Patterico's Pontifications

6/8/2007

Nick Ut, Renowned for Photo of Bawling Children, Takes Photo of Bawling Paris Hilton

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:48 pm

Nick Ut won a Pulitzer Prize for this photo of bawling children after a napalm attack in Vietnam:

trangbang.jpg
Nick Ut / The Associated Press

But that photo really doesn’t match the pathos of a photo that the same photographer, Nick Ut, took today:

bawling-paris.jpg
Nick Ut / The Associated Press

Yes, that’s our friend Paris Hilton.

Same photographer. No joke.

Amazing what passes for news nowadays.

Thanks to Hot Air commenter ganeshpuri89.

70 Responses to “Nick Ut, Renowned for Photo of Bawling Children, Takes Photo of Bawling Paris Hilton”

  1. No surprise that spreadin’ democracy looks the same today as it did 35 years ago.

    Nice to see that photos like that are considered news, not “enemy propaganda” though.

    alphie (015011)

  2. I fail to see much difference between propaganda then and gossip now. No news value either way.

    Ken Hahn (8d1f53)

  3. One thing, Patterico;

    While I share your dismay at the condition of the media, they are not solely responsible for the pap
    they feel constrained to report. The media (with some exceptions) is a business. They will fail
    if they do not provide what the people who buy
    stuff (us) what they want.

    Why do you think ‘Survivor’, ‘American Idol’ and such crap are produced? It is sad, but the ‘Lowest common denominator’ calls the shots on the news. Even though good journalists fight to get the good stuff into the news, if it won’t sell
    it won’t gel.

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  4. there was something missing from her upbringing, can’t quite put my finger on it, but she doesn’t handle problems very well, maybe from lack of experience handling problems, and she may be too old to teach now. whatever it is, it’s serious.

    assistant devil's advocate (284cee)

  5. I’d be interested in hearing Jack Dunphy’s take on Lee Baca letting the little missy out of jail.

    Bill M (0379bc)

  6. He’s certainly a skilled photographer.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  7. Patrick–

    It’s called “the human condition” and is as interesting to many as hard news is to you. Left brain meet right brain.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  8. there was something missing from her upbringing, can’t quite put my finger on it,

    Personal responsibility.

    Pablo (99243e)

  9. Being the cynical person that I am, I wonder whether Paris had been given specific instructions on how to behave when she got to prison. Especially as I now know that the shrink who went to prison to testify as to her problems is the same one who testified on behalf of Michael Jackson.

    The distraughtness (is this a word) displayed during and after the court proceedings have all the hallmarks of an academy award performance.

    She certainly fooled Greta from Fox.

    davod (3392f5)

  10. there was something missing from her upbringing, can’t quite put my finger on it, but she doesn’t handle problems very well, maybe from lack of experience handling problems, and she may be too old to teach now. whatever it is, it’s serious.

    Comment by assistant devil’s advocate — 6/9/2007 @ 7:32 am

    A sense of responsibility, decency, humility, modesty, and any form of learning past about 4th grade.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  11. “there was something missing from her upbringing, can’t quite put my finger on it,”

    Conscientious parents.

    Dana (a907dd)

  12. Nick Ut could do so much more with his talent than photograph Paris Hilton as she goes to jail. It says a lot about our society that we want those photos but it also says something about him.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  13. You folks are free to express your opinion about the
    propriety of shot-choice for a photojournalist but it is not, very often a matter of choice. your editor gives you an assignment and you get the shot.
    That’s it.

    The Pulitzer-prize winners are just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Front-page, history making shots happen to you.
    You don’t make them happen. Hopefully, courage and technical skill will assist you IN NOT MISSING the shot, but it’s largely luck.

    Patty;

    Reserve your distaste for the latimes and excoriate the editors and Board. Reporters
    and Photogs are not the enemy.

