Echoing the majority of reader comments at press time to Meghan Daum‘s latest LA Times column, we don’t buy into her stand-alone concept of “hiker hate.”

Daum suggests that the disapproval articulated by the American populace over the actions of Iranian imprisoned hikers Sarah Shourd (since released), Shane Bauer, and Josh Fatal is “so vehement that it lends itself to its own coinage and category.” That’s a stretch. The same kind of reaction framed the 2009 North Korean detainment of Current TV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, and in fact the amount of vitriol that has slammed the hikers is on par with just about any other Berkeley-Biloxi dividing topic (Sarah Palin, abortion, take your pick).

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