Red State‘s Brandon Morse wrote a powerful piece this morning about the horrifying photo revealed Tuesday of a migrant father and his young daughter who were found dead after trying unsuccessfully to cross the Rio Grande.
CNN was among a number of news outlets that made the decision to publish the disturbing image of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and 23-month-old Valeria:
It is tempting to look away. I have been trying to look away from the stories about the deplorable conditions at the border camps. Babies taking care of babies. Migrants pleading for help. Maybe you have been trying to avoid it too. But we can't. https://t.co/3MWG9knkA1
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 26, 2019
As Brandon noted in his post, the photo, while utterly heartbreaking and tragic, was in turn being shared by Democrats not so much to push for change, but instead for blatantly political reasons:
The obvious answer is that they’re going to sell the idea to the American people that this is all President Donald Trump’s fault for being so racist as to not let people who want into the United States in. This will then lead to the softening of hearts, which will then allow Democrats to obtain more power in elections and pass whatever they please, such as open borders.
It should be remembered that Trump’s approval took a dip when the story of children being separated at the border hit. Democrats are counting on your emotional reaction to this photo to do the same just in time to make this a 2020 election issue.
The Usual Suspects are also using the image to paint a false narrative that the Trump administration is deliberately “punishing” migrant kids and their families at the border, which I wrote about at length at Legal Insurrection earlier today.
Because CNN and other media organizations decided to publish the photo, Quillette editor and journalist Andy Ngo had some questions for what their standards were for using photos of deceased persons in their reporting:
How come editors in msm don’t provide consistent principles on when to publish graphic photos of dead people & children? For example, there’s no holding back on images of dead migrants but they don’t run graphic photos of dead victims of terrorism or murdered Israelis. pic.twitter.com/HO9NpdyLsY
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 26, 2019
Question for @CNN on standards for publishing photos of dead people. Last year, you were not willing to publish the stills from Logan Paul’s video showing the dead body. But you didn’t censor or hold back on publishing photos of Aylan Kurdi or the drowned migrants in Rio Grande.
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 26, 2019
And @cnn in 2015 chose not to publish images from inside the Bataclan Theatre in Paris when 90 people were slaughtered by jihadist militants. The floor was soaked in blood. What are your guidelines?
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 26, 2019
These are very important questions worth asking, because there’s been a debate going on about the use of these types of images in reporting since 9/11 – if not before. In the vast majority of cases where the media have either photos or videos of dead victims (or both), they choose not to publish them or air them out of what they say is respect for the victims themselves and their families.
Plus, the gruesome images are shocking in nature and are not something many Americans want to see when they open their newspapers, scroll through their social media feeds, or turn on the news.
In this case, many outlets decided to run the image rather than withholding. Considering how the mainstream media has continuously parroted the left’s talking points on immigration from day one, only one conclusion can be drawn as to why the change: The reasons Brandon mentioned above for Democrats sharing the image are the same for journalists, too. Because Democrats have a lot of allies in the press who are more than willing to do their bidding for them.
As of this writing, CNN hasn’t responded to Ngo’s questions. It’s a safe bet to say they’re probably not going to, either.
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–