New York Times Makes the Wrong Manchester Call

A cache of leaked photos tarnishes today's print and digital editions

Headshot of Richard Horgan

There is no shortage of international outcry surrounding The New York Times’ decision to publish leaked photos of the Manchester bombing scene and aftermath. For our purposes, one of the people articulating it best is Michael Day, a British scholar who specializes in politics and international relations.

From Day’s HuffPost U.K. blog post:

It is heartless beyond belief, to share pictures of the nuts and screws used to kill and maim concertgoers, a point rammed home by the fact that in the photos so unhelpfully supplied by The New York Times these items are surrounded by the blood of the victims. It would be significantly irresponsible to share them after an investigation has finished, but to do so when the suspects are still on the run defies all common sense and decency. It does so to the point that this simply can’t be incompetence but one wonders if there is malice and cynicism involved.

These kinds of reader sentiments are normally aimed at outlets like TMZ, most recently in that example when the site chose to share graphic video of last week’s Times Square automobile carnage. The newspaper is defending its decision, arguing in a statement that the images are “neither graphic nor disrespectful of victims.” By all measures of decency, that would seem to be wrong on both counts.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.