Cable news really is a farce now, isn't it?
After reading this diary over at the Daily Kos, I'm even more glad that I don't have cable anymore. The "news channels"--and yes, I'm going to use scare quotes around "news channels" from now on, because what they do cannot be reasonably be called news in any sense of the word.
Here's the gist--apparently, this woman disappeared right before her wedding. Never happens, right? She pops up in New Mexico three days later, claims to have been abducted by a Latino couple (the casual racism by people involved in these types of stories still astonishes me), and then confesses to having had cold feet before the wedding and running away. Hundreds of media hours on this story that, like so many stories recently, deserved a fraction of that.
But Georgia10 tells us another story, this one about a girl in Yemen. I'll let her tell it:
Her name is Amina Ali Abduladif. She is 21 years old, and has a 2 year old son and a young daughter (another daugher she had was killed in an accident). And she about to be shot to death in Yemen.
In 1998, Amina's husband was murdered. She was only 14 at the time. Amina was convicted of her killing her husband, and was sentenced to death on May 24, 1999.
This despite an Yemen law that prohibits the death penalty for those under the age of 18.
Amina was reportedly tortured to force her to confess to the crime (a child at 14, under pressure, this seems quite possible). She has since maintained her innocence. This tragedy is compounded by the fact that another man, Muhammad Ali Said Qaba'il, has been sentenced to death for the murder.
Amina's nightmare continued when the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, and the President of Yemen upheld her death sentence, even though it was outside of the law.
Around 2002, Amina was placed before a firing squad. At 19 years old, she was about to be shot to death for a crime she did not commit.
The executioners armed themselves, raised their weapons, and were about to shoot....until they saw she was pregnant.
While in prison awaiting her death sentence, Amina had been raped by one of the guards.
Thus, Amina was kept alive. She gave birth to her child, and the baby has been living with her, in prison, for the last two years. But the law says that since the child is now two years old, it is time for Amina to die.
On Monday, Amina will again face the firing squad for her husband's murder. And, despite desparate appeals to the President of Yemen, she will be killed.
I searched CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and the rest of the media outlets for Amina's story. It is nowhere to be found.
Now the first question is easy--this kind of stuff happens all the time in other parts of the world, so should we expect CNN/MSNBC/FNC to cover every story like this one? Of course not--it would be nice if they covered egregious cases like this one, but I understand that they have limited resources, especially in terms of time and the sheer hugeness of the world.
No, my beef is that they devoted huge amounts of time to a nonstory in this country--a situation that replays itself all the time here. It's not all that unusual for a person to get cold feet before a wedding and run off--really, it isn't. And were I a party to that sort of situation--groom, father of the bride, friend of the bride--that would be my first assumption, not that she had been abducted by some stranger. But that story doesn't sell--possible abduction and weeping parents does, even if it's not the most likely scenario.
Now call me a cynic, but that's the first assumption I would have made, just like the first assumption I made about the whole "finger in the Wendy's chili" incident was that it was a scam--never automatically ascribe to evil what can be explained by human weakness. Journalists could stand to follow that motto a bit more, I think.