Horrifying New York Post Cover Shows Journalist James Foley Just Before Beheading by ISIS

james-foley.jpg
Photo by Nicole Tung via Free James Foley
Foley in Aleppo, Syria, in July 2012.
James Foley, an American freelance journalist who was kidnapped in Syria by terrorists two years ago, has been murdered by his kidnappers, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS and ISIL. The group posted a video online yesterday showing Foley reading a clearly coerced speech calling the U.S. government "my real killers" before being beheaded with a knife by a black-hooded man. Extremely disturbing images of his death began spreading with virus-like speed across social media, even as friends of Foley and many journalists pleaded with the public not to share them. Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter, eventually announced that the company would suspend the accounts of anyone sharing the images of Foley's death.

That sense of restraint and basic decency was not shared by the New York Post, which for its cover photo today used an image of Foley just moments before his beheading.

Both the Daily News and the Post went with the same single-word cover line today: "SAVAGES." The News used a still from Foley's execution video, albeit a slightly less graphic one than the Post displayed. The Post's cover is here, if you truly feel the need to see it. In New York, it will also assault your eyeballs from newsstands everywhere for the remainder of the day.

The reaction to the Post's use of the image has been swift and negative. Capital New York reports that "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough displayed the News cover this morning on air but said he wouldn't show the Post's.

Foley, a well-respected and well-traveled reporter, was working for the Global Post when he was kidnapped in Syria. His friends, family, and colleagues have stated that they are trying to remember him as he was, not at the hour of his death. One friend, D.C. reporter Andy Carvin, tweeted this:

Yesterday, Foley's mother, Diane, released a statement through Facebook, which closes by asking for privacy for her family. Here it is in full:

We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.

We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.

We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.


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44 comments
Pam Fisher
Pam Fisher

Ny post has gone TOO far this time! I don't read their paper anymore, because they are sickening!!

funduck
funduck

They should not allow pictures of starving children either, so I can easily ignore that reality too. I prefer my filtered bubble.

Vinny Cornelli
Vinny Cornelli

Well said, VV. I couldn't bring myself to watch the video. As a former New Yorker, I'd be disgusted w that image on every corner newsstand. It unfortunately never will, but the unnecessary media sensationalism needs to stop.

Lela Edgar
Lela Edgar

I will leave the "real journalism" to the BBC and NPR's of the world. If you feel The Post is comprised of fair and balanced journalism more power to you. Their covers are constantly trying to sell tickets to a show, full stop. We are in an age where even if we were not interested in the news we are going to hear/see/absorb it. There is a story to be told about James Foley that involves showing photos of his beheading and the second before his death yes but there is also a story to be told about his life, what he stood for, what he was doing there, etc. His life was more than that moment and that moment is on every other news page it seems. If The Post was putting out an in depth unique story exploring journalism I would understand their choice. I suspect given their long track record this photo was about shock and awe not about the story/educating the public/making sure people see an image they won't otherwise see... etc. But to each his own for sure. Okay for us to see this differently.

Erin Marie Miller
Erin Marie Miller

I know exactly what The Post is. And I can't believe I'm defending them -- but I AM, because for once in their existence they've actually done something that aligns with real journalism -- and that will always, ALWAYS, be worth defending.

Lela Edgar
Lela Edgar

Amber I am all for not sugar coating but The Post is a sensationalistic rag. They posted (on the cover) a photo of a man who was run over by a subway car the moment just before he was taken out. Let BBC, Al-Jazeera, NPR give us the full story complete with beheading footage/photos accessible for those who want to partake. In the days of social media and 101 actual news orgs posting at any time we're not at any risk of not seeing what's up in the world. I would just rather leave it to real journalists and even better news outlets who give a shit and aren't just selling tickets to a show. Clearly I am a tad anti-Post lol

Amber Jodoin
Amber Jodoin

I dunno if I agree - while they are horrifying images, i don't think we should ignore them. They are real and terrifying and James Foley died in a real and terrifying manner. Those images should also be ingrained in our minds. To sugar coat the truth goes against every Foley stood for.

giddydingle
giddydingle

A voice of reason. Andrew Klavan, in the LA Times:

It is not a journalist’s job to protect us from the ugly facts. Neither is it his job to protect the sensitive from the painful truth or anyone, really, from anything.

In fact, speaking more broadly, it is not a journalist’s job to make the world a better place, to ensure our right thinking, or to defend the virtuous politicians that sophisticates like himself voted for while excoriating the evildoers elected by those country rubes on the other side. It is not his job to do good or be kind or be wise. The idea that any of this is a journalist’s job is a fallacy that seems to have infected the trade in the 1970s, when idealistic highbrows began to replace the Janes and Joes who knew a good story when they heard one.

Because that’s the journalist’s job: the story. His only job: to tell the whole story straight. 

That’s pretty much all there is to it. 

TheBlackWhole
TheBlackWhole

Dude was an amerikkkan "media" propaganda "asset" that had NO REAL business there. Live by the SWORD...APPARENTLY, you may VERY WELL DIE by the SWORD (or knife)!

