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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Not so typical Times

If reading the Sunday New York Times is one of those lazy day pleasures (if reading any newspaper can be termed a pleasure these days), then having a leisurely coffee while scanning the relatively thin Saturday edition is usually merely a preparatory event. Typically the most interesting thing on Saturday is some arts/culture write up that might start on the front page.

But today's edition of the Saturday Times is an eye-opening exception to that pattern. On the front page top right of the print edition (in New England at least) is a striking picture of a US soldier lying in mud, his bleeding wounds on the right arm and side visible. Two others are around him, obviously taking actions to get medical attention. Under the photo is the story of the sniper attack being depicted, with as graphic a description as one might read in the Times news section. Open to page A7, and the photos are even more dramatic.

The events in the photos took place last Tuesday, and they hardly tell the story as well as the multimedia piece by C J Chivers found at the web site.

There is so much to be said about this story that I hardly know where to begin. Given the context of the election this Tuesday, it is more than merely reporting by the Times -- its placement and presentation both in print and on the web is a statement than cannot be ignored. Yesterday's widely read (and commented upon) Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman (subscription required; reposted here for free) is a worthy accompanying editorial -- and perhaps nothing more need be said than to suggest that both pieces be read by all....

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