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  14. Sherriff Baca has six stars on his collar. Does anyone know what they signify: Competance, time in service, salary level?

    davod (3392f5)

  15. DRJ:

    How about where the money is.

    davod (3392f5)

  16. Semanty,

    I’ll reserve my distaste for whomever I like.

    But it’s more a commentary on the general state of affairs.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  17. “Semanty;”

    Point taken Patterico.

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  18. Isn’t the ‘general state of affairs’ more about the source of ‘news’ demand? You know, ‘the lowest common denominator’?

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  19. Well, he is 56 years old. He’s probably not much for travelling these days and has found a more comfortable beat. So?

    David N. Scott (71e316)

  20. (I am being a bit of a devil’s advocate, and it is an ironic contrast. But there are a lot of reasons people are follwing this case; it’s not all celebrity obsession.)

    David N. Scott (71e316)

  21. Maybe we can court Paris and bring her onside, David?

    What to make of this?

    “Today I told my attorneys not to appeal the judge’s decision. While I greatly appreciate the Sheriff’s concern for my health and welfare, after meeting with doctors I intend to serve my time as ordered by the judge.

    This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. During the past several days, I have had a lot of time to reflect and have already learned a bitter, but important lesson from this experience.

    As I have said before, I hope others will learn from my mistake. I have also had time to read the mail from my fans. I very much appreciate all of their good wishes and hope they will keep their letters coming.

    I must also say that I was shocked to see all of the attention devoted to the amount of time I would spend in jail for what I had done by the media, public and city officials. I would hope going forward that the public and the media will focus on more important things, like the men and women serving our country in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world.”

    — Paris Hilton

    She’s one of us now.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  22. Well, at this point I’d note that, on our esteemed host’s front page (as of now) there are three posts featuring the lovely Miss Hilton! :)

    Of course, I did one myself, taking the angle that if Scooter Libby did a pro-rated Paris Hilton sentence, he’d only do 101 days.

    Then the judge threw her back in the can, and almost ruined my whole story; fortunately, I’d made a suggestion that a Martha Stewart five months might be more appropriate.

    Dana (556f76)

  23. Hilton’s Press Agent wrote that. She is incapable of demonstrating any thinking apart from ‘fashion sense’.

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  24. Nonsense, Semanticleo, the decisions “go down, lie down, or straddle” require a certain amount of calculation.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  25. I think I remember Patterico being an English major at one point. To juxtapose these two photos as if they say something about the profession of photography, or Ut’s career, or the price of tea in Trang Bang, or whatever he’s trying to say is disappointing for someone who was probably (I don’t know the quality of the Cornell program) trained better. There’s a lot more to be said about the contents of the Paris photo. But then this is a righty blog, and it’s surely too much to expect anything but crotchety, half-baked value judgments rather than even a nanosecond of ‘negative capability.’ BAGNewsNotes this ain’t.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  26. “go down, lie down, or straddle”

    Don’t know what that means, christoph, but if it means the gene pool from which she arises indicates
    some intuitive talent, sobiet. I still think a Press Agent wrote it.

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  27. I think I remember Patterico being an English major at one point. To juxtapose these two photos as if they say something about the profession of photography, or Ut’s career, or the price of tea in Trang Bang, or whatever he’s trying to say is disappointing for someone who was probably (I don’t know the quality of the Cornell program) trained better. There’s a lot more to be said about the contents of the Paris photo. But then this is a righty blog, and it’s surely too much to expect anything but crotchety, half-baked value judgments rather than even a nanosecond of ‘negative capability.’ BAGNewsNotes this ain’t.

    Ah, the old “I’m disappointed and let down by Patterico” card. Liberal Avenger plays that card regularly; it’s amazing to see how often he claims that he used to think I was a good guy, but now realizes I’m not. Of course, it’s all a complete 100% bullshit act, as you can tell because he does it repeatedly.

