Gaza: an editor’s note (camels on the b-roll)

*I post this out of love, because even (and often) the most earnest among us are also the most absurd.

I was trolling Facebook as I often do when i came across a friend’s photo album from a recent Gaza mish. I am sharing this in violation of my own rules to make a point about EDITING. Not Israel. So we’re clear.

If it please the court, People’s 1:

*This camel was hit by white phosphorus. While she survived, her baby was killed during the Israeli bombardment.* (this is the original caption)

*This camel was hit by white phosphorus. While she survived, her baby was killed during the Israeli bombardment.* (this is the original caption)

Are you listening world? Israel killed this camel’s baby!

Y’s photo album was full of disturbing photos with even more disturbing captions—ie, the face and body of a grimacing little boy who suffered severe burns after a kerosene tank exploded in his home (it wasn’t clear, btw, if the karosene tank exploded as the result of military action or mishandling…which itself would be a result of crippling poverty in the wake of military action, but is nevertheless and extremely significant difference) with the caption “The nurse at Al-Shifa’a says that Omar is unlikely to survive due to the burns.” Does it seem a bit, I don’t know, self-serving and self-righteous and kind of misanthropically cynical to post gruesome naked photos of some doomed  twelve year-old you’ve never met before on you FACEBOOK PAGE? Am I alone in feeling shocked  that someone allegedly committed to a cause that is not only nationalist but humanitarian wouldn’t exercise more discretion? I was going to let it pass, until I came across the camel.

Listen Y, if you’re out there. I think you’re great and your mish was an important one. Bad, nasty stuff is/was/will be happening in Gaza, and it’s great you were there to report it. But is it so much to ask that you report, or at least that you edit critically? If you’re going to exploit somebody else’s brother/son/cousin (and lets be real, posting the 3rd degree burns on his ass is exploitation) a child who is—you believe— about to die, have the decensy to leave the bereft camels for the b-roll. That’s all I’m saying.

ADDENDUM: If you’re writing graf long captions for all your photos and then you get to a picture of Jabalia and all you can say about is “Jabalia” … people live there, you know. And if that’s all you’ve got, it’s been looking like that—that’s why its Jabalia.


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Filed under 3rd World Imagineering, Israel, Palestine, The Liberal Media, United Nations

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