Friday, September 01, 2006

Kidnapped Fox Newsmen Let Us Down By Not Dying

One of the reasons Fox News is the only news that can be trusted is because of the high caliber of the people who work there. Unfortunately, the two Fox journalists who were recently kidnapped, Steven Centanni and Olaf Wiig, did not live up to the high standards of Fox News while they were in captivity. Many in the conservative blogosphere believe that by surviving their captivity, they let us down.

At first, conservative bloggers were pulling for Centanni and Wiig. They clamored for their release and attacked their kidnappers, knowing that the more they blogged about it, the more likely that the kidnappers would capitulate in the face of this virtual onslaught and release them. They were outraged that the story wasn't getting the attention it deserved from mainstream media and speculated that it was because of bias against Fox News. Michelle Malkin even quoted some liberals who expressed contempt for Fox News and seemed to feel the men deserved to be kidnapped, including such well-known and respected thinkers on the Left as Bob Laurence, the TV critic for the San Diego Tribune and former Snohomish County, Wash., Democrat party official Mike Whitney. They seemed to be speaking the unexpressed thoughts of all liberals. Although Fox News President Roger Ailes later revealed that he had asked the rest of the media to keep a lid on its reporting while negotiations were going on, which might have accounted for the lack of stories by the MSM, that does not negate the possibility that they did, in fact, have contempt for the Fox News journalists anyway.

Once the conservative blogosphere secured the release of Centanni and Wiig, however, they began to have questions about their conduct. The fact that Centanni and Wiig were Fox News journalists did not shield them from scrutiny. In fact, it meant that they were held to a higher standard than just any old kidnapping victims. While we might expect bad behavior from Reuters or Al Jazeera journalists, who because of their biased reporting are legitimate military targets, we really expect a lot more from Fox newsmen. For some, the journalists' actions while in captivity were a "career ender."

Some conservative bloggers were critical of the "politically correct" statements the men made after their release. "I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it," Centanni said. Other bloggers were disgusted by the picture of the men shaking hands with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Hanyeh, while still on Palestinian territory. They began comparing the men to Jill Carroll and digging into their past for evidence of alleged pro-Palestinian sympathies. Inevitably there was speculation the men must be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, although one blogger did suggest one other possible explanation: "I wonder if the journalists are complete and total morons or clear victims of Stockholm Syndrome."

But conservatives were most troubled by a video that was released showing the men converting to Islam at gunpoint. David Warren, who writes for the Ottawa Citizen and Real Clear Politics, deplored their "cowardice" for converting with guns to their heads instead of dying as martyrs. "The two Fox journalists, whom I will not stoop to name, begged for their lives even though, in retrospect, their lives probably weren't in danger," wrote Warren, who risks his life everyday living in Canada, a place I must confess I am afraid even to visit. "They could see nothing wrong in serving the enemy, so long as it meant they'd be safe."

Debbie Schlussel
, one of the blogosphere's leading experts on Islam, pointed out that once the men had converted to Islam, even under duress and even if they had their fingers crossed, there was no turning back. "Once a Muslim, always a Muslim . . . or certain death. That's a core tenet of Islam," she said with a sadness that reminded me of John Wayne in The Searchers, who vowed to kill his niece after she was kidnapped and besmirched by Indians rather than let her live with the shame. "I hope they have good security," Schlussel said helpfully and vowed to "keep an eye on Centanni's reporting from the region from hereon." The fact that they were released alive was enough to make them objects of suspicion to Schlussel, who no doubt would be killed by her captors immediately if she were kidnapped: "It needs to be repeated that so many Americans captured by Muslims--including Arab and Muslim Americans in Iraq--have met slaughter and beheading. And yet apparently pro-Islamist journalists, like Jill Carroll and reportedly Steve Centanni, are released to freedom."

