Over at Petrou’s blog you can debate the wisdom of negotiating for Mellissa Fung’s life, as well as the decision by the media establishment to keep the whole thing quiet. I’ll just say that regardless of the circumstances of her release, a shivver of relief swept through the journalism community when the word finally started to leak out on Saturday that she was safe.
What surprises me most about the whole episode is how they were able to keep her abduction relatively secret for so long. Until Saturday, the only morsel of information I was able to scavenge was this brief on an obscure website from Oct 13:
Afghanistan, Kabul, 13 October / corr TrendNews A.Hakimi / Woman thought to be a Canadian journalist has been kidnapped in capital
A foreign woman has been kidnapped in the capital Kabul, the Interior Ministry says. The woman, who is thought to be a Canadian journalist, was dragged from her car in the Qargha district of the capital on Sunday, ministry spokesman Zalmay Bashari said. The journalist’s interpreter and four others have been arrested for the kidnapping, Bashari said. An investigation into the kidnapping is still on-going
That Mellissa had been abducted was not a secret to most working journalists, and it was also widely known in military and political circles. I also happen to know at least two unaffiliated bloggers who knew about it and chose not write anything. For those in the MSM who made the decision not to report on this (and the decision was made at the absolute highest levels), a quiet prayer of thanks is owed to the bloggers and independent journalists who kept their counsel; it must have been incredibly hard to resist the temptation to report on this “scoop” and force the whole issue into the open for debate.