Friday, September 4, 2009

Amoral Parasites

AP (hereafter and forever called "Amoral Parasites" by me,) has just proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they ARE amoral, and that they ARE parasites.

OED definition of amoral:

having no moral sense; unconcerned with right or wrong

OED definition of parasite:

an organism which lives in or on another organism and benefits at the other’s expense. 2 derogatory a person who lives off or exploits others.

The internet is abuzz today because AP chose to publish and broadcast a picture of a dead Marine. A bit of background. On August 14, AP photographer Julie Jacobson was embedded with US Marines in Helmand province, Afghanistan, when they came under attack. During the battle, Lance Cpl Joshua M Bernard was seriously wounded. He would later die from his wounds. Jacobson, although not in the thick of things, continued to document the events, and a photograph of Lance Cpl Bernard - mortally wounded as it unfolded - was included in a story which Amoral Parasites ran about the battle.

No matter that when approached by AP, Bernard's father, a former Marine himself, has asked on more than one occasion for them NOT to use that picture of his son. No matter that SecDef Robert Gates made a personal call to the President of AP asking him not to allow this photo to be used. All for nought, as AP ran it anyways.

Now Amoral Parasites is spinning it, with Jacobson saying:

To ignore a moment like that simply … would have been wrong. I was recording his impending death, just as I had recorded his life moments before walking the point in the bazaar,” she said. “Death is a part of life and most certainly a part of war. Isn’t that why we’re here? To document for now and for history the events of this war?”

AP is trying to tell critics that they discussed this at an editorial level, and finally came up with this:

The AP waited until after Bernard's burial in Madison, Maine, on Aug. 24 to distribute its story and the pictures. An AP reporter met with his parents, allowing them to see the images....

"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.

If you really need to read a pile of absurd justification, go over to AP here.

Old Blue, a military man IN Afghanistan, is all over this one. He rightly says:
Bullshit. She thought of the pictures she had taken and “$” came to mind immediately. “Jackpot!” her mind screamed instantly. She got paid for that picture, and she will continue to get paid for it for some time, especially after the furor that erupts. What would have been wrong for her was to set aside her money and an imagined chance for a Pulitzer. Such selfishness and what a ridiculous attempt to couch it in ethical terms.

He doesn't hold back, and neither should he. Go read his smackdown here. It IS wonderful.

He is not alone in his disgust and outrage. All over the blogworld, active service military, veterans, and other military bloggers are chiming in. Michelle Malkin also has a post up where she talks about the rules that all embedded journalists are expected to sign on for, and abide by. You can find that here.

I am not going to even get into the lack of ethics this photographer, and on up the chain of management. I don't need to discuss that, since anyone with a zintilla of ethics knows what the decent, ethical person would have done.

I am not going to discuss AP's spin on their reasons for publishing and be damned. I was taught long ago that when covering an event in any public place, any and all facts are fair game for reportage. It is legal, apparently.

I don't plan to even point out to any of AP employees or management, that they would feel as outraged as the rest of us if a loved one of theirs died, and then had that last image splashed all over the place. NOBODY ever wants a lasting image of a loved one to be such a horrific tableau. I don't care who you are, it just is not right, on ANY level.

I AM going to call bullshit on their rationale that these pictures added to the story and that it was their DUTY to show the 'reality of war.' You know:

"AP journalists document world events every day. Afghanistan is no exception. We feel it is our journalistic duty to show the reality of the war there, however unpleasant and brutal that sometimes is," said Santiago Lyon, the director of photography for AP."

THAT'S what I call bullshit on, right there. Most of us are long past the stage where we expect mainstream media hacks to be ethical (Nick Meo anyone?). Most of us understand that the msm is ONLY, and always about the money. We get that. Seems that AP hasn't yet figured out that, just maybe, one of the reasons their bottom line is red ink all the way, is because of their product. Stories like this must surely add to the demise of such "abyssmal pornographers" - yes, another renaming of AP. And I DO see this as low brow pornography, pandering to most base of human voyeurism. I don't care that Jacobson tries to imply that Lance Cpl Bernard's fellow Marines were okay with the photographs. As she puts it:

"But none of them complained or grew angry about it. They understood that it was what it was. They understand, despite that he was their friend, it was the reality of things."

Here's a reality check for you, Amoral Parasites. IF you were any kind of real journalists - you know, craftsman, skilled tradesmen and women - you would not NEED to use any picture to tell any story. The words alone could, and historically have, painted a more than vivid picture of the events that happened that day. So the clinging to the old "the story needed the picture" is bull. Most of us also already know the reality of war, without organisations like Amoral Parasites clinging to such cliches to justify this.

Bottom line: spin it any way you like. This disgusting disrespect of the family's express opinions; the disregard of Robert Gates begging you not to use this picture, tells me you really don't give a damn for who you hurt, as long as you get a story.

I have no way of ensuring that Amoral Parasites pays any kind of penance for this sorry example of journalism. I'll leave that to people like Old Blue. Frankly, even though someone suggests that AP should cough up $$ to compensate the family of Lance Cpl Bernard for the pain they have been caused by this callous bunch of bloodsuckers, we all know that NO amount of dollars can undo the irreparable harm done to this family. Not enough that the Bernards are burying their beloved son; now AP went ahead and piled on more grief.

What I will so enjoy, is the day when Amoral Parasites, and their lowlife msm colleagues, become so irrelevant to advertisers and readers, that they go bankrupt. And with examples like today's that day cannot be far off...

Oh happy day, for all of us.


M*A said...

Godspeed Lance Cpl. Bernard. Prayers for his family.

K-Dubyah said...

Ahh Brat,

You say it well. "Amoral Parasites" describes them most aptly.

May LCpl. Bernard's family find solace within God's arms. Prayers for them from here.


prying1 said...

Good posting and thanks for posting this. I for one will respect the wishes of the family of Lance Cpl Joshua M Bernard in the only way I can. That is by not seeking and viewing the picture.

The more people that do this, that is, not click on the pages leading to the pic, the less revenue AP will receive. See a site with AP on it, find the news elsewhere.

brat said...

I absolutely agree, Prying..I have not sought out the picture, or the story via AP for that very reason..

And yes, KYW, that name just came to me.;) Feel free to share it. lol

I keep the Bernard family, and all his brother Marines, in my prayers.

Claire said...

I know Brat. I read this at Hot Air. It makes me want to vomit... literally. So, does this photographer mind if someone comes and takes pictures of someone he loves dying so it can be used to exploit a moment that should never have been captured to begin with? I hope the Marine's father sues the crap out of the AP for pain and suffering.

Poet Warrior said...

Right on Brat. I for one am thoroughly sick of major media in America. I am boycotting GE and any of its underlings at any level about which I am aware. I suppose I can add any media that utilizes AP photos as well. I do not know what else to do to them. If enough us do that it can have an impact. God Bless that Marine and all of our soldiers and prayers to his family.

Anonymous said...

Deep Breathe Brat! There are Parasites all around us and this photographer (my understanding it was a female) that took this picture should have such a guilty conscious and not be able to sleep at night. She invaded on every parent's worst nightmare.

May the Bernard family and freinds find peace at this most difficult time.
Proud Army Mom
Proud Soldiers Angel

Northstar96sc said...

Prayers sent up for the family and friends of the Bernard family for comfort. Thank you, LCpl Bernard for your service, Godspeed.

Kanani said...

I wouldn't expect that his peers would protest. They were in grief and shock, and to expect them to have an appropriate response when all emotions have been effectively dulled by the moment is unreal.

Thank you for commenting on my blog. Come back often!