The gunpoint conversions of Centanni and Wiig led many bloggers to speculate what they would have done in the journalists' situation. Most agreed that they would have been braver. Although La Shawn Barber urged her readers not to "judge" the men, she maintained that if it had been her, she would have taken a bullet for Christ. March Hare went even further, claiming that if Muslims had threatened her children with death if she didn't convert, she would have let her children die the way Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac (or Ishmael, if Allah pulled a similar stunt in the Quran, which she wasn't really sure about). Hopefully, God won't ask her to sacrifice her children, but her kids might want to be extra cautious whenever they see Mommy with a knife. Independent Conservative said that he would rather die than look like a wimp in the eyes of his sons: "What example of manhood would I be showing my 2 sons, who I'm showing the faith to, if I allowed them to see me deny Christ? " The Anchoress was less sure if she would make the "right choice" but added, "I believe I would de-capitate before I'd capitulate," which I'm sure we all find very reassuring. Debbie Hamilton at first claimed she "probably would have done just like they did, ... read that stupid statement and get the heck out'a dodge," but later said she felt ashamed, perhaps by the courage of so many other potentially martyred bloggers, and quoted this statement from Vanishing American, which condemned the men: "While yes, we can understand their desire to survive, is their subservient behavior a good portent for the West's chances in the struggle against Islam?"

While so far there have been only two shotgun conversions that we know about, many bloggers believe that this is just the beginning of a veritable deluge of such incidents, regrettably encouraged by the capitulation of Centanni and Wiig, and something must be done to stop it. Even worse, soon Muslims will be able to carry out forced conversions on a massive scale backed up by nuclear weapons. Dan Riehl recalls Ann Coulter's statement after September 11: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." Although he says he is opposed to this course of action and only wanted to point out how hypocritical the Left is for apparently approving of gunpoint conversions by Muslims but not Christians, I wonder if this may not be the solution to this sudden rash of forced conversions by Muslims. Maybe we should convert them at gunpoint before they convert us. Since there are one billion Muslims in the world, though, we better get started soon.

I think the next time Fox hires journalists they should make sure they hire someone who has the integrity to die rather than convert to Islam. Perhaps they might screen prospective hires by asking on the job application if they would choose death or Islam. They could even stage a mock scenario where someone bursts into the room during the job interview and puts a gun to the applicant's head just to test the response. Clearly, Fox News must do whatever is necessary to avoid risking such a lapse in judgment again.

Now, I know some of you must be thinking: "What would you do, Jon Swift, if someone tried to force you to convert at gunpoint?" Well, it's very easy for me to say that I would not convert if they held a gun to my head or to the heads of my family or to the heads of my pets or even if they held a gun to the head of La Shawn Barber or Debbie Schlussel. I can state that without any hesitation whatsoever. Of course, no one is holding a gun to my head right now.

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50 comments:

Mustang Bobby said...

If it were me, I'd try to convert them to Quakerism; cool hats and great potlucks after Meeting.

gawker said...

What a brilliant post.

Dave said...

There is one thing you forgot though...

Just because these two men are recent converts to Islam doesn't make them any less of a security risk - they should definitely be detained when they try to regain entry to the United States.

I suggest even going so far as to put them on the No-Fly list.

Debbie said...

I appreciate being included in your post, and far be it from little old me to contradict anything you say ... but the quote you attributed to me was not mine. I stand by my original statement that I would have read the stupid statement and got the heck outa Dodge.

The statement:

While yes, we can understand their desire to survive, is their subservient behavior a good portent for the West's chances in the struggle against Islam? Do we want neighbors and 'leaders' who will fold like cheap tents in the face of Mohammedan threats, just for the sake of physical survival?

was from the Vanishing American
http://vanishingamerican.blogspot.com/

Perhaps I should go back and give a footnote to make it clear.
Thanks,

Jon Swift said...

Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Debbie. I try to maintain at least a blogger's standard of accuracy. I edited the offending passage to give the quote proper attribution. If we agree not to mention this to anyone, I'm sure no one will notice.

