Thursday, September 08, 2005

"Let's not make a common decency issue into a censorship issue. Nobody wants to wake up in the morning and see their dead uncle on the front page...That's just common decency."

So some media agencies and free speech watchdog groups are crying censorship at a request by FEMA officials to not photograph Katrina victims. This is rich. Why do we need to see images of bodies tied to trees and fences? What about survivors getting first information of the deaths of family and friends by seeing their bodies plastered on the front page of newspapers or broadcast on television? The media understand self censorship very well: if an image can be a tool to use against the current administration somehow, then it's all in the interest of the "public needing to know." If it doesn't fall into the former category, and may well help the cause of their adversaries, then they won't broadcast something because somehow the public's sensibilities need to be "protected."

This is why we had All Abu Ghraib All the Time when some members of US military were involved, but nothing when the video footage showed up of what Saddam's men (currently known as freedom fighters) were doing to political prisoners in that hellhole.

Pictures of the New Orleans dead have been circulating all over the web. I've had the unfortunate chance to happen upon some, and don't see at all how mainstreaming their diffusion could possibly help round out a narrative (unless you're Rotten dot com or Faces of Death or some other such outfit). It'd just be ghoulish, in poor taste and utterly lacking in respect for the dead and their families.


Sissy Willis said...

Well said.

Be said...

I can't describe the feeling of learning about the death of a loved one in the news. Suffice it to say that I don't want other people to have that experience it if can be avoided.