autopsy chart shown during press conference

What idiot made this decision?

| The events in and about Ferguson, Missouri, continue to shock, often in unexpected ways.

Monday morning, the preliminary results of an independent autopsy by former New York medical examiner Dr Michael M Baden and his associate Professor Shawn L Parcells were presented at a press conference, carried live by MSNBC. Parcells used a large anatomical chart (right) to identify the locations of the six shots that struck Michael Brown.

Professor Parcells responds to a question about the grazing wound on the right arm
​Professor Parcells makes a point about the grazing wound on the right forearm

To the best of my knowledge, no one in the church where the press conference was held fainted at the sight of the drawing's groin. Nor did I hear any nervous tittering from those in attendance. The large chart was displayed on an easel in the front of the room, and while Parcells enumerated the shots, cameras moved in for close views.

Later, I tuned in while the Andrea Mitchell show was in progress.

This is how the chart looked when shown on Mitchell's show.

Autopsy chart as shown on Andrea Mitchell Reports
Autopsy chart as shown on Andrea Mitchell Reports

What's wrong with this picture?

Upper body shown in autopsy chart
Upper body as shown during press conference
Upper body from autopsy chart as shown on Andrea Mitchell
Upper body as shown on Andrea Mitchell

In the time between the press conference in Ferguson and when Andrea Mitchell began her segment on the autopsy, someone had decided that seeing a drawing that included male genitals would be too much for the television audience to handle, and a White-Out fig leaf, so to speak, was applied to the diagram, obscuring the groin.

What kind of a f*d up country do we live in that it's OK to show the body of a young black man lying in the street for four hours and it's not OK to show an anatomical drawing including the male genitals? It's OK to show video of a black man being choked to death by policemen on the streets of Staten Island, New York, but a line drawing of a penis has to be hidden? It's not as if the chart had a picture of Michael Brown's actual genitals — common decency in that circumstance would be understandable. But a drawing?!?!?!

Prudery is alive and well at MSNBC, and they should be ashamed! I am shocked. Simply shocked. And dismayed.

Last updated on Apr 29, 2016

Chronicles

Archives

Recent Articles