Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Photographing The War Dead

NBC nightly news ran a story on Feb. 24th regarding lifting the 18 year ban on photographing coffins of the war dead. The story reports that critics say the ban was put in place to "hide the human cost of war." Sen. Frank Lautenberg says,"It was designed to conceal the pain that goes with the war." But the truth is found, in a bit they did report, of why the ban was put into place to begin with. In 1989 the news displayed a split screen showing the first Pres. Bush bantering with the press, as coffins of Americans killed in Panama arrived in the U.S.

The reporter goes on to say that hiding the human cost of war included "the nearly 5000 American killed in Iraq and Afghanistan." Might it have helped to report the obvious? That the ban simply prevented the media from trying to embarrass the President as they did with the first Pres. Bush? Do any of us doubt they would have used the same split screen with Pres. George W. Bush during the height of the Iraq war? And does anyone doubt that now that they have access to photographing the war dead, that they will not use it to embarrass Pres. Obama?