Sunday, March 27, 2005
Money for Marines: Harper's magazine has decided to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to several young Marines.
Not really, but that's the likely fallout from the March cover.
The St. Petersburg Times reports:
Marine recruits so new that their hair hasn't been cut don't sound like the best models for a story about soldiers going AWOL - particularly since none in the group is a deserter.
But there they are, pictured on the March cover of Harper's magazine along with a headline that reads, "AWOL in America: When Desertion Is the Only Option."
Lance Cpl. Kyle Bridge of St. Petersburg is one of them. When the 19-year-old Marine reservist first heard he was on the cover of a national magazine, he thought it sounded cool. A friend teased him about being famous.
Then he realized the story was about soldiers who desert from the U.S. Army.
"It's kind of frustrating," Bridge said. "Most people that see me, if they know me, they know I wouldn't go AWOL."
The cover photo, taken at Parris Island, S.C., shows seven Marines lined up in their T-shirts, shorts and socks. They are not identified in photo credits or in the article. In fact, Harper's says the Marines are not meant to depict people in the article.
"We are decorating pages," said Giulia Melucci, the magazine's vice president for public relations. "We are not saying the soldiers are AWOL. Our covers are not necessarily representative."
That's not going to protect you from the libel suits. If you wanted a cover that was "not necessarily representative," you would've hired some young men off the streets, dressed them up, paid them, fed them lunch maybe, and then taken the picture.
Nope, instead you've libeled some real Marines.
Guys, enjoy your newfound wealth -- don't settle for less than $50,000 each.