Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Dead Men Tell No Tales?

The Anchoress has a very good post up about the latest Katrina related flap: Those who feel that Bush is primarily at fault for the destruction are upset that the Feds have been trying to keep reporters from running around photographing dead bodies. (Reader be warned, the Anchoress does show such a photo as part of her post.)

There's a balance to be struck on these sorts of things. Without question, there's a need to know how bad things are in the world. But it's not a front page need. And with everyone yapping right now trying to figure out who is "to blame", I don't think that quiet contemplation of the depth of human mortality and tragedy is what most of those demanding pictures had in mind.

Similar questions were being asked after 9/11 about whether it was appropriate to be showing bodies; whether it was appropriate to show the planes hitting the buildings; whether it was appropriate to show the buildings falling. Answer (IMHO): In the first case, probably not. In the second two, acceptable, but keep it to a minimum. On the one hand I think that people do need to remember what we're facing with the threat of radical Islam terrorism. On the other hand, we don't want anything that resembles a "five minutes of hate" ala 1984. So while I think people need to remember the reality (in the case of both 9/11 and Katrina) I can't help feeling that those who are over-excited to see images of destruction (whether it's Bill O'Rielly pushing for the former or Andrew Sullivan pushing for the latter) are up to something.

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