    Yours, m_i_p, is also a complete 100% bullshit act, because as you admit later in your very same comment, you don’t expect anything positive from any conservative blog anwyay. You never have, and you never will. So, for you to pretend otherwise is simply to try to lend yourself an artificial veneer or “objectivity” that (you hope) will lend your “disappointment” in me some credibility. Too bad you can’t keep up the act for more than a couple of sentences.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  28. “Isn’t the ‘general state of affairs’ more about the source of ‘news’ demand? You know, ‘the lowest common denominator’?”

    The question stands, Patterico.

    Or do you think I’m blaming the ‘victim’?

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  29. Semanticleo and Davod,

    We all have to work for a living but here’s what I take from your comments: An employee should be willing to do anything the boss tells him to do (presumably, as long as it’s legal), so if the boss says “Jump” the only legitimate response is “How high?”

    I suspect we could all find employment that would pay us more – crime pays, after all, as does porn and questionable business practices – but most of us don’t pursue them because of morals or values. It seems to me that Nick Ut could do more with his talent than auction it off to the most salacious bidder, and that’s why his Paris Hilton photo tells us something about him and his values.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  30. I think both photographs were legitimate uses of his talent.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  31. Comment on the first photograph: I was never anti-war and certainly, from a historical perspective because I was too young to remember it, never anti-victory in Vietnam.

    This photo, however, helped shape my viewpoints toward war as a young man. It showed there is a terrible cost in collateral damage.

    It did not make me hate my (or your) country and I place the blame for the casualties depicted in this photo on the aggressive communists who invaded South Vietnam.

    Yet it’s a brilliant, tragic, Pulitzer Prize-deserving photograph.

    The second one is merely a good one. It shows anquish on the face of a celebrity-criminal faced with the consequences of her court defiance. I can live with that.

    I wish Paris Hilton the best to the degree that she lives her life without endangering others. That doesn’t mean, as a publicity-and-“fan”-seeking celebrity, she can escape without people following her up times and her down times. Such is the path she chose.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  32. Christoph,

    I agree it is legitimate. Nick Ut can do whatever he wants, including take celebrity photos. But it’s one thing to acknowledge his right to do what he wants and it’s another to encourage or applaud it. Would we applaud a Pulitzer Prize winner who chose to exclusively write celebrity gossip?

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  33. Propaganda indeed. Who dropped those napalm bombs in the Vietnam picture? America of course. Wrong!Guess again.

    Moose (dcacef)

  34. DRJ,

    People like celebrity gossip.

    I applaud Harvey Levin because, 1, he gave me hours of mindless entertainment as a child as a producer of the People’s Court who nonetheless sparked an interest in the law, and, 2, he developed a highly successful celebrity-gossip website, TMZ.com, promoting stories I’m not generally interested in, with some exceptions.

    Many people succeed in areas that aren’t my cup of tea.

    I commend them for it. I even commended Paris Hilton for taking her parents’ wealth, the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the sex tape whose release she did not approve, and making a name and income for herself.

    So, “Would we applaud a Pulitzer Prize winner who chose to exclusively write celebrity gossip?”

    Sure. If that’s what they want to do.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  35. Christoph,

    Do you understand the difference between accepting that a person is free to make choices and applauding that person for that choice? If so, no doubt you feel the same way about other choices. For instance, if a medical school graduate chooses to dig ditches instead of practicing medicine, you would have to say that’s something we should applaud.

    I’m all for letting people do their own thing but that doesn’t mean I applaud them for doing it.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  36. Pathetic little Paris. What an emo!

    dubya (c16726)

  37. Fair enough, DRJ. I’m a capitalist.

    As long as a person is obeying the law and not directly harming others, I applaud them in their success.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  38. “The question stands, Patterico.”

    Guess you’ll reserve your answers for whatever you
    like, as well.

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  39. You’r pretty dogged about demanding an answer to a question I don’t even really understand.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  40. If you’re trying to ask, doesn’t all the blame fall on the public? I say that part of it does.

