(GENEVA) In a press release today, the Zelig Institute of International Journalism announced it’s new al-Zaidi Bronze Shoe Award for “conspicuous bravery in the face of a pusillanimous and morally repugnant miscreant.”
“Muntadhar al-Zaidi famously threw his shoes at President George W. Bush in December 2008, kicking off a stream of shoe-throwing protests around Iraq and the world. He then spent nine months in jail,” said Louise Hartmann, an internationally known blogger at tomhartmann.com.
“TheRealNews.com has now posted a four-part video interview in which al-Zaidi reveals, to the certain bewilderment of many Americans, that he has absolutely no notion of “hating us for our freedoms.” Asked his opinion on President Obama and whether he would throw shoes at him too, al-Zaidi says the change in president means nothing, that the important thing is withdrawal. Iraqis may lose patience if the withdrawal is delayed, al-Zaidi warns,” Ms Hartman concluded.
The first al-Zaidi Bronze Shoe Award has, of course, gone to Mr. al-Zaidi himself.
is an Iraqi broadcast journalist who serves as a correspondent for Iraqi-owned, Egyptian-based Al-Baghdadia TV. Al-Zaidi’s reports often focused on the plight of widows, orphans, and children in the Iraq War.
On December 14, 2008, al-Zaidi shouted “this is for the widows and orphans” and threw his shoes at then-US president George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference. Al-Zaidi suffered injuries as he was taken into custody and some sources said he was tortured during his initial detention. There were calls throughout the Middle East to place the shoes in an Iraqi museum, but the shoes were later destroyed by American and Iraqi security forces. Al-Zaidi’s shoeing inspired many similar incidents of political protest around the world. Following the incident, Al-Zaidi was “embraced around the Arab world” and was represented by the head of the Iraqi Bar Association at trial. On February 20, 2009, al-Zaidi received a 90-minute trial by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. On March 12, 2009, he was sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting a foreign head of state during an official visit. On April 7 the sentence was reduced to one year from three years. He was released on 15 September 2009 for good behavior, after serving nine months of the sentence. After his release, Al-Zaidi was treated for injuries and later said he planned to “build orphanages, a children’s hospital, and medical and orthopaedic centres offering free treatment and manned by Iraqi doctors and medical staff. (Wikipedia)
The Zelig Institute was founded in 1933 by the noted journalist and war correspondent Leonard Zelig, who gained international fame as the “human chameleon”.
Fake News by Poor Richard
(Note: The only fictitious parts of this post are the “award” and the “Zelig Institute”. The other facts and citations are real.)