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June 12, 2002
10:26 AM   Subscribe

Fairly well-reasoned WSJ Op-Ed piece concerning the Boston Phoenix decision to link the unedited Daniel Pearl video. Apparently the Phoenix's editor claims he would have wanted it shown.
posted by Su (18 comments total)

 
My take:
The whole thing starts okay, but then he(the WSJ writer) screws up:
The Phoenix used a picture of Pearl's severed head, an image more explicit than the others cited, with the possible exception of some pictures of the Holocaust. The latter would arguably have been unimaginable to anyone who hadn't been to the camps, or seen photos--and so it was necessary to show people what had happened.
I'm not clear as to why the Holocaust is an exception here. I'm sure there are plenty of people who can't, for whatever reason(probably simple aversion), imagine decapitation or any of the other images he mentions the Phoenix editor using to back himself up.
posted by Su at 10:29 AM on June 12, 2002


It was fun watching Mindich contort himself in justifying that link. It was a business decision, plain and simple.
posted by luser at 10:47 AM on June 12, 2002


I'm a big reader. I read alot. The editorial page of the WSJ is at the top of my must read list.
posted by mikegre at 10:55 AM on June 12, 2002


the Phoenix is a rag now and has been for years. The only reason they ran that stuff was to get publicity for the paper. Which worked as well as could be expected.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 11:46 AM on June 12, 2002


Salon also printed subscriber-only a piece supporting the linking of the video.
posted by arielmeadow at 11:50 AM on June 12, 2002


Why are so many people openly advocating censorship? I find that more shocking than the Daniel Pearl video.
posted by srboisvert at 12:31 PM on June 12, 2002


This is a matter of tact and taste, not censorship. No one is saying they didn't have a RIGHT to print/link the footage. But people have every right (and I think reasonable people can disagree on this) to slam the decision.
posted by McBain at 1:40 PM on June 12, 2002


But people have every right (and I think reasonable people can disagree on this) to slam the decision

typo? (I DON'T think reasonable people....)?

Because the right to slam anything is fairly bedrock in the U.S. system.
posted by luser at 1:43 PM on June 12, 2002


This is a matter of tact and taste

...which varies widely from person to person, both in concept and in execution. Which is why it should not be legislated or enforced.
posted by rushmc at 2:20 PM on June 12, 2002


Poor choice of words.
posted by ColdChef at 2:38 PM on June 12, 2002


I believe the video should be available. I certainly believe the government has no place in censoring it. I think the WSJ is justified in being outraged. I think the Phoenix had as much business sense in linking to it (which is all they did, one didn't need to go to their site to see it) as in any story they might publish.

I just wouldn't want to be the person doing it.
posted by dhartung at 4:43 PM on June 12, 2002


Poor choice of words.

Doh! Sorry...
posted by rushmc at 7:05 PM on June 12, 2002


The WSJ piece argues that seeing the video is redundant in terms of informing the public; they already know Pearl was decapitated. That, I think, is the piece's most suspect claim. Seeing a video of terrorists manually decapitating a non-combatant is a lot different than reading about it, I think. That's one point on which the Phoenix editor is right. In fact, I'm avoiding that link, and won't watch the video even if it gets emailed to me.
posted by gsteff at 9:19 PM on June 12, 2002


The WSJ piece argues that seeing the video is redundant in terms of informing the public; they already know Pearl was decapitated. That, I think, is the piece's most suspect claim.

By that reasoning, we might as well do away with all television news, because we've already read it all in the papers anyway, right? Wait a minute...isn't the WSJ a newspaper? Hmm....

There are two types of people: those willing to settle for descriptions of things given to them by other people and those who prefer to see things for themselves.
posted by rushmc at 11:43 AM on June 13, 2002


There are two types of people: those willing to settle for descriptions of things given to them by other people and those who prefer to see things for themselves.

Divide and conquer, eh rushmc?

This video was garbage. It had no educational value, except to see what type of hatred exists against the US. Do you honestly think this video, shown publicly, would bring about anything but more hate upon Arab-Americans? Or do some of you believe that Americans would take this with a grain of salt? Please.
posted by BlueTrain at 12:08 PM on June 13, 2002


This video was garbage. It had no educational value, except to see what type of hatred exists against the US.

There you go again, stating your opinion as incontrovertible fact. Despite the fact that, as you are quite aware from reading the discussions on this very site, there are some who disagree with your assessment.

Or do some of you believe that Americans would take this with a grain of salt?

Not sure what you mean by "grain of salt," exactly. I watched the video, I am an American, it did not cause me to feel hatred toward Arab-Americans. So I guess that disproves your contention?
posted by rushmc at 1:05 PM on June 13, 2002


There you go again, stating your opinion as incontrovertible fact.

That's one opinion. - willnot

(His/her comment is much more concise than anything I could write)

So I guess that disproves your contention?

Yes.

::bows to rushmc::
posted by BlueTrain at 1:21 PM on June 13, 2002


Huh? Are you truly claiming not to understand the difference between opinion and fact?

It's really quite simple. You make a statement like "This video was garbage." That is an opinion. However, the context within which you post the statement makes it clear that you are presenting it not as an opinion but as the BASIS of your argument, that none of us should dispute because it is a given, i.e., a fact, a universally-accepted truth about reality. You do this frequently, never saying "I think this video was garbage" or "In my opinion, this video was garbage" or "Since, in my view, this video was garbage" or any similar construction admitting that there are various ways to see and interpret the world beyond your own that should also be given credible standing and acknowledged.

And it's not just that you don't SAY these things--no one always prefaces their opinions with such disclaimers, though most do occasionally--its that your tone makes it clear that you DO intend what you are saying to be taken as more than just your opinion. Once or twice could simply be a poorly worded statement misinterpreted; beyond that, it becomes a clear pattern. If you don't wish to be taken for (and dismissed as) an arrogant jerk trying to shove your views down the throats of others, then I would politely suggest that you make at least a token effort to acknowledge that you are aware that other people can have differing viewpoints without being immediately, necessarily wrong.

Or are you seriously going to suggest that every time you make a statement like "the video is garbage" what you have really meant is "In my opinion, the video is garbage?" I can't see you doing so, since that would reduce most of your arguments to "In my opinion, the video is garbage; therefore, the video is garbage," but it's only fair that I ask if this is indeed what you are trying to say in your snarky posts like the one above that accomplish nothing constructive.
posted by rushmc at 3:04 PM on June 13, 2002


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