    But if that’s the defense, then I don’t ever, ever want to hear these chumps at the LAT again complaining about how holy their jobs are, and how they have a sacred duty to bring the news to the people.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  41. “I don’t ever, ever want to hear these chumps at the LAT again complaining about how holy their jobs are, and how they have a sacred duty to bring the news to the people.”

    That’s a pretty broad brush. There are no good
    journalists at latimes? You know, the old school
    watchdogs who value the dispensation of accurate
    info?

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  42. I’m glad we’re both capitalists, Christoph. That’s why I’m happy to let people do what they want but I hope they decide to do something more than celebrity-gazing.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  43. celebrity gazing + raking in profits

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  44. Your animus toward latimes would have more credibility if you would occasionally excoriate the
    Orange County Register. Now there’s a paper the
    Chicago Tribune couldn’t hurt.

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  45. Don’t read it; don’t care what you think would enhance my credibility.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  46. That’s a pretty broad brush. There are no good
    journalists at latimes? You know, the old school
    watchdogs who value the dispensation of accurate
    info?

    I’m talking about the people in charge, who have decided to flog this Paris Hilton thing to death.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  47. Patterico,

    Would you condemn the managers of a California company that decided to lay off 1000 locals and move their jobs overseas?

    alphie (015011)

  48. alphie,

    Do you think earthquakes are racist?

    Pablo (99243e)

  49. “I’m talking about the people in charge, who have decided to flog this Paris Hilton thing to death.”

    Whew! That was like giving birth to a pumpkin.
    Thanks for the clarification. BTW, the ‘people in charge’ are the Chicago Tribune. I guess you don’t read that either.

    Semanticleo (710d38)

  50. being a photographer is a little like being a lawyer. you’re there to tell a story. there’s no requirement that you like the story, or the subject.

    assistant devil's advocate (fc45f8)

  51. Devil’s Advocate:

    Please do not insult photographers.

    davod (3392f5)

  52. BTW, the ‘people in charge’ are the Chicago Tribune. I guess you don’t read that either.

    The people who decide what goes in the paper day in and day out are in L.A.

    And no, I don’t read the Chicago Tribune.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  53. “Bawling children,” Patterico?

    Frightened, maybe. Scared, more like it. Horrified. Victimized. Brutalized. TERRORIZED!

    In the entire history of this photo, you’re probably the first to describe these children as one might a bunch of kids in the back seat of a car on a long trip to grandmas. When your politics start perverting your sensibilities like this, you’re in big trouble, man.

    Asinistra (e5b23e)

  54. When your politics start perverting your sensibilities like this, you’re in big trouble, man.

    Indeed. And that’s an apt description of your unfounded attack on me.

    No rational reader would see my post as mocking the children. Only an unhinged lefty could reach that conclusion.

    bawl (bôl) Pronunciation Key
    v. bawled, bawl·ing, bawls

    v. intr.

    1. To cry or sob loudly; wail.
    2. To cry out loudly and vehemently; shout.

    It’s a description, and an apt one. The children in that photo are bawling. I would have been too, in their situation.

    I didn’t say anything about a trip to grandma’s, and I didn’t think it either.

    — Adestra

    Patterico (eeb415)

  55. Indeed, any *rational* reader would see the contrast I was making: namely, that the photo of the childre a) was real news and b) depicted people who had something more relatively significant to cry about.

    Going to jail is no walk in the park, by any means. I don’t mean to minimize it. But it ain’t being napalmed.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  56. For goodness sakes, Patterico, yes, photo 1 “real news” about a war, photo 2 “celebrity news” about someone’s distress at being sent back to court.

    People do things of varying seriousness in their lives.

    Surely, as a prosecutor you must realize some crimes are murder, some are probation violation, and some are in between?

    What’s the significance of the contrast you’re pointing out?

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  57. He’s pointing out that Ut has gone from taking pictures of real news to taking pictures for Hilton.

    It’s a hell of a fall, if you ask me.

