Trashed Flag Hurts Newspaper Readers’ Feelings


Photo by David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

It appears some readers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch would prefer their news nice and sanitized. Never mind that the real world is oftentimes ugly and unfair, they just don’t want to see it — and you’re not a patriot if you reveal it to them! That’s what editors found out when they ran photographer David Carson’s photo of an American flag in a trash can to accompany a story on foreclosures in O’Fallon, Mo.

Readers wrote in asking why they had to include it – it’s sacrilege! Couldn’t the photographer have removed it before taking the photo? He must not respect veterans!

In a response on the paper’s photo blog, Carson actually had to explain the fundamentals of photojournalism to readers: “As a journalist, I’m bound by ethics to only record and document reality. I never stage it or change it, even after I’m done photographing it.” But, even worse, he felt he had to list all the veterans he is related to and was named after to prove he’s not really the horrible traitor they think he is.

Listen, I love veterans just as much as the next guy. Many of my best friends are veterans. But I think we can quit using it as an all-purpose criticism when our delicate sensibilities are offended.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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1 Response to “Trashed Flag Hurts Newspaper Readers’ Feelings”


  1. 1 Alex October 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    You’d think they could recognize it for the powerful image it is particularly in light of how much reverence Americans place on “Old Glory”.


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