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Reading The Pictures: Snapshot Of Veterans Day

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What could possibly be commemorative about this horrible image?

Well, if you weren't focusing on it, it would seem this photo below, of the Fifth Avenue Veterans Day parade, was the front page image the New York Times used to portray the day.


To the extent print newspapers mark such occasions a day later, that's true. However, because Veteran's Day took place on Friday, it was instead the top image (of an American soldier, according to the clinical caption, "investigating the ruins of a Baghdad restaurant where a suicide bomber blew himself up") that instead marked the holiday. Given this fact, it's hard not to read the photo as a brutal commentary about the state of the war, and particularly, the crushing emotional toll being inflicted on the men and women we take the day to honor.

In tracking daily tonal shifts in the mainstream photo coverage, I believe last week was a significant one. Perhaps the most definitive example involved the (likely first) published image (in the mainstream media) of a U.S. military Iraq war death. (See: Beyond Dover: MSM's First Published U.S. War Fatality? -- link.)

Not only have the MSM's Iraq images grown bleaker and more stark, it seems they are starting to take on a more evidentiary quality. From my reading, the shift in tone reflects a growing attitude on the part of the press to challenge and even contradict the Administration's fairy tales.

For more of the visual, visit

(referral: Victoria)

(image 1: Scott Nelson/World Picture News for The New York Times. November 11th, 2005. Baghdad, Iraq. The New York Times. p. A1. image 2: Librado Romero/New York Times. November 12, 2005.) New York. The New York Times. p. A1.)