July 22, 2007

The Hot Summer of the Hostage Non-Crisis

Justin Katz

Mark Steyn's comments on the Iran hostage non-crisis are, as always, worth reading:

How do you feel about the American hostages in Iran?

No, not the guys back in the Seventies, the ones being held right now.

What? You haven't heard about them?

Odd that, isn't it? But they're there. For example, for two months now, Haleh Esfandiari has been detained in Evin prison in Tehran. Esfandiari is a U.S. citizen and had traveled to Iran to visit her sick mother. She is the director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, which is the kind of gig that would impress your fellow guests at a Washington dinner party. Unfortunately, the mullahs say it's an obvious cover for a Bush spy.

Among the other Zionist-neocon agents currently held in Iranian jails are an American journalist, an American sociologist for a George Soros-funded leftie group, and an American peace activist from Irvine, Ali Shakeri, whose capture became known shortly after the United States and Iran held their first direct talks since the original hostage crisis. ...

It would be nice to think the press has ignored these hostages out of concerns that they might inflame the situation. (To date, only National Review, Bill Bennett on his radio show and various doughty Internet wallahs have made any fuss.) Or maybe the media figure that showing American prisoners on TV will only drive Bush's ratings back up from the grave to the rude health of intensive care. Or maybe they just don't care about U.S. hostages, not compared to real news like Senate sleepovers to block unblocking a motion to vote for voting against a cloture motion on the best way to surrender in Iraq.

I can't help but wonder whether these hostages, should they be fortunate enough to survive in a more corporeal fashion than as online snuff videos, will prove to have been "mugged" (in the sense of that old line about liberals and conservatives). But whatever the state of their conversions upon return, it would be awfully nice if the American people were given the opportunity to pray — even to agitate — for that event.

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"the press has ignored these hostages"
Where do you find this crap? Every national news outlet has run this story
As usual Mark Steyn did not let the facts get in his way.

Google "Ali Shakeri" hostage..17,000 stories Fox,NBC,CBS,ABC,NYT,PBS ECT
Right and Left wing blogs also

Posted by: steven at July 22, 2007 5:51 PM

Gee, Steven, you must have a different Google than I do. Searching "'Ali Shakeri' hostage": 544 hits, mostly from conservative sites, one op-ed shared by the WaPo and NYTimes, and a USA Today story that it's a "detention," not a hostage situation. Switch over to Google News: 13 stories. AP wire: 3 stories. Same for Reuters.

Leave out "hostage," and you get considerably more links, including Shakeri's professional biography. Suffice to say that coverage has not been at "crisis" levels.

Posted by: Justin Katz at July 22, 2007 6:13 PM

This is the first I've heard of it. Thanks for pointing it out, Justin.

Posted by: SusanD at July 22, 2007 6:18 PM

Maybe CNN is to "liberal" for you but they spent a whole day talking about it this week and have been covering the story a lot.

Posted by: George at July 22, 2007 6:36 PM

I'll take your word for it, George, as far as the TV coverage goes, but I'm not finding anything at cnn.com.

Posted by: Justin Katz at July 22, 2007 7:07 PM
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