Pictures good. Words bad, like fire, burn. Make eyes water.
Callimachus at donkleupagus is miffed/incensed/disgruntled/on the verge of testy that AP isn’t using the right photos from Iraq to tell the true story of our fight against terror and stuff for the benefit of Pre-Verbal-Americans (the last group of Americans that it is still acceptable to make fun of…besides John Roberts family, I mean).
So how are we doing in Iraq? What are those tens of thousands of our sons and daughters, brothers and wives, doing in that distant land? We went there to help build freedom and make the world safer for all. Whatâ€™s the progress report?
I checked the Associated Press photo wire today to get an overview of the war as it is seen through the eyes of the Associated Press.
Here is what he saw:
* Sixteen pictures of Sgt. Kevin Benderman and/or various members of his family and defense team. Benderman is an Army mechanic who refused to go to Iraq while he sought conscientious objector status. Apparently, he is the most newsworthy U.S. soldier. There are far more pictures of him than anyone else in uniform.
* Three file photo headshots of U.S. soldiers & Marines recently killed. Also one photo of a casket of a female Nebraska Army National Guard medic who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq. Also, one photo of an Army captain kneeling before a memorial to one of his soldiers who was killed near Abu Ghraib. Apparently, the most important thing our soldiers do in Iraq, other than desert, is die.
* Three photos of â€œElectronic musician Moby.â€ Why? Because â€œMoby says he has a newfound respect for Eminem, who once mocked him in a song, because the rapper criticized U.S. President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq in his last album.â€
* Three pictures of U.S. troops standing helplessly amid the smashed cars and shreaded flesh at the scene of a suicide bombing that killed dozens of people. Other than deserting and getting killed, this apparently is the number three most newsworthy activity for U.S. troops.
* One photo of a U.S. Army soldier who is doing something other than deserting, dying, or not preventing a suicide attack. But itâ€™s a file photo from 2004, from the fighting in Najaf. The AP re-ran the photo this week because the â€œphotograph was among those honored by the Associated Press Managing Editors Association in its annual awards to the AP staff.â€ Itâ€™s a story about the AP, not the soldier.
Oh, and five pictures of Michael Moore.
Now, the AP photo wire doesnâ€™t set out to be a complete picture of anything. But it does show you where the big mediaâ€™s camera lens is firmly focused in any given period. And for most American newspapers, including mine, AP is the only source of pictures for the world. You need pictures to make a paper. If it doesnâ€™t have art, chances are it wonâ€™t run.
We shall alert the Wall Street Journal.
Boy will they feel stupid.
We direct Callimachus here.
Ooooooo. Pretty colors!