It may be the ultimate case of paving someone else’s road to hell with good intentions.
You may have heard it reported that on a lark, Laura Ling and Euna Lee crossed into North Korea and were captured while carrying video showing the faces of refugees and rescuers, whom Chinese police duly rounded up to send back to a firing squad or worse in North Korea. Intentional? Of course not. Reckless? Yes, perhaps fatally; yet it’s damage that can’t be undone now, and perhaps Ling and Lee can redeem themselves in some way that can save others from the same fate:
One of the two TV reporters who were freed after being imprisoned in North Korea said Wednesday she hopes her story will lead to more public awareness of …
North Korean refugees? Political prisoners? The kids who starved and the women who sold themselves into slavery while Kim Jong Il bought himself yachts, luxury cars, and palaces? The people (you might faintly recall them) you were doing your original story about?
… the plight of journalists held captive around the world. [….]
She added that she hopes her ordeal would bring more attention to the plight of other journalists placed under arrest.
“Euna and I are two of the lucky ones whose story of captivity resulted in a happy ending,” she said. “But there are so many journalists imprisoned around the world whose fate is still undecided.” [AP]
After all, the only people already willing and able to bring attention to those issues are sympathetic colleagues who buy ink by the barrel, plus Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, etc. Seriously — hasn’t it occurred to you that the fate of some other people somewhere is still undecided? Or that you might be responsible in some way for putting them in grave danger, however unwittingly? Or that by drawing the eyes of the world to their Chinese pursuers and North Korean executioners, you just might still save them?
Shouldn’t you at least say, “Sorry ’bout that?”