    Also, I’d like to point out that the photo Ut took all those years ago was intended to make it look like the US military was doing something horrible, when in fact it’s a bunch of soldiers (none of whom have a weapons raised or readied) are walking behind kids who are escaping violence not cause by the military.

    But a quick glance sure does suggest otherwise…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  58. Yours, m_i_p, is also a complete 100% bullshit act, because as you admit later in your very same comment, you don’t expect anything positive from any conservative blog anwyay.

    Ah, the reflexive cavilling that we’ve all come to love. And in this case a headscratcher as to logic. Read over what you wrote again and see if you can understand it.

    No, Patrick, the only reason I bother to come here at all is because I do expect a little more. I can sense that you’re not a normal wingnut. You’re not convinced. I suspect you know better, and my evidence is that you don’t post in support of the worst of conservative horseshit. At most you enable it in the strangest, noncommittal ways, such as what I think I saw as some abstracted legal study in the Terry Schiavo embarrassment.

    You may well say, ‘in that case, don’t do me the favor,’ but in fact I’ve had more issues with that halfwit Levine than you.

    You’ll never in a lifetime abandon all the self-branding you’ve done, the feverish attempts to become Famous Gadfly #1 to the LAT, nor will you abandon all the tribal loyalties to family, country club or the hard-won links from Malkin or Reynolds. Nah, no illusions there. But insofar as I’m 99% certain that you know you’re shoveling shit and occasionally have eruptions of conscience (as with Plame), yep, the disappointment is real. I didn’t know Liberal Avenger rode your ass. But that only makes me more certain: when enough people think the same thing, y’know, there’s a chance of it being true.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  59. When enough people agree with the Liberal Avenger, it’s evidence that they’re wrong.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  60. To the extent that you’re trying to be sincere, m_i_p, ask yourself why you think I should give the slightest crap what you think, given what you just said about me. You might have even meant it to sound complimentary, but it isn’t. It’s an accusation of serial hypocrisy on my part. If that’s how you feel, screw you.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  61. Because you agree.

    Just not where anyone can hear you.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  62. What a self-delusional a-hole you are, m_i_p.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  63. Wait a sec, ‘hypocrite’? Don’t be so hard on yourself. I believe the term of art is ‘advocate.’ I’d expect nothing less than advocacy from a good lawyer, and in fact I’d pay a lot for it if I needed it.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  64. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

    I’m not. Nor do I think you’re being “hard on me” — you’re just being a prick.

    But that’s typical for gutless anonymous assholes on the Internet like you.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  65. Good god, I’m talking to a five-year-old.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  66. You should stoip talking to yourself then, mip… That would clear that problem right up for ya…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  67. “Good god, I’m talking to a five-year-old.”

    You think that’s bad? I’m talking to an anonymous asshole on the Internet.

    Maybe it’s time to stop — as meaningful as this been to all of us.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  68. This interview suggests a certain self-realization and maturity.

    While change can be long and arduous, it can also happen in the twinkling of an eye and certainly after a jail sentence.

    I once went to jail for a much shorter period of time than Paris is sentenced and I resolved to be law abiding upon my release.

    I was and am.

    Who here can say Paris has not found God?

    Would her lack of perfection from here on out indicate she hasn’t? Who here is perfect in their application of goodness to their own life?

    I wish her every support and chance for accomplishing more of substance with her life.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  69. Also, I’d like to point out that the photo Ut took all those years ago was intended to make it look like the US military was doing something horrible, when in fact it’s a bunch of soldiers (none of whom have a weapons raised or readied) are walking behind kids who are escaping violence not cause by the military.

    I doubt whether Ut intended to make the picture look like anything. More likely and almost certainly, the wire services it was sold to used it for the purpose of making it look like the US was napalming civilians.

    In fact, the South Vietnamese air force dropped the napalm and the soldiers in the picture are ARVN (South Vietnamese). The guy on the far right looks to be another combat photog of some sort.

    dubya (753723)

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