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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Does Media tell the truth?

Two-year-old Ali Hussein later died in a hospital.

As the saying goes, the picture was worth a thousand words because it showed the true horrors of this war.

Neither side is immune from the killing of Iraqi civilians. But Americans should be aware of their own responsibility for inflicting death and pain on the innocent.

The Post’s ombudsman, Deborah Howell, said about 20 readers complained about the photo, while a few readers praised the Post for publishing the stark picture on page one.

Some mothers said they were offended that their children might see the picture, though one wonders whether their youngsters watch television and play with violent videos in a pretend world.

From the start of the unprovoked U.S. “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, the government tried to bar the news media from photographing flag-draped coffins of American soldiers returning from Iraq. A Freedom of Information lawsuit forced the government to release pictures of returning coffins.

Howell said some readers felt the photo of the Iraqi boy was “an anti-war statement; some thought it was in poor taste.” Well, so is war.

Howell said her boss, Executive Editor Len Downie, “is cautious about such photos.”

“We have seldom been able to show the human impact of the fighting on Iraqis,” Downie was quoted as saying. “We decided this was a rare instance in which we had a powerful image with which to do so.”

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