FEMA won''t let the press photograph recovery of the dead

Let the pitting begin.

Cite? Their reasons for this decision?

The bullshit reason:

"An agency spokeswoman said space was needed on the rescue boats and that “the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect.”

Note: on a recovery mission: you stack the dead, space isn’t as premium. Or photogs could travel in their own boats.

“We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media,” the spokeswoman said in an e-mailed response to a Reuters inquiry."

So they’re taking pictures, they just don’t want them printed.

Fuck FEMA and its lackey appointment director.

I don’t see a big problem here, even if it is true. This is not akin to the administration’s blocking of photographs of caskets coming home from Iraq. I don’t see that our understanding of the scope of the horrors in the hurricane stricken areas is lessened by our inability to see people’s bloated grandmothers dragged out into the streets and tossed onto trucks or whatever, nor do I think it lessens the outrage which people feel about the inadequacy of hurricane preparation and relief efforts. All it does is frustrate some people’s morbid curiosity and show some tiny scrap of respect for the feelings of the survivors. If I were a homeless, shell-shocked person who had lost everything and was still wondering where my family members – or their bodies – were, I really don’t think my peace of mind would be improved by watching coverage of unrecognizable corpses and wondering if my loved ones were among them.

Not everything is a coverup.

Not allowing the free press to do their job in America is a cover-up.

I don’t find it a big deal either. Imagine you’re one of the survivors and you’re worried that your wife/husband/baby/next-door-neighbor is dead. Then you open the newspaper up and see the face of your dead loved one staring back at you.

Not that I could ever imagine a newspaper printing the pictures of dead people, let alone their close-up faces, but that might be a concern of the authorities.

No one is saying the press can’t report the progress/problems/issues/fuckups concerning the recovery. They just don’t want photos released. I do not have a problem with this. I wouldn’t want photos of my dead friends and relatives being pulled from the mud, either.

I don’t see a problem of FEMA or the government asking the media to not take or print pictures. When they stop them from doing so or take film away, then I worry.

EXACTLY! Asking is not compulsion or restraint. It’s a request. Period. And I certainly respect people who honor the request in this instance.

At the risk of being inflammatory, Askia, if someone in your family were killed in a tragic, horrible, and newsworthy fashion (think murder, natural disaster, etc.), would you want their battered and horribly decayed remains on the news for every idiot with a TV, a newspaper or an internet connection to gawk at? Except in very particular circumstances – say, a political assasination or a lynching, where you wanted to embarrass the authorities – I imagine you would not. (And, NO, to forestall the question, I do not think that the hurricane deaths are equivalent to political assasinations, even if they were inadvertently increased by poor disaster management.)

I’m breathlessly awaiting what you believe the REAL reason is.

Seriously, why the fuck does anyone need to see dead bodies being carted off? What purpose could it possibly serve? There are dead bodies there. Everyone knows there are dead bodies. It ain’t a secret the Evil Bush Supporters are trying to keep from the citizens of the US.

We’ve already started seeing them, floating past boats etc. Does the US not get this coverage?

FEMA has no obligation to put photographers on their rescue boats.

FEMA has made a request. The media, if they wish to be assholes, need not honor that request.

Well, if that happens, rush back here and breathlessly let us know. Right now, we’re discussing the request made by FEMA and the assholes that would flout it.

The urgency of removing the 10,000 corpses or cadavers will no doubt require handling that can easily be construed as disrespectful in many cases. What a person doesn’t know about the handling of their deceased loved one won’t hurt them.

I’m sure their nightmares are more than enough.

Hey buddy! This is the Pit! Don’t you go using, like, logic and stuff to prove your point!

FUCK FEMA! How dare they make a simple request that stops me from using my RIGHT (yeah, it’s like, the 43rd Amendment or something) to see dead, bloated corpses! Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves- but it isn’t like I’d know, because people expect me not to photograph them! :smack:

Seriously though, I see no problem with this request. As others have noted, I would not want to open a news paper and see Aunt Bettie’s green, swollen body. I also agree that FEMA can say who can and can’t come on their boats, they can also make a request that centers around basic, human decency.

Just as a press guy I’ve GOT to come down on the ‘go ahead and take the pictures’ side of things. I understand the sensitivities of survivors argument but it’s far better to take the pix and let an editor decide rather than not take them.

Other than that, you guys are right in that a request is not a command. No one is preventing some enterprising reporter from using a telephoto lens and getting pix. Just denying them access to the boats doing the recovery work.

But on the political end of this it plays poorly. Combine the generally negative coverage that FEMA has received over the last week with the distant media memory of the ‘no flag-draped coffins’ issue and it’s another black eye for an administration that hasn’t had a good week. So politically there wasn’t a right answer for them. Tough spot.

I see this FEMA request simply as an indication that they would like to see the flood victims (and their families) treated with respect. They probably will be stacking bloated and half-eaten bodies on the backs of boats and whatnot. What would possibly be the purpose of publishing photographs of this? We all understand this was a horrific event, and I don’t think anyone is trying to deny that many, many people died terrible deaths.

Jesus, I don’t know what’s worse - people thinking it’s appropriate to photograph the deceased as they’re dragged through the New Orleans mud, or that they have to be requested not to publish them, or that people are all up in arms about that request.

When Askia dies I hope is naked dead body is dragged through the mud on CNN. He obviously thinks it’s good thing.

There have been images of floating bodies shown as well as some bodies (covered in blankets or sheets) in the Convention Center. The shots weren’t such that you could identify the person though.

I have to vote with those who think it’s insensitive to those who may know the victims to see them being dragged out of the water. Plus I don’t believe FEMA will be spared any grief if these photos are kept from publication. Seeing dead bodies pulled out of the water can’t be any worse than seeing the living screaming for help that didn’t come for days.

There once was a time when a request like this needn’t have been made.

Not everything about that time was perfect, but this is one thing that has certainly changed for the worse.

Social mores and good manners used to constrain behavior a bit more tightly, to the point that anyone who printed these pictures would become a pariah. That is no longer the case, so requests like this have to be made for the benefit of those who’d stir up shit needlessly.