What They Sort of Showed You

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Last night, ABC and NBC News interviewed Getty photographer John Moore who (along with Farooq Naeem of Agence France-Presse) took the photos I published yesterday. During the interview, they showed one of the photographs I swore mainstream media wouldn’t show you (and the one the editors of the New York Times had the stones to put unedited on the front page above the fold this morning). But, did they really show you? Their still, and the original, after the jump.

This was the photo halfway through their pan-out. It still looks pretty gory, right?

This is John Moore’s original photo, cropped to the same place. Notice something different? The bodies to the left of the man in the center are blurred in both NBC’s and ABC’s version, because they wanted you to know there were dead people but not to have to see them. This is my problem. I’m sure I could turn on prime time television any night of the week (when there’s not a writer’s strike) and see something equally if not more graphic fictionalized for my “entertainment,” but when it’s an actual dead person, I need to be protected from it. Of course people (and kids) don’t take violence seriously and are inured to it, because entertainment violence is stylized and sanitized and the shocking horror of it is removed. Real violence is ugly and graphic and unpredictably messy and I would rather see a hundred of John Moore’s photographs than another episode of CSI in which a violent act (probably against a woman) is sanitized and served up for my entertainment.


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