** Updated Below **
The New York Times publishes photos and posts video of a dying US soldier!
** Now, the suffering Texas family is outraged! They were not contacted by the Times before the report was published!
And… The Times reporters lost their embedded status after violating a signed agreement!
The video is still posted on the NYT website even after the family complained about this report on their son on Tuesday. (4:40 PM CST, Wednesday)
(I got through 5 minutes of the propaganda video before I had to turn it off and I have pretty high tolerance for media bias. Staff Sgt. Hector Leija is talking to the cameraman at the beginning of the clip. At the end of the clip he is down…
This was just over the top.)
Who needs a “Tokyo Rose” when you have the NYT, CNN, AP, CBS?
From: ‘Man Down’: When One Bullet Alters Everything
After Staff Sgt. Hector Leija was shot in the kitchen of a Baghdad apartment last Wednesday, Pfc. Aaron Barnum retrieved the sergeant’s helmet. (NYT)
The Houston Chronicle reported this horrible news this morning of the outraged family who just heard that The New York Times has photos and video of their dying soldier son posted on their website.
WASHINGTON — A photograph and videotape of a Texas soldier dying in Iraq published by the New York Times have triggered anger from his relatives and Army colleagues and revived a long-standing debate about which images of war are proper to show.
The journalists involved, Times reporter Damien Cave and Getty Images photographer Robert Nickelsberg, working for the Times, had their status as so-called embedded journalists suspended Tuesday by the Army corps in Baghdad, military officials said, because they violated a signed agreement not to publish photos or video of any wounded soldiers without official consent.
New York Times foreign editor Susan Chira said Tuesday night that the newspaper initially did not contact the family of Army Staff Sgt. Hector Leija about the images because of a specific request from the Army to avoid such a direct contact.
“The Times is extremely sensitive to the loss suffered by families when loved ones are killed in Iraq,” Chira said. “We have tried to write about the inevitable loss with extreme compassion.”
She said that after the newspaper account, with a photograph of the soldier, was published Monday, a Times reporter in Baghdad made indirect efforts to tell the family of the video release later that day. The video was still available for viewing on the Times’ Web site Tuesday night, (It is still available, Wednesday 4:40 PM CST) when the newspaper notified clients of its photo service that the photograph at issue was no longer available and should be eliminated from any archives.
…Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Lobeck, serving as the Army’s casualty assistance officer with Leija’s family in Texas, said seeing the images of Leija on the Internet was very upsetting to the relatives.
“Oh God, they shouldn’t have published a picture like that,” Leija’s cousin Tina Guerrero, who had not seen the images but was aghast about them anyway, told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday in Raymondville. She said the images would be especially hurtful to the soldier’s parents, Domingo and Manuela Leija, who have remained in the family’s home on the edge of town. ”It’s going to devastate them,” Guerrero said. ”They’re having enough pain dealing with the death of their son.”
This was released last Friday in The Brownsville Herald:
Hector Leija, a 1997 graduate of Raymondville High School and an Army staff sergeant, was killed in Iraq over the weekend.
The 27-year-old was serving his second tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Defense Department has not yet released details on his death.
But, the New York Times has!
Hat Tip Sean Hannity Show
Stryker Brigade News has a roundup on Staff Sgt. Hector Leija.
Rest in Peace.
More outrage… The Washington Post talks about our “mercenary force.”
Dan Riehl says the “media has gone to war.”
It’s just too bad they’re siding with the enemy.
Update: (Thursday 2-1-07, 6:00 AM CST) The New York Times still has the video of the last few moments of Staff Sgt. Hector Leija’s life posted on their website even after the family asked the Times to take the video down.
UPDATE 2: Hector Leijahas a MySpace page where his friends are leaving messages. It is very moving.
And, here is more on Hctor before he was shot.
UPDATE 3: (Thursday AM) The New York Times will apologize to the family of Hector Leijas.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
WASHINGTON — The New York Times will express regret for hurting the feelings of the family of a Texas soldier after publishing a photograph and a video showing him as he lay dying in Baghdad.
The letter is part of an agreement reached Wednesday between the Army and the Times to resolve a controversy about the use of images of Staff Sgt. Hector Leija without his consent.
“The New York Times agreed to write a letter to Sgt. Leija’s family explaining the process we go through to notify families and why we run the articles and photographs we do, and expressing regret that the family suffered distress,” said a statement from the newspape
The decision came after a telephone discussion Wednesday between Times executive editor Bill Keller in New York, and Army Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq.
The images showed Leija after he was struck in the head by a single bullet during a patrol Jan. 24 in Baghdad.
An article about Leija and others on patrol, and a photograph of him on a stretcher hours before he died, was printed in the New York Times on Monday. Video of Leija before and after he was shot was posted on paper’s Web site later in the day. It was still available for viewing on the Times’ Web site Wednesday night…
The newspaper maintained Wednesday that it had done all it could to spare the family pain while living up to its obligation to portray the realities of war.
Despite the apology, the Times is still running the video on Thursday morning.