BOSTON — An alternative newspaper in Boston printed two photographs from slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's execution video in Thursday's edition.
The 2-inch photos accompany an editorial in the Boston Phoenix in which the weekly defended linking to the video from its Web site. One of the photos shows Pearl's severed head juxtaposed with suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda members being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Publisher Stephen Mindich said Wednesday night that he didn't think the photos were offensive and suggested that Pearl would have supported using them because he died trying to explain terrorism.
"The general public goes to films that are far more gory, and for no purpose other than to affect emotions," Mindich said. "This is the real world, an enormously important event, the picture speaks a thousand words."
A spokeswoman for the Pearl family referred to a statement made when CBS News ran non-graphic portions of the video, which called that decision "heartless" and "beyond comprehension."
"Danny believed that journalism was a tool to report the truth and foster understanding," it said, "not perpetuate propaganda and sensationalize tragedy."
Pearl disappeared from Karachi, Pakistan, on Jan. 23 while working on a story about Islamic militants. The tape was delivered to U.S. officials on Feb. 21, and a portion was played last month in the trial of four Islamic militants charged with his death.
Marvin Kalb of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Diplomacy criticized the use of the photos.
"He should be remembered, but remembered as he was, not as a torso without a head," Kalb said. "It's cruel, cruel to the family and unnecessary."
Sure, a-hole. For all the rationalizing made by the publisher, the bottom line is that it's still the bottom line. Even rotten.com has the good taste not to publish the pictures (yet).
Drudge Report has a link to the video. I watched it, nothing I didn't expect. Much ado about nothing, IMO.