Horrifying New York Post Cover Shows Journalist James Foley Just Before Beheading by ISIS
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.
Photo by Nicole Tung via Free James Foley Foley in Aleppo, Syria, in July 2012.
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:
Want to share pics of James Foley? Share these, then. This is how we should all remember him. http://t.co/VSlxSaiHpv— Andy Carvin (@acarvin) August 19, 2014
Just don't watch the video. Don't.— Andy Carvin (@acarvin) August 19, 2014
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.