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Hero or villain?

iht shoe thrower headline.jpgThe Iraqi TV journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, better known these days as the shoe thrower of Baghdad, continues to make the headlines today. It appears he's quite the hero in much of the Middle East especially with his family,

"I swear to Allah, he is a hero," said his sister, who goes by the nickname Umm Firas, as she watched a replay of her brother's attack on an Arabic satellite station. "May Allah protect him." link
However, in the same article, his old journalism trainer in Lebanon isn't quite so impressed with his lack of journalistic detachment as the family in Baghdad,

"Regrettably, he didn't learn anything from the course in Lebanon, where we were taught ethics of journalism and how to be detached and neutral," [said Zanko Ahmed, a Kurdish journalist who attended a journalism training course with al-Zeidi in Lebanon.] link
Michael Totten, a  blogger and journalist who recently returned to the U.S. from Iraq, tells the National Review Online how al-Zeidi doesn't realistically reflect the Iraqi journalists he has met,

"In the Combined Press Information Center in Baghdad, where journalists are credentialed by the U.S. Army, is a poster showing the faces of all the journalists killed in Iraq last year. There are dozens of faces on that poster, and almost every single one of them is Iraqi. Iraqi journalists are very brave, much braver than I am, and I'd hate to see Americans get the wrong idea about these people from one lousy incident." link
The LA Times Babylon & Beyond blog has a round up of reaction across the Middle East.