Monday, August 14, 2006

"Rescue Worker" My Butt...

This is the text of a letter I sent to AP in protest...

Monday, 14 August 2006

Associated Press has a slideshow on various websites today, featuring Salam Daher, narrated by AP’s Lauren Frayer. Salam Daher is the infamous “Green Helmet Dude” whom I have watched directing camera operators, bystanders, and posing workers and corpses in a German newsreel. But Lauren Frayer insists on accepting at face value his claims that he is merely a civilian Lebanese civil defense worker who just happens to have arrived early at several particularly photogenic carnage sites because of his “civil defense job” placed him near the incoming phone call for assistance.

I’m sorry, but Ms. Frayer is too late to pass off this theatrical stage-manager as any sort of “rescue” worker. This man is nothing more than a ghoul, using corpses that in some instances even appear to have been trucked in from some other location to be used simply because they are more appropriate to the narrative he wishes to convey.

In footage he probably would prefer to suppress, he is seen CLEARLY moving a child’s body from one litter to another for no medical reason. The patient was DEAD! There is no benefit to the patient in being transferred from one litter to another, or in being pulled out of the ambulance, laid on the ground, placed on another litter, and having the blanket arranged and the head turned to face the camera. There is nothing of any “rescue” functionality in Salam Daher’s shoving litter bearers from between the corpse and the camera. There is no immediately obvious civil defense service or victim assistance rendered in Salam Daher’s approaching the camera, giving instructions to keep filming, zoom in for close up, or frame the shot just so...

This is exactly the sort of sloppy and irresponsible journalism (if it is not deliberately obscurantist) that is driving subscribers, readers and viewers away from mainstream news organizations. The footage that utterly contradicts and disproves the absurd claims of Ms. Frayer is circulating freely on the internet, in standard formats universally playable by viewers anywhere. Associated Press needs to (1) firmly disavow and retract this shabby apology for a Terrorist group's publicist, and (2) reassure us that steps are in place to prevent recurrences of conspicuously staged and manipulated sequences.


Post a Comment

<< Home