AP Made Right Decision to Run Marine's Photo

We need to see the war
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2009 4:35 PM CDT
Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard of Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines an hour before his death.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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(Newser) – The AP made the correct call in running a photo of a mortally wounded Marine, writes David Harsanyi in the Denver Post. “If I could recall a wanton penchant of the press to run photos of dead Marines, my reaction might have been very different,” he writes. But he can't, and charges that image “exploit the tragic death of a true American hero”— in the words of Sarah Palin, for one—ring hollow. “The pictures unquestionably added humanity and context to (Joshua) Bernard's death.”

“It is unfathomable to imagine the anguish the Bernard family must feel” after the photos were released against their wishes, Harsanyi writes. But “the awful reality remains. As cruel as it sounds, those concerns should not guide the journalist's decision-making process.” In fact, “at the risk of dropping a massive cliche on readers,” Harsanyi writes, “the troops exist to defend things like the First Amendment, as ugly as they may find the results.”