Friday, April 23, 2004

Will they never learn?
I just sit and shake my head at the arrogance of the Pentagon folks who think they can control the images of coffins of dead soldiers (Washington Post story, r.r.). Like water, powerful information and images seep and trickle -- and in the long run do more damage to the folks who try to suppress them. (North Korea appears to have been quicker to figure this out than the knuckleheads in the five-sided building.) Consider: Had the Pentagon just allowed these photos out a few at a time as they were shot, chances are they would have faded into the background of the white noise that much of our media world has become. (I already sense Iraq fatigue; one editor in discussing an injured soldier told me the other day it's a hard enough sell to get stories about the dead in.) Instead, they are attracting how many untold tens of thousands of hits on, which pried them loose with an FOIA request. (I don't know how many hits; I only know it just took me 10 minutes to get on the site, its servers are so overloaded.)

I loved the reaction from one news exec in essence that "we didn't ask for them because we didn't know they existed." Sounds like a heck of a reporting job to me. Whatever happened to the idea that sometimes you go fishing to see what you catch?

A very nice continuing discussion, with images, is at the blog.


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