Stuart said...

It is a source of endless bemusement to me to watch as two false ideologies try to convert, de-convert and re-convert each other, all willy-nilly.

This is all pointless, as There Is No God But His Noodley Holiness, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, and The Invisible Pink Unicorn Is His Prophet.

March Hare said...

"Hopefully, God won't ask her to sacrifice her children, but her kids might want to be extra cautious whenever they see Mommy with a knife."

Shades of Jack Nicholson and "The Shining"!

Fortunately, my children are now all bigger and stronger than me. So, no worries about a knife.

Now--the car, on the other hand...

:)

P.S. Thanks for the Trackback. I think!

Dick Durata said...

I think Debbie likes you, Jon.

Josh said...

That Debbie Schlussel post is a riot. She comes off as trying to be such an authority on Islam, even has she says the most hilariously ignorant things.

Mavis Beacon said...

I, Mavis Beacon, a limousine liberal, hereby challenge one David Warren to a fistfight. You should know that I eat brie, drink wine, sip Starbucks, and enjoy art films. I live near Hollywood. And I impugn your manhood, Mr. Warren. I, a limousine liberal, am here to suggest you are less of man than I. You have proclaimed your willingness to give your life in an outward show of faith to Christianity. This is not, I assume, a spiritual position as Jesus cares far more about inner faith than outward demonstrations and staged pieties. It is a political stand. The soldiers, or typists, of Christianity shall not be pushed around by the soldiers of extremist Islam. Surely a man willing to die to show Christians are not soft will at least shed a little blood to show that Republicans aren't cowards. For if leading our nation in the War on Terror is left to Democrats, you warn us, our nation and way of life stands little chance. So letting a Democrat, a limousine liberal no less, show up your manhood is of no small import. It may lead to a terrorist victory. So take a political stand. Meet me in the playground after school. You'll know me by the tattoo on my right bicep that says, "Gay Agenda Promotion." Let's rock.

miriam said...

That was one terrific post.

Not the Senator said...

What hilarious drivel!. Spoken like a true chickenhawk speaking from your parent's basement (right, Jonah?).

Hey look, the enlistment age is now 42. Get up off your cowardly rear-end and let's see if you can keep from letting us down by not dying.

Or at least free up an Army clerk to fight.

William K. Wolfrum said...

Excellent column, Mr. Swift,

I am amazed that the authoritarian side of the republican party is becoming more and more enamored of the "Islamofascists." I mean, those are real men there, willing to die for what they believe and take out innocent women and children while they're at it.

Now if only Americans could be more like that, then we wouldn't have to fear losing the things that make us American.

It was nice of Debbie to clarify her post, which I now understand as: I would have folded like a cheap tent, but wow, America is a bunch of wimps because those guys capitulated with guns to their heads.


--WKW

howard said...

Jon, thank you for demonstrating what an honest conservative looks like. i intend to bookmark your site and read you regularly, even though i know i won't agree with much of what you say, because i respect your integrity.

ick said...

So much for "pro-life"...*sigh*. Thanks for the post.

Kevin Hayden said...

Sounds like a few folks should read Victor Frankl's "Man's Search For Meaning". He makes it clear that surviving the death camps had nothing to do with moral purity; sometimes survival meant awareness that your attempt to beat the reaper assured that someone else wouldn't.

But it's not a betrayal of Christ or God to go through the motions of conversion to Islamicism. If they wanted me to set myself up for the demise of this physical life, all they'd have to do is come to me and ask.

Until that happens, I refuse to put my life in the hands of the interpretators and telemegaphones for the divine pair. Being human, they're just too damn prone to error.

I would, however, be happy to send LDS missionaries to Debbie Schlussel's door to seek her conversion to The One True Way, if they promise to threaten her with permanent exile to Utah.

Anonymous said...

I love it. Even better than Greenwald's semi-serious post about this.

Lucca said...

Man, this is quite the site for a good read. Keep up the good work.

