The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Tsunami: a gook's a gook for a' that...

The Hartford Courant is rending its garments over the fraught question of double standards:
Newsweek devoted a two-page spread to a close-up shot of a drowned boy wept over by his mother in India.

Would a respectable U.S. publication or TV outlet show a dead American child with a grieving mother?

Like all good journalism, it answers its own question:
I doubt it. The news executives would fear a deluge of complaints from the public. Apparently, the Newsweek editors felt there would be less outrage over its two-page photo of a dead Indian boy and his mother.

Not much gets past the Courant, by George!

Then thoughts turn to Iraq:
We see virtually no images of Americans killed in Iraq. The U.S. government will not even allow us to see images of flag-draped coffins of American soldiers. Why is that?

Now, that's plain ridiculous! Has this guy passed puberty yet?

The interesting question is, What's the implied ratio of importance? And, has it shifted in the last ten/twenty/thirty years - and, if so, why? You'd have thought it was at least a thousand dead Indonesians for one dead American (or, this side of the pond, European) but the fact the area was infested with white folks may be a confounding factor.

Reading stuff like the Courant piece, it's hard to believe that Billy Wilder made Ace in the Hole more than fifty years ago.

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