New York Times denies State Department request to remove photo

The Times says the U.S. government’s request to pull the photo of a dying ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was based on “an emotional argument.”

(Credit: Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

Standards editor Philip Corbett told the State Department:

We think the photo was newsworthy and important to our coverage. We did, however, try to avoid presenting the picture in a sensational or insensitive way.

Unfortunately, our news coverage sometimes demands visual depictions of terrible events — bombing victims, famine victims, crime victims, fallen soldiers. We regret the pain this can cause to families and to other readers, but we feel the decision in this case is the right one.

* Times denies request to remove photo from website (
* NYT public editor: I wouldn’t want to see a similar photo on Thursday’s front page (
*’s front page has a photo of Stevens being dragged by Libyans (