WTF Friday, 4/9/10

  • “Let’s not be sensational, guys. Let’s just go to the statistically hungriest place in the world and take pictures of emaciated babies. Because as Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal say, Photogenic starving children are hard to find,’ but this has got to increase our odds.”

  • In case you haven’t heard (I know you have), protests resulting in violence have forced Kyrgyzstan President, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, to flee the capital. Because the U.S. apparently has a military base there, the protest seems to have caused many Americans to “hear of” Kyrgyzstan. No word if this has affected American’s ability to pronounce Kyrgyzstan, spell Kyrgyzstan, or find Kyrgyzstan on a map. Will follow these stories as they progress.

  • Another one bites the dust as the Umma party, one of the main opposition parties in Sudan, has said that it will boycott the upcoming elections. As the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has said it will only contest in the South, this leaves only minor parties to oppose in the North. What gives? Maybe these guys just need some encouraging words from a mock inspirational poster with a catch phrase from a Tim Allen movie from 1999. Got it. I think we can salvage this election, yet.
  • Gawker had two good pieces on Kim Jong-Il this past week. One focuses on an LA Times article about a new book by his former personal shopper. The man, Kim Jong Ryul, describes purchasing luxury goods such as Benz’s, weapons, and some Star Trek futuristic-type thing called a ‘mass spectrometer’ that could be used to identify uranium and plutonium, or even the dreaded protomatter. Gawker also highlights some made-up report from Rodong Sinmun, the North Korean Communist newspaper, that the Dear/Supreme/Great Leader’s suit is becoming a global fashion trend. Talk about a one-person trend story. Damn, if Gawker keeps running Kim Jong-Il stories through the snark machine, I may be out of an (unpaid) job.

Chris Maggio


  1. re: "Let's just go to the statistically hungriest place in the world and take pictures of emaciated babies"

    Not surprising. The huff post is staffed and edited by morons as far as I can tell. I'm still waiting for a response from them regarding a story/pics they posted on Sri Lanka. I'll be waiting a very long time I think!

  2. David Campbell – my comment re Huff post was not remotely influenced by the WTF post.

    My comment re huff post was regarding an Atrocious picture they posted (which I won't glorify by detailing here) in, no less, the entertainment (?) section (not to mention many other headlines they have posted over the last year).

    As far as I'm concerned the huff post IS generally staffed by idiots (Please, huff post call me – I am happy to stand by my comment).

    David Cambell, please don't make assumptions about what I know or don't know about Sudan based on a short comment on a blog site stating MY view of the huff post (for the record I am pretty well versed re south sudan given a sibling has been working out there for the past 4 years).

  3. David, fair play on your piece. I should have found and noted the original source of the photos, which does seem to add some context. However, implying that my quote was meant to be anything other than satirical seems outlandish to me. Let's revisit it:

    "Let's not be sensational, guys. Let's just go to the statistically hungriest place in the world and take pictures of emaciated babies. Because as Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal say, 'Photogenic starving children are hard to find,' but this has got to increase our odds."

    Who, in their right mind, would say this to anyone, much less publish it on the internet? And, on top of that, who would reference an article that critiques the very photographs that he or she posted?

    With that said, I do understand that there is a difference between a public health effort and what I describe. However, I still think it is fair to critique both the photos and HuffPo's use of the photos. This, as literally the hungriest place in the world, is the extreme to end all extremes, and there will always be a question of representation when photographing such a place.

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