THE BLOG

Carroll's Forced Statement: Embraced by the Left?

Now that Jill Carroll has admitted that she was variously forced at gun-point and felt under threat to make anti-American statements, liberal bloggers are relishing -- justifiably -- pointing out how right-wing bloggers immediately accused her of a "Stockholm syndrome" and betraying her country.

But there's also some hypocrisy on the left that's being glossed over: the way some, but hardly all, leftist commentators took her comments and assumed she meant every word, because her criticisms of the war resonated with many progressives.

For instance, Think Progress, a normally insightful outlet of the Center for American Progress, attacked The New York Post's John Podhoretz for raising the possibility of a Stockholm syndrome. Instead of assuming that something was indeed amiss -- such as Carroll being forced to make a statement -- the Think Progress blogger responded to Carroll's passionate anti-Bush attacks in a positve way, because it matched the vituperative terms we on the left often use. He concluded, " This is a day that we should celebrate Jill Carroll's courage. She put herself in danger to try to give the world a more accurate picture of Iraq. It is totally inappropriate to assume that her description of how she was treated is motivated by anything other than a desire to tell the truth."

It never occurred to him, apparently, that as a working journalist who writes for a mainstream publication, The Christian Science Monitor, she would never voice such pro-terrorist views publicly(see again what she said about her captors) or lavish praise on her treatment if she had been allowed to speak freely. Those sorts of public statements are totally out of character for a professional journalist, even under the highly unlikely circumstances she actually held those beliefs.

Both the left and right factions in the blogosphere need to show more intellectual rigor, even if the lure of blogging is writing the first thing that comes into your mind, no matter how outrageous.