Sarah Palin posted the following note on her Facebook page (1) on Sunday, 9/6/2009 at 11:25 PM
Shame on the Associated Press for Ignoring the Wishes of a Grieving Family
Many of us join Secretary Gates in condemning the Associated Press for its heartless and selfish decision to turn its back on the wishes of a grieving family in order to exploit the tragic death of a true American hero.
Lance Corporal Joshua ‘Bernie’ Bernard was a selfless young American who sacrificed everything for our freedom.
Shame on the AP for purposely adding to the grieving family’s pain. Ignoring the family’s wishes by publishing a sacred image of their loved one proved a despicable and heartless act by the AP. The family said they didn’t want the photo published. AP, you did it anyway, and you know it was an evil thing to do.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bernard family. Words can not adequately express our sorrow and appreciation for your sacrifice. We will never forget your Marine or his fallen comrades.
May God bless the Bernard family.
Less than 24 hours after posting this Sarah had received nearly 2,800 comments and had also received over 13,000 Facebook members who indicated they agreed with her.
The photo in question is part of a photo gallery on the AP site about the fire fight that resulted in Corporal Bernard’s death and can be found here (2). The AP also released an article (3) explaining why they distributed the photo and how anguished they were in deciding whether to use it.
There has been considerable discussion, both pro and con,(4) of AP’s decision to use the photo. In all fairness to the AP, in most other wars such photos were commonly used by the media.
In fairness to Sarah Palin and her viewpoint, both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the parents of the Marine requested that the AP not use the photo.
Palin calls the AP’s action “despicable and heartless” and “evil.” If one reads the AP’s explanation of why they distributed the photo, it is difficult to reach Sarah’s conclusion, especially since use of such photos is common throughout much of the world.
But it is also quite likely that Palin is trying to make political hay from her condemnation of the Associated Press. Sounds like she is running for something.
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(1) Shame on the Associated Press for Ignoring the Wishes of a Grieving Family, http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=129417598434#/note.php?note_id=129417598434&id=24718773587&ref=mf, Facebook – Sarah Palin, Retrieved 9/7/2009
(2) Death of a Marine: A Photographer’s Journal, http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_international/afghan_marine/, Associated Press, Retrieved 9/7/2009
(3) AP and the Death of a Marine, http://www.ap.org/fallen_marine/, Associated Press, Retrieved 9/7/2009
(4) AP picture of wounded Marine sparks debate, http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AFGHAN_DEATH_AP_PHOTO?SITE=TNMEM&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT, Associated Press, Retrieved 9/7/2009