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Rushing to Judgment

Lewisville High School grad Josh Rushing -- Sean Hannity's "traitor," Jon Stewart's recent guest

When I interviewed then-Marine Captain Josh Rushing in June 2004 for this story, his commanding officers weren't allowing the Dallas-born, Lewisville-raised soldier to give much more than his name, rank and serial number. Rushing -- featured prominently in the documentary Control Room, about the U.S.'s complicated relationship with Al Jazeera -- was already well on his way to being damned by the right as a traitor for his having said the war in Iraq wasn't being truthfully portrayed on American television. "All we see is patriotism," he told The Village Voice, "and we support the troops."

A year later, Rushing had switched jobs -- and, suddenly, the kid from "a country town just to the north of Dallas" was actually working for the English-language Al Jazeera International. Which made Sean Hannity real happy, as he branded Rushing "a traitor" on Fox News Channel. I'm in the middle of reading Rushing's new book about his career change, Mission Al Jazeera: Build a Bridge, Seek the Truth, Change the World, and it's a fascinating read -- neither apologia nor diatribe, but a story about how "a Texan from a long line of Texans" found himself between cultures and without a home, at least for a little while. To quote the last line of the book, Rushing writes, "I am that bridge I had always imagined I could be, without worrying about the lanes." --Robert Wilonsky

Update: This afternoon, go figure, CBS Public Eye posted a Q&A with Rushing.

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