Sunday, September 08, 2002

Drop Dead, Reuters
Steven Den Beste and Charles Johnson have something to say about a photo and caption being distributed by Reuters. I'd link to it, but Reuters has pulled it, so you'll have to visit Den Beste or Johnson to see it in its full glory. It was a March 25 photo of the cleanup operations at the World Trade Center, accompanied by the following caption:

Recovery and debris removal work continues at the site of the World Trade Center known as "ground zero" in New York, March 25, 2002. Human rights around the world have been a casualty of the U.S. "war on terror" since September 11. REUTERS/Peter Morgan

Now, I can't find it in myself to claim that no one should hold that opinion, nor that they shouldn't say so if they do. But I'm really uncomfortable with it being presented as a straight factual lead, rather than an opinion piece.

But then I guess it wasn't really intended for an American audience. In the name of equal time, I feel compelled to link to the complete story by Richard Waddington as found at Yahoo Asia, "Human rights are victim of 9/11 attacks", of which the photo's caption is the first line. (Hey, I Googled for it.) All things considered, though, I don't think it speaks well of anyone involved at Reuters to attach so little importance to, one might say, the first 3000 victims of the 2001 War on Terror. They lost their human rights too.

(So, you see, all you violent people at Little Green Footballs, the person you're really after is not Peter Morgan, who's only the photographer. The words are Mr Waddington's.)

In the wonderfulness that is the web, it's no longer possible to write for a particular audience in serene confidence that nobody else will see it. That's why they call it a world wide web.

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