Monday, June 05, 2006

Skulls Before Cities

American cities that is.

The Mudville Gazette looks at the fine print in certain newspapers of record and finds what some of them really want is quality corpse photos.

Every once in a blue moon during the course of the war in Iraq a reporter authors a complaint that there just aren't enough photographs of corpses of American soldiers appearing in the news. Here's an example from the LA Times from March 2005. ... Today's New York Times says:

Show Me The Bodies

FOR war photography, Vietnam remains the bloody yardstick. During the Tet offensive, on Feb. 9, 1968, Time magazine ran a story that was accompanied by photos showing dozens of dead American soldiers stacked like cordwood. The images remind that the dead are both the most patient and affecting of all subjects.

The Iraq war is a very different war, especially as rendered at home. While pictures of Iraqi dead are ubiquitous on television and in print, there are very few images of dead American soldiers. (We are offered pictures of the grievously wounded, but those are depictions of hope and sacrifice in equal measure.)

See, that's the problem. The grievously wounded are "depictions of hope and sacrifice in equal measure". If one could only get rid of the "hope" part and it would be just what the doctor ordered. All the news that's fit to print. All the corpses that are fit to display.


Blogger wretchard said...

Actually, the probable reason why the NYT can't find the "bodies stacked like cordwood" pictures is the same reason there aren't hundreds of POWS in enemy hands (and thousands of missing) in Iraq. The USA controls the battlefield and is much more dominant than compared to Vietnam. No bodies to photograph stacked like cordwood.

6/05/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/05/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger John Van Laer said...

I am beginning to hope that there will be another critical difference with Vietnam. In the 60s and 70s, propagandists like Halberstam, Arnett, and Wilfred Burchett won prizes. Maybe this time, when the slandered troops come home, some of these bloody-minded creeps will get first-hand experience with the military on a rampage.

6/05/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

In the end, the old media is dying off because the only stories they know are "Vietnam" and "Watergate."

6/05/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Meanwhile, here in the Evil Empire, I was on a plane the other day that landed to a salute from the firetrucks' water cannon. The captain informed us that we were escorting a foreign soldier. As the plane pulled to a quiet place on the tarmac, a military honor guard and a police corps of pallbearers lined up to take the flag-draped casket off the plane. (And yes, I've seen the emailed version of this story, but this was real, it happened in Orlanda last Thursday afternoon.) The people in the plane were glued through the windows, some of us silently saluting with our hands on our hearts.

The only photographer I noticed was in a police uniform, probably documenting the return of a brother cop from the Reserves.

I guess respect for our heroes and common, widespread, heartfelt patriotism is not 'news.'

6/05/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

I hope to see DR post on this thread.

Defending the media against bias and blaming Bush/Rummy for not overcoming the bias, although there really, really, really is no bias.

6/05/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The ether ate one reply, so I won't be rude again

The bias is well known, foretold and not surprising. It is a constant in any equation.

The uproar, any uproar is a benefit to the Media. Good or bad makes no difference just tell the story, get that name right.
More hits, more readers, more Buzz.

More Buzz, smacko equals dollar bills, which is all management cares about in most places.

The only way to counter the MSM System is with new & better content. Content is always king.

Provide enough, on your own storylines, you'll win the MSM wars, flank Mr Murdock, become the king of content.
The Government easily could crown itself, or an Independent group.

Why is it that al-Jeezera can have a patron and the Freedom & Liberty Channel does not? Private or Public?

If that is all really Mr Bush's failure, as you keep saying, so be it. But I'd cast a wider net, myself.

The whole deal is pretty easy to see, FOX & VoA on steroids.
That Police Officer & Reservist's life story of should be on tape, his and the other's stories told, each and every one's.

Requires a different mind set, to understand that change is sometimes required, to win, though.
You don't have it, sorry.

You'd cede the field to ViaCom.

6/05/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger "Frankly Opinionated" said...

Is anyone surprised at this mentality? Liberals want to see and read about the negatives in life. They don't want to see the feel good stories. They have such a belief in the mudstream Media that they base their voting, their very lives on the pablum fed them. The blogosphere, while it has its wackos on each side, is basically preventing facts, and the sources for which to look into these facts. Leaks to the Media are for political gain, and it all feeds the shareholders. What does surprise me is that the capitalism in them doesn't outweigh their liberalism. Wouldn't their readership/viewership go up lots if they would just do a daily "feel good story" from the war? Wouldn't you, I, the rest of us, een become their readers if they could be counted on to give some positives in their presentations. (We'll work on integrity later.)
nuf sed

6/05/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

You said:
" The blogosphere, while it has its wackos on each side, is basically preventing facts..." [my italics]

I assume you meant "presenting"

6/05/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

People read newspapers and watch the news reports on TV probably for much the same reason I used to enjoy watching episodes of "Cops" — to see some OTHER jerk being punished by the universe for doing something STUPID.

Or in case of disasters and catastrophes, in order to breathe a sigh of relief and mutter "I'm sure glad I wasn't in that car truck plane war zone earthquake explosion operating room interview bed space-shuttle..."

People LOVE good news; they just have learned not to expect it from the networks and local journalists.

So they go to National Geographic, Discover, or Victoria's Secret.

I always find better journalism there than in any of the Mainstream Alleged News Media.

When I need to train a puppy where to poop, THAT's when I go search for a copy of the NYT.

6/05/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger NewEnglandDevil said...

Then there's the other hard fact of pictures of the injured; you're often consigned to quote them, and there's a better than even chance that they believe in the mission. A dead body on the other hand.... well, you know...

6/05/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

In midyear 1967 I caught a Space-A flight from Ft Lewis, WA to San Fran to Arizona to New Mex to St Louis...

A long, low, slow flight and I was one of the few whole-bodied people aboard, the rest being wounded back from 'Nam.

In between sleep-cycles, I spoke with the guy in the canvas sling; he'd taken a bullet thru the ankle, was put on a tank for evac, and the tank caught a mortar, which blew both his legs off at the knees, and part of his left hand...

He awed and humbled me, saying earnestly through his painful discomfort, "I'm proud of going, and I'm not sorry for where I am now, or what I'll have in the future. America is worth this, and more!"

6/06/2006 01:27:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...


I can relate. I was 16 and worked with a buddy who was older and drafted into the Army in '69. I set him up and we double dated when he came back from basic.
The next time I saw him, I shook his left hand - the right side being blown off by a mine.

One more story & then I'll stop:

My neighbor was a side gunner in the air cavalry. Just before we pulled out - he knew it would be his last mission there - he went to is CO & said "I have a bad feeling, I'd like to sit this one out" It was his second tour and the CO obliged. His best friend, however didn't survive the mission. Now Ralph just shakes his head and says, "All those boys died over there for nuthin".

He's right.

Thanks NYT et all.

6/06/2006 08:40:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Powered by Blogger