The Co-Knucklehead of the Day award Part Two
Our second winner today is the New York Times. They get the award for the following.
Read the entire Houston Chronicle in its entirety.
WASHINGTON — A photograph and videotape of a Texas soldier dying in Iraq published by the New York Times have triggered anger from his relatives and Army colleagues and revived a long-standing debate about which images of war are proper to show.
The journalists involved, Times reporter Damien Cave and Getty Images photographer Robert Nickelsberg, working for the Times, had their status as so-called embedded journalists suspended Tuesday by the Army corps in Baghdad, military officials said, because they violated a signed agreement not to publish photos or video of any wounded soldiers without official consent.
New York Times foreign editor Susan Chira said Tuesday night that the newspaper initially did not contact the family of Army Staff Sgt. Hector Leija about the images because of a specific request from the Army to avoid such a direct contact.
"The Times is extremely sensitive to the loss suffered by families when loved ones are killed in Iraq," Chira said. "We have tried to write about the inevitable loss with extreme compassion."
She said that after the newspaper account, with a photograph of the soldier, was published Monday, a Times reporter in Baghdad made indirect efforts to tell the family of the video release later that day. The video was still available for viewing on the Times' Web site Tuesday night, when the newspaper notified clients of its photo service that the photograph at issue was no longer available and should be eliminated from any archives.
Another disgusting low for the paper of record. Does this newspaper have any standards Or is anyone or everyone fair game in their pursuit of news? Michelle Malkin points out the rules reporters must agree to before being embedded with troops in Iraq. No question, the Times violated these rules.
The disgust with the Times is just about universal. Lt. Gen.) Raymond T. Odierno, Cmdr., Multinational Corps-Iraq, wrote the following to Times.
I am writing to express my profound disappointment in The New York Times's decision to publish a photograph of a mortally wounded American soldier in its Jan. 29 issue and Web site posting.The Times robbed the dignity of a dying soldier from his family and disgraced the field of journalism with their photos. That makes The New York Times today's 2nd Knucklehead of the Day.
Not only are the photograph and video offensive, the clear depiction is also directly counter to the written agreement made by the reporter and the photographer before publication.
The article that accompanied the photograph and Web site video, " 'Man Down': When One Bullet Alters Everything," by the reporter, Damien Cave, and the photographer, Robert Nickelsberg, was a story of soldiers operating in and around Haifa Street in Baghdad.
This story can and should be told. That is not in question. What is disturbing to me personally and, more important, to the family of the soldier depicted in the photograph and the video, is that the young man who so valiantly gave his life in the service of others was displayed for the entire world to see in the gravest condition and in such a fashion as to elicit horror at its sight.
This photograph will be the last of this man that his family will ever see. Further, it will cause unnecessary worry among the families of other soldiers who fear that the last they see of their loved ones will be in a New York Times photograph lying grievously wounded and dying.
To achieve a mutually agreed upon standard of working together, all reporters and photographers are required to sign the Multinational Forces-Iraq News Media Ground Rules. In it, they agree to the following:
"Media will not be prohibited from covering casualties provided the following conditions are adhered to: (a) Names, video, identifiable written/oral descriptions or identifiable photographs of wounded service member will not be released without the service member's prior written consent."
No such consent was sought or provided.
All of us bear a responsibility to provide for the dignity of our service members in combat. This soldier and his family deserved better.
A big hat Tip and thanks to Michelle Malkin. Much of the above post I took from her blog.
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