I've blogrolled you, sir. I'm looking forward to the same.

Lucca

whatever said...

What really annoys me about all this is the assumption that the "conversions" meant anything to the journalists.

I would "convert" in a second, given the same situation -- because I do not believe in Islam!* Therefore I don't believe there is anything to convert to! Therefore my conversion is meaningless!

*Chrisianity, FSM, whatever.

John said...

Mavis: Come on, any real limousine liberal would obviously be talking "fisticuffs," not "fistfight."

I can't help wondering whether these people believe in an omniscient, omnipotent God whose specialty seems to be sorting out souls, but can't tell whether you've truly given up on Him when you mouth the rituals of some other set of beliefs. I guess their God is rather gullible. They did say He created them in His image, after all....

Martin said...

Would you vote Republican in midterms 2006 if someone had a gun to your head?

me. No way. I'd take one for America.

The Liberal Avenger said...

I heart Jon Swift!

Blogrolled.

Brian C.B. said...

Point a gun at me? No need. I'd convert to Islam just for the money and the chicks.

outofcontext said...

I have been tortured by what I would do as I have followed the debate on LaShawnda's website and, I have to say, I have found myself wanting. I can only comfort myself by the fact that I will be denying those Islamofascist appeasers the pleasure of seeing a Cheney supporter's head roll in the desert sands (I understand they really like those videos). As for the journalists, I can only quote the words of Grimmer who said on Tim Blair's blog "There is no justification, none what-so-ever for any citizen of a nation at war to be fiddle farting around in the enemy’s backfield..."(sorry about the salty language). There is no point for these guys to be right there, it destroys any perspective they might have, as you have so forcefully argued in the past.
Also, we all appreciate you correcting the few mistakes you make (good job not p-ing of Confederate Yankee this time--"The North will rise again")

wenchacha said...

Simply amazing. What a shame that those two Fox dudes got the sweet gig of reporting in a dangerous area, when there are so many True Patriots sitting at their keyboards, stateside. With big pendulous chests, no doubt. But I don't need to see Jonah's for proof.

Did any of these he and she-men bother to read Jill's account of her captivity? She didn't seem particularly sympathetic to the cause of the killers who kidnapped her and murdered her friend and driver.

Maybe they gave it a pass in the name of Patriotism. Here it is:

http://tinyurl.com/fr6du

Peter said...

This is the first post of yours I've read, and it's really excellent. Top-rate satire.

johnnydrama said...

As an upstanding conservative God Fearing Republican, I know that telling a lie is a sin, so based on the situation of those Fox reporters, yes I do tell my wife she looks fat in that dress.

If I tell her the truth, the terrorists win.

Xeno said...

Given the accusations against Jill Carroll after her release, I'm surprised some bright light hasn't accused Centanni of carrying a Hamas baby yet.

paul_lukasiak said...

excellent post....

I've just bookmarked your blog, because although I'm a "moonbat" I do enjoy reading the thoughts of conservatives who aren't insane....

David Ehrenstein said...

There's one terribly important thing you forgot to mention --

STEVE CENTANNI IS GAY!!!!

This is the beating heart of Warren's rage. A gay man has more guts that he does.

Peter Blogdanovich said...

Your reference to John Wayne in "The Searchers" and his character's willingness to murder his niece Debbie for running around with the Aborgines is not the best cinematic precursor to this situation. The situation is best captured in Wayne's masterpiece "The Green Berets," where a sniveling journalist, played by David Jansen, betrays the American cause. I understand that while people who work at Fox are not real journalists and that even their gunpoint conversions are fake, they must be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

Very close to perfect. The reactions on both left and right are slightly frightening. - Bill Arnold

PJB said...

Congratulations, Jon! You have been awarded the first ever (parenthetical remarks) Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence Award.

Bully for you.

xenmate said...

Excellent read. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Start reading books before reviewing

dusty said...

ah..very good..I enjoyed the bejeezus out of this..

