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The AP publishes a photograph

Mind you, the family asked them not to.
Bernard’s father after seeing the image of his mortally wounded son said he opposed its publication, saying it was disrespectful to his son’s memory. John Bernard reiterated his viewpoint in a telephone call to the AP on Wednesday.

“We understand Mr. Bernard’s anguish. We believe this image is part of the history of this war. The story and photos are in themselves a respectful treatment and recognition of sacrifice,” said AP senior managing editor John Daniszewski.

No, I'm not going to link to it.  Google is your friend, use it if you feel the need.

Some explain why photos like this are problematic.  Being an instant in time, they lack an overall context, meaning that you, the viewer, bring your context to the picture.  Which may or may not be accurate, but it's going to be how you characterize it.

Some are apoplectic, and claim to know the mind of the photographer, and the AP editors who decided to publish.  I know for a fact that Old Blue deleted a lot of expletives before posting this.

Some are rounding up the outrage.

And others man the barricades and go hardcore on the AP.

And a military family member weighs in.  At the same blog, another miltary wife trains her sights on a different target.  "Own it, Mr. Secretary."  She finds the chickens roosting in Mr. Gates' office.

And Some Soldier's Mom weighs in from... a Mom's perspective.

The new National Commander of the American Legion is...  well, *livid* seems to cover it.

And, of course, there is a defense.

The AP defended itself in that it decided to make the image public anyway because it “conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.”

Because, of course, none of us understand that, apparently, and they felt the need to share, because, well, we're uninformed, donchaknow. 

These pictures are taken all the time.  They're on the 'net, if you know where to look.  I have used the pictures myself.

It doesn't bother me the pictures are taken.  Some of the best photographs I know from previous wars are similar to this, in the work of Brady, Robert Capa, and David Douglas Duncan.  Most of them came out, especially the ones of identifiable or identifed dead, well after the wars in question, or, in Brady's case, in an era without instant mass communications and where we were all a lot closer to death on a day-to-day basis than we generally are now.

But I do think the AP should have been considerate of the family's feelings on this.  There are going to be more casualties for Ms. Jacobson to photograph, and a family that will give it's permission.

I'm going to do what I normally do.
 

 

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of Lance Corporal Joshua M. Bernard

And may that be the image that sticks.

As a buddy of mine is wont to say, "Kyrie eleison" - especially if Ms. Jacobson should pass through Fiddler's Green on her way to wherever it is that journos go... and LCpl Bernard takes exception to her flouting his families' wishes on this issue.  But that will be between them. 

I predict Ms. Jacobson will "dine out" on this photo for... years, more's the pity. 

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AP Photographer, Julie Jacobson (photo of her) shows no moral decency. A photo of Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Maine, who was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush Aug. 14 in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan,... Read More

10 Comments

 Voyeuristic vermin...-Attila
 
 John,

I agree with you. No more needs to be said...  except, if I meet Ms. Jacobson, I'm going to hit her as hard as I can , in the face. She is no lady. John Daniszewski should avoid me also. 

My prayers are with the family of LCpl Joshua M. Bernard, and for his immortal soul.

Alan Briley
 
The best way to get AP or any other paper to change its way on issues such as this is hit them in the pocket book.  All of the arguments that we may offer up suggesting that they respec the families wishes not to publish the photos will be ignored because the cardnal rule in news is (no pun intended in this case) "if it bleeds, it leads."

If however, the VFW, American Legion and the DAV - and other military/veteran groups made a public announcement asking for a change in policy - or better planned (with member support) to boycott those publications the loss of ad revenue might change the minds of the AP.  And seeing how many newspapers are struggiling to stay a float the threat may work faster than usual.

Just a thought.
 
rest in peace there, Devil Dog, be thou at peace.
 
The immoral count on the moral to stay moral
RIP CPL Benrard, may his family know they are not alone
Semper Fi
 
Sent to info@ap.org
Your treasonous ba$tards do not deserve the freedom of the press that LCPL Bernard died defending!

Have you no decency, taste, compassion, or patriotism?

I can only hope that if a loved member of YOUR family is horribly injured and dies in a horrific traffic accident, that there is not some slimy "journalist" there to exploit their passing.

AP has ZERO credibility with me any more, and had damn little in recent years anyway due to prior poor judgment and taste.

You owe the family a huge apology as well as a huge settlement for pain and suffering when they sue everyone involved with this story!

I cannot express my contempt for you utterly despicable weasels.
 
John Daniszewski's statement parsed into plain English: “The family's anguish was made clear to us and we couldn't care less."

Requiescat, Lance Corporal Bernard. Friends await at Fiddler's Green...

 
I see it as part of an orchestrated effort to erode away support for our International Contingency on Tuggy Feelings.
 
 I agree with John on this one... I think that in this case it's a call that should have respected the family's wishes but I don't have the same problem with it as a general rule that so many others seem to have. Photos like this are the only way that many of us will see the sacrifices that these young men and women are making and  the only way that the phrase "paying the ultimate price" becomes real for most of our countrymen.

I do agree however, with the point that has been made that the double standard of the media is in clear view. We see the media failing to run video of the 9-11 crashes or the Al-Qaeda beheadings as "inappropriate" when they are necessary to provide a more complete context of the situation.

But, this should be classified as a "media fail" for that reason and for not respecting the wishes of the family.
 
As much as I would love to slap this...this..."journalist" silly, she's not worth the time, effort, or criminal liability.  I wouldn't even spit on her shoes.  I would, however, show her my U.S. Army I.D., and explain to her (in the most flowery manner my Irish tongue will allow) just how the word "Bitch" doesn't even  come close to describing her.  "Bitch"is something she must aspire to become, it's a major step up.

Stand easy, Marine.  We've got your back.