Friday, June 08, 2007

Is Paris Burning?

Many media critics are all over the cable news networks for ripping themselves away from the news about the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff effectively being fired in order to resume coverage of the Paris Hilton travesty.

I disagree. At 1 p.m. Eastern Time, when all tabloid television was waiting for a “live shot” of the airhead heiress to emerge from her home in handcuffs, Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC all went live to the Pentagon. Then, as soon as they could, they returned to Paris, having missed one of the shots they had wanted to broadcast.

As it turned out, though, the best picture of the day was from a still photographer – the estimable Nick Ut of the Associated Press.

Thirty-five years ago, Ut took the picture of the Vietnam war, of a real girl burning, not Paris.

The guy is a consummate professional, because whether the subject is deadly serious or deadly silly, he takes an old technology and turns the results into icons.

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