One of the White House's stated reasons for withholding Osama bin Laden's death photo is the "gruesome" and "graphic" nature of the image. It's clear, however, that the White House has not convinced National Public Radio, which is drafting a Freedom of Information Act request for the images and video captured during the raid of bin Laden's compound.
"At this point, it's hard to see any of [Obama's] reasons trumping the public's right to see it and the press's right to publish it," said Dick Meyer, the executive editor of National Public Radio, in an interview with The Atlantic Wire.
Meyer said he sympathized with the president's decision, saying NPR isn't "at all dismissive" of the Obama administration's rationale and he doesn't guarantee the organization would publish the photographs or videos if it obtained them. A call from the president, for example, could give the radio network pause, Meyer said. Still, he shot down a number of reasons the White House has given for withholding the materials.
"If the pictures were grotesque because they showed a body shot multiple times, that would also have news value wouldn't it? That would inform us about what happened in the mission," Meyer said. "I can't imagine that trumping the news value of the image."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.