Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Don't Go Talking Truth Out There

Michelle Malkin and Powerline and others on the right seem to be upset at the results of the Pulitzer committee’s choices – specifically, that the Pulitzer Prize committee dared to award prizes without consulting the Right Wing Party Line. Imagine!

For instance, the Pulitzer prize went to these photographs –

-- which actually reported on the war, rather than to this one (Malkin’s choice):

-- which, while I wish to take nothing away from this soldier, attempts to turn him into a kind of War/Cowboy icon. This is War Photography as advertising: the soldier as Marlboro Man.

The thing that has been missing from this war, which was present during Vietnam, is photography of the war – or at least dissemination of that photography. How many photographs do we see of the war in Iraq? Of wounded soldiers? Of body bags? Of screaming children and howling mothers and shattered buildings and burning streets?

And when we do see these things, what does Malkin do? She complains:

Equally telling is what the photos [that won the Pulitzer] don't show:
• US forces looking heroic: 0
• US forces helping Iraqi civillians[sic]: 0
• Iraqis expressing support for US forces: 0
• Iraqis expressing opposition to insurgents: 0

From the Winger point of view, that is the job of our press: to be a force for propaganda. To convince us, the American public, that the US forces are heroic, that they help Iraqi civilians, that the Iraqi civilians supports us, and that the Iraqis do not support the insurgents. Any member of the US Press that doesn’t do that, says Malkin and her ilk, doesn’t deserve to be winning any prizes.

That’s where Malkin and I have to disagree, I guess. Because I believe the job of the guy with the camera is to show what is actually going on: to tell the truth.

And if the war is a lie, and if kids are getting killed, and if insurgents are shooting poll workers, hey, Malkin? I think the guy with the camera needs to show the American public pictures of that. Not pictures of American soldiers looking heroic and American soldiers driving tanks and Iraqi women with purple fingers. No matter how cozy and warm that might make folks in the Red States feel.

Oh – and as Tbogg ( pointed out, we also have Powerline getting all upset over these editorial cartoons winning, because they’re not Winger cartoons:

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