Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
April 10, 2007

War Is Tell

British-Hostages-Posing

Let me see if I’ve got this straight…

Not that they didn’t have enough trouble (with the pretense of) securing Iraq, England provoked a confrontation with the Iranians in the Persian Gulf causing a group of sailors to be captured and held as headliners in a Tehran propaganda show. 

Humiliated (because, face it, the only war left to fight in the Gulf is the PR war), the Brits hatched a counter-propaganda scheme to pay off the detainees via “tell all” marketing deals enabling the government to flood the media space with their own, not-so-sweet version of the story. 

As part of the roll-out, the government starts prancing these soldiers about (as Royal Marine Capt. Chris Air, Navy Lt. Felix Carman and Marine Adam Sperry evidence in this piece of NYT-hosted visual cheesecake).  The only problem, however, is that the “cure” caused more ill than the disease.  Far from relieving shame, the soldiers came off like a cross between this and this.

As a result, the Brits pulled the plug, saving these young folk from a life-long fate of cheap media debasement.  (Well, not all.) 

In the end, however, the whole stinkin’ lot — the Government, the military and the soldiers — soiled the Union Jack because, in this case, just striking up the band was as good as having the parade.

(By the way, you were great while I was gone.  I’ve been reading through the threads and they are truly inspired!)

(image: Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press. London. April 8. 2007. nyt.com)

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