The Danny Pearl story: A Sad Heart

Dateline: Mon 25 Jun 2007

Jim Romenesko's blog is carrying a discussion with Asra Nomani, one of the many colleagues and friends of Danny Pearl. Nomani wrote a piece for the Washington Post about the movie, "A Mighty Heart." She suggests that the Hollywood project, starring Angelina Jolie as Marianne Pearl, his widow, commercializes the life of a vibrant young man beloved by his co-workers and friends around the globe.

Nomani was a Wall Street Journal correspondent and one of the last people to see Pearl alive. Here is an excerpt from the ongoing dialogue:

"Asra Nomani: While my name is on this piece, I wrote this piece expressing the voices of so many of Danny's friends who have been tortured over the last month or so, during the release of this movie. Over these weeks, we have been talking, exchanging emails, sharing details of the painful dreams and nightmares we have been having. It's not that the movie stirs up our pain in losing our friend. It's that so many of us feel that Danny was sacrificed at the altar of commercial enterprise. As one friend said: "It felt as if he had been killed again." We didn't respond this way to the release of the HBO documentary, the Journalist and the Jihadi, because we felt that it honored Danny."

Danny Pearl was a Pulliam fellow at the Indianapolis Star. While we worked together in the same newsroom, I did not know him well enough to comment. Yet I can relate to Nomani's observation about painful dreams and nightmares. After his kidnapping, I was glued to CNN and other news outlets, hoping for the best. The news of his death was excrutiating for all journalists and Americans.

I doubt that I will see the film, which, according to the Post, has not done well at box office.

Here is the Poynter link, if you want to read more comments:


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