Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Oh What A Tangled Web...

Editor & Publisher doth weave, trying its damnedest to mask an editorial as straight news:
NEW YORK Forced to defend what some critics consider its slow and botched response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from New Orleans.

FEMA, which is leading the rescue efforts, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims, Reuters reported.

A FEMA spokeswoman told the wire service that space was need on the rescue boats and assured Reuters that "the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect."

"We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media," the spokeswoman told Reuters via e-mail.

The Bush administration's decision to continue a policy of preventing the news media from photographing flag-draped coffins of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq has fueled criticism that the government is trying to avoid images that put the war in a bad light.
Of course this should read:
We can't effectively make the point that President Bush kills people, if we can't photograph the dead. Bush should let us photograph dead people and use those photos editorially. He stopped us in Iraq and now he's doing it in New Orleans. It's an irritating block to our political message, and we want it ended.
But that would not be professional, as interpreted by the high priests of journalism at Editor & Publisher.

Their false priorities have twisted their minds into pretzels. If you can't editorialize on it, bury it in a news article!

But, what's the news here?

That FEMA won't take media photographers instead of its own employees aboard its own vehicles? That's hardly new.

That Bush won't let photographers capture flag-draped coffins being offloaded? This story itself admits that is a continuation of existing policy.

That there is criticism of the Administration? That certainly is heard every day, but shouldn't that be a separate story?

The sole connection between Iraq, New Orleans, and FEMA transportation policies, is media frustration at being denied Pulitizer-grade propoganda pix.

They can't say it outright. They can't even find some academic somewhere to say it for them, and then quote her.

They can only stre-e-e-tch their own arcane rules of composition to the point of parody.

I shouldn't sneer. I should be grateful they have any qualms, any standards, any prick of conscience left at all.

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