Dear Pres. Clinton,
On behalf of struggling journalists everywhere, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for traveling to North Korea to bring Laura Ling and Euna Lee home to the United States. Though I know your efforts did not go unsupported by other prominent figures, I do know that you were the only man for this job. I love our current President, and I know that he felt the same way I do about this task you’ve completed. You have a rapport with the world that has remained untouched despite everything, scandals, economics, campaigns, whatever — and North Korea, somehow, respects that.
President Obama took a big risk by sending you there. And you took a big risk by going. Not only might he look weak, but you might look like you’re cleaning up a small mess. Maybe that’s the case, but either way, it was the right decision. And, as a journalist, I feel so proud to know that my profession, and the professions of millions, are truly valued in our country. It means so much to know that at a time when our industry is changing rapidly, and when many of us fear for our job security. Many other reporters — Daniel Pearl comes to mind — were unable to encounter the lucky fate that Ling and Lee did, and Pearl’s death, among others, was a setback to the journalism community. We often struggle to find validation in a world that associates journalism with the word “paparazzi” and “paparazzi” with “evil.” Reminders — like the rescue of two brave Americans fighting for the truth in an evasive, dangerous country — are seeds of hope. We’ll continue to do our jobs proudly and fairly, so long as we have support like yours behind us.