FEMA Blocks Photos of New Orleans Dead

NEW YORK : Forced to defend what some critics consider its slow response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from New Orleans.

FEMA, which is leading the rescue efforts, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims, Reuters reported.

A FEMA spokeswoman told the wire service that space was need on the rescue boats and assured Reuters that "the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect."

"We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media," the spokeswoman told Reuters via e-mail.

What's with the "Forced to Defend" crap. The Media is really believing their "press lately"....

But FEMA is right. Bodies pulled from the muck do not need to be in Time or Newsweek or even on the Nightly News before they are properly identified and next of kin notified.

It was bad and tasteless enough for MSNBC to show that annoymous female floating dead in the water on their front page all through the weekend, before any of her family knew. It has since been take down.

They'll cry "Freedom of the Press", but freedom doesn't include the right to "glorify" death for your ratings tally or readership numbers, and make no mistake, that would be the only reason they would publish them.

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