nature. And Pearl had a few more things going for him on this point; see below.

Oh yeah, those other reporters weren't the Wall Street Journal. They didn't have an unborn kid. They weren't working for the biggest financial newspaper in the nation. In other news, the other reporters didn't entail the "model citizen" type that Pearl epitomized so well.

Actually, what it's really about is that Pearl worked for a national media outlet in Manhattan. These people run in the same social circles; lots of people at the New York Times, the networks, CNN, Fox, etc, knew Pearl personally. This guaranteed he was going to get constant, continuous coverage. Again, it's not a conspiracy, it's not jingoism gone berserk, it's just human nature. This is the same reason the whole anthrax thing was blown out of proportion; because it happened to Congressmen and anchormen. To them, it was practically the apocalypse, because whoever was doing it was trying to KILL THEM. That affects your judgement. Now, I agree that these overreactions are things the media really ought to work oncontrolling a bit more, but I don't think they're examples of truly heinous actions.

As for the general argument throughout this thread between the "this man gave his life to bring The Truth to the people" vs the "this guy was a grandstanding Geraldo, Jr." contingents: Unsurprisingly, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. I have never seen anything to indicate Daniel Pearl was anything but the highest caliber of journalist, who took his job very seriously. At the same time, he knew there was some amount of risk in what he was doing, he wanted to get scoops, and he did have AN ego. We all do. And since he was kidnapped, almost every American reporter over there now travels with some sort of protective posse and has cut back heavily on the number of dubious leads they're willing to follow in pursuit of stories, so let's stop thinking these reporters are all Gods that are putting themselves at an amazing level of risk just to Serve The People.
posted by aaron at 10:53 PM on February 21, 2002


Aaron: We don't know precisely how 7 of the 8 were gunned down. Sorry. There wasn't the advantage of videotape or witnesses. They were all gunned down and allowed to bleed to death, a horrible notion in its own right. But for all we know, the vultures could have killed them in any sadistic way they pleased. We do know that one of the November Eight, Ulf Stromberg, was shot while opening a door and that he remained bleeding while his associate took him to the hopsital, a truly horrible way to die. You seem to imply that the other seven were shot, Nazi style, in the back of the head. But the reality is that they were driving along, ambushed by gunmen and who knows what the hell happened. Even so, to compare any manner of death as less barbaric than another manner of death, as if somehow a murder, a taking of a human life, could be measured in this way, when the simple fact remains that these journalists were KILLED strikes me as a grotesque consideration.

The point I was trying to make here was that any murder is an act of barbarism, at least from my standpoint. That CNN and company have seen fit to spread this notion merely to Pearl seems to me an act of sensationalism rather than sympathy, the same hypocrisy (however terrible it is to use that word in relation to a murder) that you pointed out in the U.S.-centric nature of the media.
posted by ed at 12:55 AM on February 22, 2002


(If that doesn't piss you off nothing will)

To be honest, I really don't give a shit what you think. You spoke of having shame before I mentioned it, I just said I hope that you are able to feel shame for making a shameless and offensive joke. At this point, with what some of my family is going through now, the frantic trolling of someone who writes just to piss someone off really don't have that much weight for me today.
posted by adampsyche at 4:09 AM on February 22, 2002


Man, I have to get some of this stuff that ParisParamus and Cryofuck are taking. Some sort of drug that bolsters your self-confidence to the point where you fail to see what a pathetic wiseacre you are.

Stop trying to be so damn cynical and overly enthusiastic to present your oh-so-wonderfully-innovative world-view. It's not that original, nor is it that briiliantly reasoned.
posted by Jongo at 5:12 AM on February 22, 2002


By the way, Pakistan had intimate ties with the Taliban. So the reference to the country being "ALLIED" is all the more meaningless.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:59 AM on February 22, 2002


Whatever, dude. The US had intimate ties with the Mujahedin in the 80s. If you're gonna split that hair, your semantics is all the more meaningless. The Taliban connection was Pakistan's pathetic attempt to address the vacuum left behind when the US short-sightedly lost interest in the region following the collapse of the Soviet Union. A lot of parties created this mess, and it's contingent upon all of them to clean it up -- the blame game is a waste of time.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:25 AM on February 22, 2002


Huh? I'm not blaming anyone. I'm just refuting someone's assertion that Pakistan is not a field of land mines for an American, Jewish, Wall Street Journal reporter.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:02 PM on February 22, 2002


It's certainly unsafe for anyone who seeks out nefarious elements, as Pearl unfortunately did in his research; but the vast majority of Americans in the region are perfectly smug, safe, sated and sunned, as well they should be.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:32 PM on February 22, 2002


circle the wagons...
posted by kliuless at 7:25 AM on February 23, 2002


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