Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Shame on the Pulitzer Board 

The Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography goes to the Associated Press staff for various pictures, including this one:

The caption below the picture reads:
Baghdad - A gunman, left, shoots an Iraqi election worker during an attack on Haifa Street, a base of Sunni Arab insurgents. About 30 men attacked a car carrying five of the workers, executing three at point blank range. (Photo by AP stringer, December 19, 2004.)

At the time, Power Line elaborated on Wretchard's compelling argument that this very photograph could not have been taken unless the A.P. had collaborated with the murderers. Power Line even reprinted an email from a spokesman for the Associated Press, which essentially admitted that it was using collaborators:
Several brave Iraqi photographers work for The Associated Press in places that only Iraqis can cover. Many are covering the communities they live in where family and tribal relations give them access that would not be available to Western photographers, or even Iraqi photographers who are not from the area.

Insurgents want their stories told as much as other people and some are willing to let Iraqi photographers take their pictures.

The Pulitzer Board just gave its coveted prize for a photo taken by a photographer with -- at a minimum -- privileged access to the insurgency, which we know consists of elements of the old Ba'athist regime and al Qaeda. If in 1943 the Associated Press had hired, say, one of Joseph Goebbels' photographers to take a picture of an SS trooper executing a French civilian in the head, would the Pulitzer Board have awarded its prize? If the idea shocks you, then why is this no less outrageous? Distinguish the two cases, please, and if you can't then consider the transporting decadence of the Associated Press and the moral confusion of the Pulitzer Board.

Read Power Line's take today ("The Pulitzer Prize for Felony Murder"). Michelle, per her usual, has posted the email addresses of the Pulitzer jury.

UPDATE: Rusty Shackleford deconstructs the message of other photographs cited by the Pulitzer Board. It isn't pretty. I sometimes wonder whether influential journalists think of themselves as on the American side in the war, or whether they believe that they are actually neutral. That they can achieve such a state of sublime detachment from a cause that is so important suggests that they have persuaded themselves that they have no personal interest in the outcome of this war.


By Anonymous Dean, at Tue Apr 05, 05:15:00 PM:

The Pulitzer organization needs to be addressed on this choice immediately, and the award must be retracted with a full apology and awarded to a worthy recipient.
Otherwise they should be ridiculed in every mention, so that no Pulitzer Prizes carry any weight or credibility.
I"m certain the bloggers can accomplish this.
Dean Herbst,

By Blogger lawhawk, at Wed Apr 06, 10:53:00 AM:

Lest we forget, the Pulitzer Prize is awarded by Columbia University, via a Board headed by the President of the University. Pulitzer had donated money to found the University's School of Journalism, so the links and ties between the organization and the school are there.

Current roster of Pulitzer board. It includes the Dean and Administrator (separate individuals) of the Graduate School of Journalism.  

By Blogger Rhinoblogger, at Thu Apr 07, 07:16:00 PM:

Even more disturbing(I should say equally) is the left's reaction to right-centrist bloggers take on this story. You should go over to Atrios and view the comments there. Talk about shameful.

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