Jon Swift said...

Thank you very much for this award PJB. It's very kind of you.

Anonymous said...

I have not actually read this blog but i still think your a fuckin ass.

Peter Bromberg said...

Jon,
I haven't actually read your blog, but I give it five stars for originality. In, fact, if Amazon offered BR's (Blog Reviews) I'd post one there for you. Excellent work!

Myself said...

I have not read your blog but I think that it is very interesting

Reasonable Liberal said...

Affirmative Action Proposal for Fox

Dear Jon Swift,

I am a reasonable liberal and I get all my news from educated elites like Michael Moore and George Soros. I stumbled across your post where you wish two innocent souls to death.

I take offense with your suggestion that Faux News should hire non-Muslims who would rather die than convert to Islam. Clearly, the better solution is to just hire Muslims, preferably the radicalized kind. This provides several benefits: First, radicalized Islamo-newsmen would not be kidnapped. There would be no reason to. Second, it would increase the number of minorities at a major news organization. Third, Faux News viewers would be getting information directly from its ideological source, completely unfiltered. A forum would exists where radicalized, professional Islamo-reporters report the facts and Faux's opinion-journalists - from safety of New York - tell the viewers what opinion to have. Faux could reclaim its 'fair and balanced' image and their dwindling ratings would subside.

I'm sure you're aware many radicalized Muslims are highly qualifed to be journalists, as the recent Israeli-Hezbollah engagement has proven (e.g., Qana shows the quality work of these radicalized Islamo-reporters). Also, radicalized Muslims tend to be educated at the best liberal universities the West has to offer. They understand how Western and non-Western cultures operate. They can relate and move through both cultures seamlessly.

Furthermore, consider that most radicalized Muslims never found jobs that gave them an outlet for _expression; hence, their radicalization. Being a part of the news gathering and reporting process would go far in appeasing their thirst for attention.

Lastly, consider all the work it took to convert those two newsmen to Islam. The kidnappers worked very hard and risked a lot. Just think of how hard they'll work for a paycheck and a forum to espouse their views to Americans?

Next time you wish people death, consider what it feels like for a radicalized Muslim living in today's dangerous world.

Sincerely,

Reasonable Liberal

Anonymous said...

You've just been digg'ed

liquiddaddy said...

Mr. Swift:

I confess I had to take a long soapy shower to wash the taint shame left on me by the disgraceful acts of those sniviling cowards.

Of course, the next thing was to march down to sac n pac and convert at gun-point the first swarthy counter-boy I found. A "Mr. Sihng," sporting a mountainous turban and scruffy wiskers. Obviously a paki.

Rather than cringe and shake in fear, he calmly replied, "sure, no problem. I love Jesus. See you in church." That was it. I bought some moon pies and left.

I believe converting Islam will be a piece of cake.

By the way. I think the most relevant John Wayne movie scene is in The Cowboys, when Wayne barks, "Mr. Nightlinger send that little one to my tent later."

Talk about desperate conversions.

MistahCharley said...

I think the previous poster meant "Mr. Singh" - as it happens, this is not a Muslim name, but a Sikh one (it's a different religion). And I wonder if Mr. Singh's remarks weren't the sort of insincerity that the kidnapped Fox newsmen may have engaged in, admittedly under duress.

Houston said...

Sugah, I know I smoke dope and drink often inspiring some of my better commentary, but I do remember where I make my messes, so to speak. Have my comments here been not smart or clever enough? Well, okay, then. That says about as much about you as it does about me, doesn't it?

grayday101 said...

"..Ann Coulter's statement after September 11: 'We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.'"

I'm a little out of touch, but I don't THINK after-death conversions count.

Anonymous said...

hhhmmm, last time I checked, you don't have to be a Christain to work for FOX news. And in Christain teachings, isn't life important, what does it matter if you deny the existance of God to evil people who might kill you? Those horrible people are not worth your life.

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