Media Lose Interest in War Dead: Only AP Shoots Coffins

Photo ban lifted, but photographers aren't bothering
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2009 11:13 AM CDT
In this file photo, date unknown, made by the Department of Defense flag-draped coffins of US war casualties are seen aboard a cargo plane in Dover, Del.   (AP Photo/
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(Newser) – Back when George W. Bush was president, the media made a big fuss about the administration’s refusal to allow the press to photograph soldiers’ coffins, saying it hid the true cost of the war. President Obama lifted the ban in April, and the media flocked to snap shots of that first returning coffin. And then? Then they swiftly lost interest, notes Byron York of the Washington Examiner.

“It’s really fallen off,” says an Air Force spokesman. Whereas 35 media outlets covered the first coffin’s arrival, by now most of the dead are greeted by a lone AP photographer. “It’s our belief that this is important, that surely somewhere there is a paper, a family, a community, for whom this homecoming is indeed news,” says an AP spokesman. “This is a responsibility for the AP to be there each and every time.”