THURSDAY’S LETTERS: Show Us the Photos, FEMA

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By: E&P Staff

E-mails have been pouring in offering condemnation of FEMA’s decision to ban photos of the dead in New Orleans, while other readers say they don?t want to see photos of dead American citizens anyway, no matter how bad the tragedy is. A sampling follows below.

***

The Ostrich Nation?

How can we be sure that all the recovered dead will be
acknowledged if the media is unable to document what
they see? Today on the news, it showed rescue crews
taking pictures to aid in identification of dead who
could not be picked up and were left lying on the
street.

Media coverage may well be the ultimate safety net to
assure that the extent of the disaster and the outcome
of the government’s appalling response is documented.
Please don’t give in!

This is not Iraq. This is not returning dead soldiers.
This is our fellow countrymen and women and
children….

Alex Thayer
Plainfield, Vt.

***

The blackout on images of the deceased in New Orleans
is one more flagrant and obvious effort by the Bush
cartel to hide its crimes from us, the electorate. To
the Bush Administration and its masters: We know who
you are, we know what you are doing. You will pay for
your crimes, your abuses of power and your treasonous
attempts to erode the democratic principals that make
our Republic great.

Douglas Lindeman
San Francisco, Calif.

***

This is but another outrage of the Bush
administration. We need to consolidate our outrage,
and be guided to the appropriate place to direct our
outrage. You will have the nation’s overwhelming
support in our desire for fair, honest, intelligent
reports on national and world affairs, without hype,
spin, or “rose-colored glasses” handed out by the Bush
administration.

Catherine Rome
Basking Ridge, N.J.

***

Reminds me of covering the war by proxy. Shame of the
feds for this since they have played a role in this.
The lack of true leadership both at the federal level
as well as local level is so very apparent.

Jimmy Kilpatrick
Senior Fellow, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
Editor, EducationNews.org
Houston, Texas
LDAdvocates.com

***

I for one don’t want to see photos of the dead. What
does that accomplish? It is disrespectful of the dead.
They shouldn’t have this last bit of dignity taken
from them. There has been too much “gotcha” media
coverage of this tragedy. Take a moment and marvel at
how people have come together.

Shane McDonough
Lowell, Mass.

***

Re: Use of the Word ‘Refugee’ Stirs Newsroom Debate

The media’s conscious or unconscious reasons for
persisting in their use of the word “refuge” for
Katrina’s victims — after the NAACP president and
other public figures have pointed out that they are
American citizens — may be worth exploring. Can your
publication start a movement to encourage people in
the media to refrain from habitually referring to
Katrina survivors as “refugees?” I don’t recall this
nomenclature coming into common usage in the history
of storm survivor coverage.

Melody Girard
Santa Monica, CA

“refugee – one that flees, esp. a person who takes
to a foreign country or power to escape danger or
persecution.” — Webster’s New Collegiate, 10th
edition


***

Re: Greg Mitchell’s column, My Pet Goat — The Sequel:

The “My Pet Goat” comparison has been on my mind for
days. Bush was in Arizona, then California, last
Monday and Tuesday, trumpeting Medicare and Iraq,
respectively, as hundreds perished.

Your editorial should galvanize editorial boards
across the nation — in a rare moment of clarity,
perhaps — to abandon their political prisms in favor
of more humane lenses.

Dwight Cunningham
Instructor/Training Editor
The Diversity Institute @ Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tenn.

***

Blame Game or Plame Game?

Concerned Americans are playing the “Blame Game.” It’s
a game where the players replace incompetent
bureaucrats before more people die.

The Bush administration is engaged in the “Plame
Game,” a game with no rules that relies on cheating,
lying, and intimidation to control the game board
while looting all the money and decimating your
opponents.

Chris Hoppe

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