Michael Scott Moore, Former SF Weekly Writer, Kidnapped by Somali Pirates

Categories: Local News, Media
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Michael Scott Moore
Michael Scott Moore, who previously worked as a theater critic for SF Weekly, was reportedly captured by Somali pirates over the weekend while he was traveling to central Somalia to research for his book about Somali pirates.

The LA Times reports that Moore was on his way to the airport when 15 men in two SUVs kidnapped him, believing he was perhaps a spy. The U.S. State Department issued a statement expressing concern for Moore, who is a Los Angeles resident, and his safety. His captors have threatened to kill him unless a ransom is paid. A specific amount was not specified.

"We have been in contact with the individual's family and we are working with contacts in Kenya and Somalia to ascertain further information," the State Department said in a statement to the press.

John Mecklin, former editor in chief for SF Weekly, wrote on his blog about the kidnapping, saying he is "disturbed" by the news of his former colleague and friend who he has known for more than 15 years.

According to Mecklin:

"Mike is a genuinely decent man, and I'm truly horrified by the thought he's been taken. I'm hoping for a miracle that gets him released quickly and thinking, madly, about ways to help.  I haven't come up with much so far, except to ask the journalists who read my blog to contact their State Department connections. I suspect that State is already doing all it can, but it can't hurt for journalists to make it clear they care about the safety of journalists. I really don't know what else to do right now. Suggestions are welcome."

We are hoping he is released safely.

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26 comments
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obbop
obbop

Maybe we can convince the Somalis that diversity is their strength.

aaronk415
aaronk415

Wow, his book is going to be really realistic now.

Dan Mitchell
Dan Mitchell

It's good to see the Internet Commenters weighing in on this, especially the jokes and, most especially, the conclusions that what he was doing there wasn't worthy and so he deserves what he gets. Not only Internet Commenters -- *Anonymous* Internet Commenters. Too perfect.

Reality
Reality

Well Dan,Good to see, you're so touch and hearten by his actions, that you are planning to go to Somali next Thursday to pick up with he left off. Good luck.

Dan Mitchell
Dan Mitchell

Yes. Yes, I am "touch" and "hearten." Touch and hearten, indeed. I may even go to Somali, so touch and hearten am I.

Snorky
Snorky

I wonder if we're going to read his review of the Mogadishu People's Theatre's performance of Guys and Dolls any time soon.

Patrick Connors
Patrick Connors

He's totally cute. I'd kidnap him!!

Dan Mitchell
Dan Mitchell

Hey, that's pretty funny! Your joke about how cute he is and that you'd kidnap him! I think he's cute too! If they cut off his head, I wouldn't blame them! Look at that head! It's so cute!

F_off
F_off

He's got plenty of research material now. Hopefully he will be released unharmed, but he did put himself in danger. 

Onlytruth
Onlytruth

Real journalist have integrity which means they actually do real investigation which can be extremely dangerous, just so we can know the truth.  Courageous journalist are not writing pretend stories for TV or blogs about fake celebrities, however sadly many people don't seem to care about the truth. Mr Moore is in our prayers.

Realist
Realist

And what is the "truth" regarding this situation that we are not aware of?

Somali pirates are scumbags forced by poverty, a broken government, and an accepted culture of crime to prey upon others, kidnapping them at gunpoint and stealing their property for monetary gain. And we collectively pay them again and again so that they can turn around the next morning and do the same thing.

Have I missed something, or do you think we've about covered the "truth"?

There was no need, other than collecting personal stories for his book, that this "journalist" needed to go to a stinking shithole like Somalia. He walked intentionally into the hornets nest and now he's been stung. Period.

P.S. Your prayers won't do shit for this guy, either way. Send money.

Politico
Politico

How do you know the kidnapping wasn't intentional? Nothing like first-hand experience to write a book!

Brien McDonough
Brien McDonough

Now we have to spend millions to get his ass back? No way, this dude is a darwin award winner, too bad for him.

Brien McDonough
Brien McDonough

Now we have to spend millions to get him back? No way, this dude is a darwin award winner, too bad for him.

Nick
Nick

Paging SEAL Team 6 . . .

Reality
Reality

Wait a second -  there is a level of personal responsibly here. If you go to a third world country, known for kidnappings and then you get kidnapped. You're on your own,... at least you should be.

Susan
Susan

If journalists like this guy don't go to these types of places, then we'll all be much more in the dark about what is going on in the world, and how we as a country should respond to it. He should not be "on his own" if we care about journalistic freedom and greater knowledge of our world. 

Reality
Reality

"to research for his book about Somali pirates. "

Reality
Reality

Journalists is one thing. An author is another. If you're unable to distinguish between the two then the conversation is over before it began.

Peggy
Peggy

He was the first person ever kidnapped on land by pirates in Somalia.  How did he or anyone know this would happen?  

And correction: these pirates are hurting the world economy, we're looking for excuses to send in SEALS to kill pirates these days.

Dan Mitchell
Dan Mitchell

What are you talking about, um, "Reality"? Who said he was being "altruistic?" What gives you the idea he has a "sense of entitlement?" You're just making stuff up to argue against.

Reality
Reality

Correction:

Has placed him IN a situation that may cause a NAVY SEAL or other SF solider to BE placed in danger because of his stupid, poor, decision.

Reality
Reality

I'm saying there are consequences to your, my, his actions. 

Regardless of the book being fiction or non fiction, he chose to go to Somali to acquire material for his book. Not exactly the altruistic endeavor as the refugee care taker that was rescued last week now is it.

Now, because of his sense of entitlement, that he can go any where because "I'm < fill in any number of plausible responses >," has place him is a situation that may cause a NAVY SEAL or other special forces solider to place in danger because of his stupid, poor, decision.

Yes, maybe we should let people reap what they sow.  

 

Dan Mitchell
Dan Mitchell

I don't know if the book is fiction or non-fiction. Do you? And if it's non-fiction, how is that not journalism? And even if it IS fiction, you're saying what - let them kill him, who cares? Why should anyone write about it? What?

Realist
Realist

"was reportedly captured by Somali pirates over the weekend while he was traveling to central Somalia to research for his book about Somali pirates"

Huh. Guess he'll now have first-hand experience to draw on while writing about Somali pirates.

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