Hillary mentioned the children of Syria in last night’s debate, mentioning a tragic picture making the media rounds, which is of course a good way to stop our brains from functioning, and to touch our hearts.
The problem is that pictures can be faked. I know about this because my family has been involved in medicine, surgery, nursing and rescue work since I was born, and I have, for over sixty years, seen “simulated wounds.”
I think the first simulated wounds I saw were a plaster sequence of gory abdomens simulating the surgical removal of an appendix, donated by the Massachusetts General Hospital to the Museum of Science just down the street, around 1959. Since then they have gotten better and better at simulations, especially in regards to training ambulance workers.
The first wound I saw that could “spurt blood” was around 1975, and was invented originally to train medics in the Vietnam war, and then the simulations evolved further in order to train EMTs how to handle disaster situations involving triage, where first responders have to swiftly decide who has the best chance of survival and will die without treatment, who will survive without treatment, and who is likely going to die even if treated.
Unfortunately this skill is now being used for propaganda purposes, and there are some fine examples of wounds being created to cause our hearts to lurch.
The media should be on guard to avoid being made into chumps.
Unfortunately, there is some evidence our media is gladly performing as chumps, in order to support our presidents policy in Syria.
War is hell. It is vile, and hard on the hearts of even the toughest men. Post-traumatic-stress has a long history, past the times it was called “battle fatigue” and “shell shock.” War is even harder on women and children, even when soldiers try to make sure they are protected. When women and children are instead beheaded, we are entering a lower level of hell.
In times like this it behooves our media to be especially hard-hearted and cynical about all pictures it receives. Sadly, they are merely behaving like chumps and tools of governments. It is up to us, the people, to harden our hearts and examine the grim evidence for signs of fraud and forgery. The really good reporting now occurs on small websites. Here is an interesting example:
I am disappointed in the mainstream media’s failure to do due diligence. If individuals at small websites can utilize the ability of modern computers to identify a picture (even when it is clipped), and see when a picture from an earlier time and place is “reused” for propaganda purposes, why cannot a major network do the same?
Modern computers are able to utilize “face recognition” to identify the same individual in a wide variety of pictures. If independent bloggers can use this feature to spot a good actor who appears in dramatic poses in too many “action shots” for coincidence to credibly allow, why cannot a major network with millions of dollars do the same?
I used to think the reason for the media’s failures was laziness, or perhaps reduced budgets, but increasingly I suspect the media is a willing accomplice of those who do not wish the public to know the Truth, the Whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.
The American people must refuse to allow their heart strings to be plucked, and played like banjo’s, by opportunistic politicians using sound-bytes and pictures.
It should be noted that, if any journalist claims they “had no idea false images might be involved”, as if this is some new phenomenon they were not prepared for, then that journalist must be very poorly educated. A little over a decade ago Reuters was caught changing images involving Israeli missile strikes in southern Lebanon.
The primary difference between 2006 and 2016 seems to be that, in 2006, journalists at least pretended to be ashamed.