One hiker could be freed on Saturday

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that one of the three American hikers jailed in Iran for more than a year could be released Saturday.

Iran to release 1 of 3 jailed American hikers

There is no word on which hiker might be freed. One of them, Shane Bauer, is a Minnesotan. His sister and brother-in-law live in Duluth, and he also has family in Shakopee and Pine City.

15 Comments

Elden

about 12 years ago

Can someone explain to me why general proximity is supposed to make me care more about a story? Whether a person is from Shakopee MN, or Borger TX, I still don't know the person. I may feel sympathy, or hatred, or whatever for the people in a news story based upon the situation, but the fact that they vacationed in Duluth once in 1968 means nothing. Why do we (or the media) grasp onto that as if it makes a fricken difference? They take that tidbit of trivia and use it to propel a story to the front page.
We get a photo in the Duluth paper about a soldier from Albert Lea, Minnesota! who dies in Iraq. What about the other thousands? It doesn't "personalize" or "localize" the story for me. I just find it annoying that is the only thing they can find to report about. Anyway, Paul, thanks for the post, that rant has been building up inside me for a while now.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

The answer to your question, Elden, using the soldier in Iraq example, is this:

It would be impossible (difficult at least) for a single news organization to do a story about every soldier that dies in Iraq. For local or regional news organizations, it would be impossible. It's not that no one in Duluth cares when a soldier from Borger dies, but it hits home more when its a local person because we either know that person or could easily have known that person. 

Albert Lea may not qualify as "local," but it's not that far away. And I guarantee you if you hear about a soldier from Albert Lea in the news in Duluth the coverage is short and simple. If the soldier is from Duluth there will be several in-depth stories. To suggest there shouldn't be is a little weird, I think.

I don't know any of the hikers, but I've met Shane Bauer's sister. And his brother-in-law reads this blog and posts here occasionally. They are both very nice.

The story of the hikers is global, with a local hook. You don't have to care, but it seems obvious why others would.

Elden

about 12 years ago

Paul, not necessarily to "take you to task," but rather to bolster my points, I have the following rebuttal.

To infer that we "could know that person, or easily have known that person" carries no weight with me to warrant playing the "local" card. I feel like if I DO know the person, then fine. People who don't know the person don't need to know that there is a greater likelihood that somebody they know might know the person. The fact that the person has a tie to Minnesota is really irrelevant to the story for all but those who know the person, and they don't need to be told that there is a tie.

Further, the potential that I may have known the person, or even recognize the name, is little more than a curiosity, and, quite frankly, nobody else's business.

I will concede that if the person lives in Duluth, currently, there may be more of a reason to report it in that context (but just maybe). Otherwise, no point. Having relatives in Duluth ... no point in mentioning it. More than 50 miles from Duluth ... again, no point.

Those interested in the story because of the local "hook" will know and pay attention. To infer that I should pay greater attention because of the "hook" is ridiculous. 

To me it reeks of sadly unsubstantiated sensationalism. 
Thanks for the reply though.

TimK

about 12 years ago

By using Elden's logic, there should also be no stories on the astronaut from Wisconsin, absolutely nothing on Jessica Lange (and therefore, Sam Shepard), Kara Gaucher, or Walter Mondale, who gave the commencement address to my high school class. Why did they ask him to speak in Duluth anyway? He was only a sitting vice-president. Anyway, one person's lack of interest does not make the story sensational. There were actual events in Duluth held in support of the hikers, so apparently there ARE people here who care about this story.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Elden, I would just repeat this:

You don't have to care, but it seems obvious why others would.

NateL

about 12 years ago

No point in mentioning relatives in Duluth, after spending the last year struggling to gain more and more support in the community that we live in? After organizing events IN Duluth, doing countless interviews with the local media, even getting our own State Senator to join us, in Duluth, in protest?  I mean, you make it sound as if there has been no mention of this in the area before, when in reality we have been pushing so hard to try and spread the word and get other to help support us. 

The support and following my wife and I have gotten from the Duluth/Superior has been nothing short of incredible, and without that we would be the relatives in Duluth that no one knows or cares about. Fortunately that's not the case; we have the media's attention & support, we have the support of the state and city government, we have the support of more than a handful of local businesses, and last but not least we have the amazing citizens of Duluth and Superior that even after 14 agonizing months are still willing to do anything to help us bring Shane, Sarah, and Josh back home. Local support in a global situation might not seem like much to some people, but EVERY SINGLE signature on the petition for release counts.

It's really ok if you don't care, I mean I can't make people care if they don't want to. But to say it's not local, after we locals have been fighting so hard for the release of our family members, well that's just silly.

Larry

about 12 years ago

Thank you, Paul. Well said. I don't know the hikers, but one year is a long time, and I do care about them.

Bruce

about 12 years ago

As do I...they are first and foremost "human beings" like the rest of us - and they deserve our thoughts, prayers and concern!

Bruce

about 12 years ago

Just reading the news, and I find this:

The Iranian government now says Sarah Shourd won't be freed from jail Saturday despite having announced her imminent release Thursday. The reason: legal processes aren't complete. She's the fiancee of fellow prisoner and Minnesota native Shane Bauer. 

Jailed American's Release Canceled

How very sad.

Claire

about 12 years ago

This stinks. That poor woman and those who love her, to raise their hopes like this and then to dash them.

NateL

about 12 years ago

These are only media reports, nothing has been confirmed and made official; we still have our finger crossed that Sarah will be taken home. 9AM Tehran is 11:30PM CST ... only an hour and a half to go.

NateL

about 12 years ago

And thanks for your support guys, it means the world to us!

Elden

about 12 years ago

Okay, I will settle with being out-voted here. I actually didn't mean to hijack the thread completely with this somewhat tangential rant, and probably should have posted the rant as a seperate topic. Sorry for that...kinda. I don't think many, if any, of the responses have really comprehended the sublteties of my beef (can I say "subtleties of my beef" on here?).

To explain, I DO actually care about the hiker story/issue. I also agree that the story is global in scope, and I am glad to hear periodic updates and news about it. However, I do NOT care that one of them is from Minnesota. One being from MN certainly doesn't make me care MORE, which is what most mentions of the connections in the media attempt to burden us with. But that is belaboring the point.

Perhaps trying to clarify my point is...pointless.

P.S. I also don't care about Kara Goucher or Bob Dylan, and I had no idea that Jessica Lange had a Minnesota connection, not that I would care.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

After reneging Saturday, it seems Iran will indeed release Sarah Shourd ... on $500,000 bail. 

Iranian prosecutor ready to release American woman

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

MPR is reporting that Sarah Shourd has been released on bail.

Iran releases detained American woman

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