“Matt Damon Moved by Plight of Zimbabwean Refugees,” the AP reports today (proving once again that a humanitarian crisis in a faraway place can be snuck into the news with the proper Hollywood bait). Readers learn, yes, about the refugees’ “plight” but also, per the AP’s lede, that Damon, of the Bourne movies fame, “listened emotionally as a Zimbabwean woman described how she was raped while pregnant during a perilous journey to cross into South Africa from her troubled homeland,” that “a watery-eyed Damon swallowed hard” upon hearing her story, and that Damon “patiently listened to [refugees’] heart-wrenching stories in the scorching heat.”
(For a refresher on some of what the people Damon met are running from, revisit Celia W. Dugger’s heartbreaking front-page New York Times piece from late December.)Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.