Todd Rhinerson
Todd Rhinerson

Whatever sells. Keeping it classy scumbag media savages.

Petro Dance
Petro Dance

The Truth will set you free! Don't try to Sugar Coat what happened! It is Tragic but Must be showed to raise Awareness!

Lela Edgar
Lela Edgar

@erin The Post isn't the press they are The Enquirer

Lela Edgar
Lela Edgar

The New York Post is the most vile paper I have ever come across. I am sorry they have an audience and I hope more people will stop buying it.

Doug Poswencyk
Doug Poswencyk

The Post is a reactionary sensational piece of shit.

Erin Marie Miller
Erin Marie Miller

NO. It isn't "anything to sell a newspaper." Photos like those are what makes the whole thing real, and forces the world to understand the severity of the situation. Glossing over a terrible tragedy with some happy photos? That isn't the job of the press. Informing the public of what's happening in the world, and making sure they understand the whole situation -- THAT is what journalism is. This man was a war photographer. He understood the difference an honest (albeit uncomfortable and awful) photograph could make in the world. The media isn't being insensitive -- they are doing their jobs, and the Americans who are criticizing them for it are the same ones who are perpetuating the loss of reliable reporting in the modern world.

Robert Flanagan
Robert Flanagan

I do NOT agree. We should be shown those photos so they are ingrained in our minds! To turn our heads and sugar coat these atrocities merely allows these animals to continue on their paths. It also robs Mr. Foley of his bravery and stoicism at the moment of his death. These pictures upset you? GOOD they should!

mikey_editor
mikey_editor

I may be the only writer who feels this way.
When you put yourself in harm's way you do it for a reason. You want special access. You want the scoop and the fame that comes with it. You risk what happens.
When the 60 minutes reporter was stripped below the waist groped by a crowd of hooligans (and it quickly became a "sexual assault" in the world of hyperbole),  she was in a land which dishonors and degrades women every day. She put herself (and her bosses sent her) knowing that. She risked getting attacked and was attacked. Other news services have a policy of not sending women into such situations.
No one deserves to be groped. No one deserves rot die. But most writers know what they are doing when enter a danger zone. What is happening in Missouri is so wrong because it is American politicians allowing attacks on Americans in America. Those covering that event are not putting themselves, at least not at first, knowingly in harm's way.

Mitch Armstrong
Mitch Armstrong

I agree Adam. U.S. Culture is too insulated from these atrocities. Too much Paris Hilton Hollywood, bubblegum, head in the sand, news. These people are on a mission to eliminate everyone who don't follow their ideology

Adam Martinique
Adam Martinique

I don't know what your talking about, those photos were necessary, a lack of carnage makes war fictional to those who don't fight, we forget, we move on.

Edli Colberg
Edli Colberg

they were reporting the news, and the news was gruesome- deal with it!

uninterestedobserver
uninterestedobserver

Brutal picture of a brutal act. I wonder if folks would be upset about newspapers showing pictures of Michael Brown after he was shot in Ferguson.

Michael James
Michael James

Anything to sell newspapers! Boycott the New York Post!! While you're at it, boycott the New York Daily News, too!

Chase McCord
Chase McCord

No they should have ran the pic they did and said hero over it

Jess Tully
Jess Tully

His sister Kelly is encouraging the Isis media blackout.. everyone needs to respect his family's wishes

Richard Gasparro
Richard Gasparro

Why would anyone be surprised about the post. It's trash. Nice job VV. This is the pic we should see of Foley -- him enjoying what he lived for.

Robert Zott
Robert Zott

Photos such as the one of James Foley moments before execution are a deliberate attempt to play on the sentiment of rational human beings in order to incite them into war. Remember the tapes of Zarqawi beheading westerners? The drone strikes? The delays in troop withdrawals? The goal of ISIS is clear: draw the US into war and drain trillions from the American economy. We fell for it with bin Laden. As long as we maintain our composure in the sight of such horror, we will take these images for what they are: coercion, plain and simple.

Eric Ostrowsky
Eric Ostrowsky

I had no problem seeing the truth.. maybe this will wake you sick bleeding hearts up.

Adrian Baksh
Adrian Baksh

America this is all of our fault we are responsible for this we allow this to happen. It does not matter if we are black white gay straight asian we did this to this man. Shame on us all! Shame!

Kevin Clark
Kevin Clark

It was bad enough the way that poor man was murdered by those maniacs! But to see it! It's just unspeakable!That's what the murderous insane terrorist wack job sick fucks wanted!! It's such a disrespect to his family and friends!!

Curtis Mayfree
Curtis Mayfree

I actually for one of those rare times agree with the post. It shows how serious this thing is, it's meant to shock and show that this shit government needs to get off its ass and do something about it

Debbie Johnstone
Debbie Johnstone

The Post's cover is probably the most deplorable thing I have ever seen, and I wish I had never seen it.

Freddie DeJesus
Freddie DeJesus

Between the Post and the NYDN, I don't know which one is worse. Thank God for The New York Times

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