Lesson of the Day

Ken AshfordBush & Co., War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Eric Alterman nails it:

If you fire a photographer, the photograph you fired her for will get printed again and again, even in the New York Times, which otherwise might have left the whole thing alone.

This of course refers to the Pentagon/Bush ban on photos of dead troops in their coffins — an order which was violated by Pentagon contractor, causing a minor controversy, which resulted in news stories about the controversy, many of which carried photos of dead troops in their coffins. And publication of 300+ photos on places like The Memory Hole. [UPDATE: better access at a mirror site here]

Personally, I don’t know what the hub-bub is about. Soldiers die in war. When that happens, they come home in big planes, and military guards escort them off in a ceremonial dignified way.

Do I need a picture to remind me of that? No — I already knew it.

On the other hand, if I were the President, should I be scared or concerned that the public is seeing pictures of that? No – give the public a little credit, and don’t treat them like children.

And besides, I’m not even convinced that the display of such a photograph stirs up anti-war sentiments. If anything (I’m guessing), it would stir up the opposite emotion.

Anyway, that said . . . Alterman is right.