Various papers yesterday published pictures of Saddam's freshly hanged body. The readers' editor at the Guardian is soliciting views on it from staff today. Was that right, appropriate or acceptable? I think not - it feels too intrusive and prurient, almost pornographic. I also discussed this at some length on News 24 on Saturday night when I was reviewing the papers with Ian Dale (a Tory blogger/commentator) and Brian Hanrahan, before the pictures of the immediate aftermath of the hanging were published, though the papers all had pictures of the moments before and his shrouded body.
What do you think? Leaving aside arguments about the execution itself and the death penalty, is it ever right to publish that kind of photograph?
It's a difficult one. I think it's distasteful to 'gloat' over someone's death, but he was an evil bastard and many who suffered because of him will feel some relief at being shown his corpse. (But then if we show stills of a dead pope it's okay.) It's also good for politicians to show his body as some justification for going to war in the first place, as if to say, 'We didn't find any WMD and he was nothing to do with Bin Laden but he was evil so this is what we have to show for it'. The big question is, has justice really been done? There's only a hundred other evil dictators to go.
It's part of the need by some to have their revenge. Photographs, be they still or moving have very little value as evidence.
I think the press have enjoyed a feeding frenzy here, almost carried away by the need of some to enjoy a ghoulish spectacle. The justification of proof of death, newsworthiness or, if we do not the others will publish, to my mind represents poor editorship.
The pictures add nothing but sensationalise the event, the Daily Mail does set the tone for all reporting after all.
I think No, if people want to see that then let them go on the net-one of the not so useful sides , but not in a newspaper for any child to see.So Kate B to use your own words: in my opinion it was not right, appropriate or acceptable.