Absolutely jaw-dropping

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 16, 2006

Imagine for a moment that you're a resident of Northern Virginia during the Fall of 2002. People filling up at the gas pump or just mowing the lawn are being shot dead by an unknown sniper.

Then imagine you open the Washington Post one Sunday morning ... and there is a compelling photo of a man aiming a gun out of the back of a car. There's no indication whether or not this man shot and killed his "target" that day. However, here you have the sniper that all the police in the area are looking for and a photographer found him first, and did nothing to stop him as he fired.

Outrageous? Amoral? Evil?

Would you cancel your subscription. Would you hold the photographer partially responsible for any deaths that resulted that day, or on subsequent days? How about the editor that sent him out on that assignment? The publisher?

I set this up as a hypothetical of the sort that Professor Charles Ogletree did in a famous "Ethics in America" broadcast on public television. Several of these were shown to me during the course of journalism school, and I remember vividly now-retired CBS newsman Mike Wallace's position that he was a journalist first and an American second (or maybe third or fourth). Flowing logically from his position as a "citizen of the world," he would stay silent and walked as American soldiers walked unknowingly into an ambush at the hands of the "North Kosanese."

If there was any doubt, the hypothetical has become real. [via LGF]

Joao Silva for The New York Times

A sniper loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al Sadr fires towards U.S. positions in the cemetery in Najaf, Iraq.

Michele McNally: "Right there with the Mahdi army. Incredible courage."

Michele McNally is an Assistant Managing Editor for Photography at The New York Times.


Bolshevik Storytelling.

What in the h-e-double hockeysticks is going on in the American media? You can have a high-minded philosophical debate about whether the Times' recent disclosures of American intelligence operations has endangered the country. But how do you excuse this?

He's firing on Americans! Frankly, I think if American troops come across Joao Silva, they ought to shoot him. If he's an American, that photograph is prima facie evidence of treason. If he's not an American, then he's an enemy of the America and the duly elected Iraqi government and he should be shot.

And just for good measure, Ms. McNally should check to see if she has any morals whatsoever.

I can't describe how absolutely insane and evil this is.

Times editor Bill Keller can blow "public interest" out his sphincter all day over the terrorist finance tracking program. But the mere existence of the above photo blows his defense of his patriotism on the Charlie Rose show out of the water.

Charlie Rose: Yeah, of course. Treason, questioning your patriotism, how does that sit with you?

Bill Keller: It does not sit well with me at all. I have a large staff of people who work for me, who are not frivolous about this kind of matter, who are not unAmerican, who are in fact not agnostic or neutral in the War On Terror. We have...when I hear somebody yelling treason in a case like this, I want to have them go over, as I did in May, and visit our Baghdad bureau, where we've got people who put their own lives at risk to keep people informed about what's going on. Not just Americans, we've got a vast network of reporters and support staff who are Iraqis. You know, for us, the War On...

And one of those reporters goes by the name Joao Silva and he takes snapshots as a sniper tries to kill Americans who are trying to defend Iraq.

Journalists should aspire to be held in as high esteem as used car dealers, because it's apparent now that they're currently at the same level as murderers.

0 comments on “Absolutely jaw-dropping”

  1. You ask what is wrong with the media. I will tell you.

    I have many friends in the media who scoff that we are at war. "War? What war?" they tell me. They don't think having American armies in Afghanistan and Iraq is war - because they believe the war in Afghanistan is lost and the war in Iraq is illegitimate. I had one friend tell me, "The threat from al-Qaeda was overhyped. I know it and so does everyone else."

    I would ask him, "What about the 3,000 dead on 9/11?"

    He would say - with a straight face - "Guns kill more than that in this country. How come we are worried about that threat?"

    You are dealing with a mindset that is truly disturbed. They do not see a threat to this country, hence they can report on those things that counter that threat - because there is no threat. Understand the reasoning? Because the Times is correct in printing story after story about national security and allowing the enemy to know about things they shouldn't, because there is no enemy.

    It is the same type of thinking that said in 1938, "Nazis? They are in Germany! They can't hurt us! And why would they? They have their own country!"

    I am of the mind that if someone prints this kind of shit in newspaper, some civilian committee should just have them and their families shot. Because if we saw more of that, these leftwing psychos would be a little hesitant in letting our enemy know our every secret.

  2. At least the bad guy's got an American flak jacket on to help protect him from ourselves!

    It's a good thing that photographer didn't spend the night in my tent when I was down there in Najaf. I'd've taken care of him myself.

  3. I think Alex is on to something. Many in the MSM and others on the political Left see the WOT as a concocted, agressive military "action" based on illegitimate or fabricated evidence, and precipitated for nefarious and sundry "Neo-con" objectives. They self-identify as "citizens of the world," and abhor overt nationalism, particularly Western Nationalism. Based on that, they believe they can report on it as they would a student sit-down/office occupation at Columbia University. Al-Qaeda, and other terrorists groups, are seen not as the 'enemy,' but as legitimate opposition to American attempts at hegemony. As has been said many times, too many view 9/11 more as an isolated crime, rather than another step in a global fight for our way of life.

    I wonder what Joao Silva would think if I stood by and took photos of some creep dragging his Mother and sister into an alley. I wager he would develop some clarity about right and wrong, and I doubt he would view my behavior as professional or neutral.


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July 2006



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