Tucker Carlson capped off a day of hate in America on his show "The Situation" on MSNBC. Carlson interviewed terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann about the release of Jill Carroll. Carlson delivered the same tactic used all day by right wing commentators since the news of Jill Carroll’s release hit the airwaves this morning: Praise, Pivot and Attack. Here’s how it works:
- Praise her release. Carlson begins the conversation with one obligatory sentence saying he is happy that she is free.
- Pivot. The word to watch out for here is "but". But the really clever ones use something like "I hope it’s not true that…."
- Attack. Carlson points out how she seems to be praising her captors. Perhaps she’s been brainwashed. Perhaps she is one of them. Perhaps. Perhaps.
Kohlmann tried a few times to bring balance to the discussion, but Carlson would not be moved off message. So, the day ended very much the way it began, with innuendo, accusations and, most of all, hate.
The hate was brimming over everywhere you looked on the right. To bring some order to the orgy of hate, I decided to take a sampling of some of the subtle, and not so subtle, attacks on Jill Carroll today. As you read these, keep an eye out for "Praise, Pivot and Attack".
It’s wonderful that she’s free, but after watching someone who was a hostage for three months say on television she was well-treated because she wasn’t beaten or killed — while being dressed in the garb of a modest Muslim woman rather than the non-Muslim woman she actually is — I expect there will be some Stockholm Syndrome talk in the coming days. [Emphasis added by me]
Jonah Goldberg follows up his colleague at the end of the night (dispensing with the Praise and going straight to the Pivot):
But Jill Carroll is increasingly starting to bug me. The details are still murky and it’s hard to appreciate what she’s been through. And maybe JPod’s right about Stockholm syndrome. And maybe the media’s selectively choosing what to show of her statements. But it would be nice to hear her say something remotely critical of her captors, particularly about the fact that they murdered her translator in cold blood. I’m very glad she’s alive, but I’m getting a very bad vibe. More, no doubt, to come. [Emphasis added by me]
Michelle Malkin plays traffic cop for the right today and feigns (not too convincingly) some sympathy for Jill (and cleverly disguises the Praise, Pivot and Attack by turning it on its head):
In fairness to Carroll, a lot of people would say a lot of things they didn’t mean in those circumstances. Let’s see whether she defends it now. Assuming, that is, that anyone in the media bothers to ask her. [Emphasis added by me]
Little green footballs dispenses with the niceties and goes straight for the jugular:
Note that even after her release, Carroll maintained that she had been treated well by her captors—so it would appear that this journalist for the Christian Science Monitor made these anti-American comments voluntarily. [Emphasis added by me]
Debbie Schlussel puts the hate machine on overdrive. There was absolutely no need to pivot here since the title of her post was "So, Anti-American Jill was freed…". Here’s some of the bile from the first two paragraphs in the post (and it’s all downhill from here):
Why are so many people who claim to be patriotic Americans so overjoyed that Jill Carroll was freed, yet hardly a peep when American contractors and others were freed?
Here’s a clue for the obviously dimwitted. Why was Jill Carroll freed? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that she HATES AMERICA and our Mid-East policy. And, oh yeah, she HATES ISRAEL, too.
The above was a small sample of the hate that emanated from the right today. It was a shameful display of ignorance and prejudice. Today was not our finest day.
Why would the right make such a concerted effort to attack a woman who was just released from three months in captivity? What are they so afraid of that they could not help tripping over each other trying to insult, accuse, insinuate, and attack her?
Well, I think its quite simple. They are afraid of the truth. They are afraid of yet another voice that might tell America that the reality in Iraq is not the reality manufactured by the Administration. So, they are trying to inoculate themselves preemptively from what they fear Jill Carroll might say. Having lost the war in Iraq, they are fighting tooth and nail to maintain a toehold on their manufactured Iraqi fairy tale. And every reporter, be it Jill Carroll, Michael Ware, Lara Logan, Nic Robertson, Chris Allbritton or others on the ground in Iraq, who deliver what they see to the American public will be attacked mercilessly by these people. Their cause is a losing one and so they are getting more desperate in their attacks.
But, in the end, the story on March 30, 2006 was that Jill Carroll was freed. And as I finish this post I look out my window and see that it is already morning in America.