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August 09, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-08-09

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'Son of Sam' photo irks readers

To The Daily.
1 feel 1 mist respond to your
coverage of t he latest "Son of
Sa" killing in Tuesday's Daily.
Althoogh go v>, responsible, and
complete news coverage is a
very necesarv fanction of any
newspaper; the questirn of
where to stnp is a relevant one
when a news story itvolves per~-
sonal aid faintily tragedy. I
found the pictnre of the injured
Stacy M.\oskowitz on the front
page ti be apatlling, unnecessary
and tragic. Mitre than this, it
tramples on the family's privacy
which ought to have been even
mo carefully guarded in their
sorrow than if she had lived.
Who needed to see exactly
what the gunshots tif her kilter
did to her? Why should the wire
services and newspapers capi-
talize oa the publicity surround-
ing this insane killer in order to
sell mire advertising and more
newspapers? Although the cries
of "too much!" are often band-
ied about indiscriminately in
matters where the wrongdoer

k x i

has an interest iu keeping things
quiet, this is an instance where
only the interests of the news
tnedia and ghoulish fascination
can find reason to justify going
where no outsider has a right to
These New York murders
must stop, and 1 would not pro-
pose doing anything that would
hinder the arrest and trial of the
one responsible. But certainly
giving this man publicity, atten-
tion, and the sight of his handi-
work on every front page in not
the way to begin to right thin
terrible wrong.
-Rosalind King
To The Daily:
I was truly appalled to see the
blataiht display of journalistic ..
tastelessness i n yesterday's
Daily. I am referring to the cov-

ors to The D

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Tuesday, August 9, 1977
News Phone: 764-0552 .
Ban the nutron bombs
Sstal nuclear wmar
J'HE SPARKS of the possibility of full-scale nuclear
warfare ignited at Hiroshima and Nagasaki 32 years
age may be rekindled if President Carter sanctions de-
velopment and production of the "enhanced radtation"
neutron bomb next week. I
Defenders of this low-level nuclear device claim it
would be used for defensive purposes only - as in the
hypothetical case of enemy advances in Europe. In such
cases, defenders say, we could destroy their troops, but
keep the buildings.
The European nations are not exactly enthused about
the prospect of having such weapons within their home-
lands. And the Russians have shown no interest in pro-
ducing similar weapons.
Consequently, use of such weapons by our side could
only invoke a more serious, non-low-level response rfrom
the oncoming forces; namely, nuclear war.
'[HAT GRIM PROSPECT aside, simply recall the way
such persons subject to the explosion area of the
bomb would die -through radiation. It's a long, slow
tortuous death after bouts of nausea, vomiting and diar-
rhea and other symptoms of radiation sickness. '
Of those who lived through their exposure to radia-
tion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, incidences of leukemia
and catacers are ten times as prevalent as in the nor-
mal population. The human effects of the explosion of
one neutron bomb could far outlive and battles casing
the explosion of that bomb.
And nobody is sure just what kind of long term
reaction the diffusion of neutrons over a specific area,
could do. It would definitely make the area radioactive
for several hours, bunt the various reactions of the neu-
trons with different inanimate substances has unknown
radioactive effects.
The type of destruction and the consequences of
the use of such a weapotn are gruesome beyond ordi-
nary comprehension. The only event we could compare
it to is one few of us here lived through. The decision
to deploy such a weapon is one of incredible respon-
But a president who claims to want to cut the de-
fense budget, a president who says he wants to reach
nuclear disarmament pact, a president who claims to
promote human rights could do nothing but scrap this
bomb, if his other words are to have any weight.

