It’s not often we get two ninja posts in one week.
Actually, it’s a first. But along with the ninja pot pilferers of hippy-dippy California, we now have Iranian she-ninjas in the news. Can you say “Kill Bill, Vol. 3”? All kinds of Hollywood moguls will be hard at work developing the idea… as soon as their dealer replaces the stolen weed, wellspring of the creativity that lets them do sequel after sequel and comic book adaptation after another sequel.
The Iranian she-ninjas are going to war over a Reuters dispatch that called them “ninja assassins” and was headlined “Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran’s assassins,” but they haven’t taken up the straight sword or the throwing star. Instead, they’re vowing to use that most Western, passive-aggressive weakling’s weapon: a lawsuit.
Reuters brass, hoping to keep their heads atop their shoulders, their insides inside, and, not least, their bonus money in the company, have tried goverling, self-abasement, and amending the headline, but the she-ninjas are not mollified. The Iranian government, which generally treats women as livestock in accordance with ethe priciples of sharia, is backing the she-ninjas and has pulled the press credentials of the entire Reuters staff in-country.
Not reported if Iran’s actual assassins are also suing Reuters for defamation, and for getting “girl cooties” on them.
The Iranian women vowed to sue Reuters for defamation over the incident, Iran’s state television reported on Wednesday.
Reuters today said it had corrected the story’s original headline, which said, “Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran’s assassins” to read “Three thousand women Ninjas train in Iran.”
That was not sufficient for Iranian authorities, however, who today demanded that Reuters’ 11-person staff return their press cards. The only Reuters report currently available seems to be a slideshow. It was not clear whether any other report accompanied the photos.
A Reuters representative told The Atlantic’s Max Fisher in an email today that “there was indeed an error” in the original Reuters report, citing a mistake in a “video script that was promptly corrected.” However, Fisher and others have been unable to locate the video. Press TV’s selection of the claimed Reuters video, meanwhile, features a British narrator describing the Iranian female athletes as possibly “the West’s worst enemy” and “ninja assassins,” according to The Atlantic.
We found this story here: Iranian female ninjas suing Reuters over report: state TV | GlobalPost, and their report depended heavily on Max Fisher’s adolescently-earnest and characteristically (for Fisher, not the magazine) humorless report here. (Everyone at the Atlantic can write well, but not all of them can think, and Fisher’s proof is living proof that above-average ability to write and think is no guarantee that you will use that latter ability, let alone of having a personality).
Fisher did make some very good points: not every Iranian hates us, and a significant minority actually like us, and most of them go about their daily life uninterested in harming a hair on anyone’s head, including the she-ninjas, who are simply indulging in one of the very few athletic endeavors that the terrorist government allows to Iranian ladies. But he overreached by saying the whole thing was illustrative of Iranian-American intergovernmental hostility. For one thing, Reuters isn’t American, and the photojournalist whose work the disputed piece is based on is as Iranian as Khamenei himself.
An Eric Randall follow-up at the Atlantic shows that not all Atlantic writers are quite as dry as Fisher was yesterday.
Still… Iranian state-sponsored she-ninjas, versus Reuters ink-stained wretches… can’t they both lose?