er story and photo on the vio-
lent killing of Stacy Moskowitz
in New York last Sunday. The
headline and photograph smack-
ed of cheap, sensationalistic
journalism which is so prevalent
in other newsp'apers that its4is-
play in this university's paper
seems an unwelcome and unnec-
essary one.
Is there no standard of decor-
um or humanitarian decency
left in the Michigan Daily? Is it
really necessary to blow-up a
vivid illustration of sickness and
violence on a front page cover
story in order to inform the pub-
lic of the Sunday killing? I per-
sonally find something deeply
offensive and sickening about
this kind of journalism, not-
withstanding the insensitivity
shown toward the family of the
victim by printing a blown-up
photograph of their battered
Let's hope there can be more
discretion exercised in the fu-
ture. Ithink that the majority
of -the students and members of
the University are iftelligent
enough to not need the stimulus
of crude sensationalism in order
to understand what is going on
in the world, be it outrageous
acts of violence or not. Where is
the artful practice of subtle sug-
gestiveness gone to? We do have
imaginations. I would like to see
the Michigan Daily respect the
level of intelligence of its read-
ers and keep its standards high
enough to keep the attraction of
the intelligent mind.
-Susan W. Moore
To The Daily:
Just like anything that touches
upon or concerns itself with hu-
man experience, newspaper
stories and photographs repre-
sent only one version of the
truth. They should never be re-
garded as absolutes, or total
truths. Any careful reader of

newspapers will readily agree
that one's understanding of a re-
ported event or issue is influen-
ced by the particular paper(s)
they read.
In this way, the makers of
newspapers - editors and re-
porters and photographers-have
a tremendous responsibility un-
to both their readers and them-
selves, They must always strive,
in their attempt to present both
news and truths, to be thorough
and honest. This also means that
they (editors in particular) must
be selective and exercise their
discretion constantly.
There are times when it is
quite obvious that this import-
ant element of discretion is
missing. Sometimes we call it
"bad taste", sometimes, depend-
ing on th'e subject matter, we
call it "obscene". It is a fine if
not invisible line between what
is right and what is wrong for
the pages of a responsible news-
The 1976 Award-winning photo-
graph of the Boston mother
dropping her two children out
the window of her burning
apartment danced on that line,
One of the children died, and
obviously the picture is of him
seconds before death. Was the
picture, on the front pages
across the nation, an invasion of
privacy and in bad taste? Per-
haps, but I don't think so. The
picture is of terror and not
death; it is compelling and full
of life,
It is my opinion that the "Mi-
chigan Daily" did, however,
cross that line of good taste
with its edition on Tuesday, Aug-
ust 2. The front-page picture of
20-year old Stacy Moskowitz -
fatally wounded, face nearly
blown off, and strapped help-
lessly to a stretcher on her way
into an ambulance - was com-
pletely unnecessary. Everyone
knows the ".44 Killer" is shoot-
ing and destroying New York-
ers. Your picture, while revolt-

ing, gives no insight or addition-
al message to this horrible and
highly popularized event. Maybe
that is the way in which it cross-
es the line.
Defining good taste is as itm-
possible as defining obscenity.
. Perhaps the best definition of
-obscenity, which applies Here,
comes from Supreme Court Jus-
tice Stewart Potter who said, "tI
can't tell you ahead of time what
is obscene and what isn't, but I
know it when I see it." I think
- the "Daily" should have known
-Douglas Blackburn
Kent State
To The Daily:
Many are now aware that the
Kent State University adminis-
tration is trying to build a gym
over the spot where the Ohio
National Guard murdered four
students on May 4, 1970 during
a massive protest against the
U.S. invasion of Cambodia. This
is an attempt to cover up mur-
der. The site of the proposed
gym contains material evidence
relevant to uncompleted legal
proceedings. More importantly,
it is an attempt to erase a proud
page in the history of the Amer-
ican people'a resistance to an
unjust war and the ruling class
which promoted that war to
further its interests.
Determined to show that the
struggle which Kent State sym-
bolizes is not over thousands of
students around the country
have rallied to prevent the con-
struction of the gym. Hundreds
have been arrested and more
have vowed to continue the
fight. On Tuesday coordinated
militant actions took place on
several midwestern campuses to
support and spread the Kent
State struggle, including a tent
city and rally on the diag.here.
Thursday at noon on the ding
another rally was held with the
participation of some of the
Kent State people. Funds are
badly needed to pay fines and
bail people out of jail. To help
call 663-5364.
Student Brigade

! Arr._ I! !I fi 1i I ! I I _ .. ...

'You mean you're actually going to send this poor
ittle tyke out into the cruel world?'

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