The story so far:
In his Sept. 10 column, Frank Rich of the New York Times describes a "taboo 9/11 photo," one so "shocking" that photographer Thomas Hoepker didn't publish it for four years. The photo... shows five people on the Brooklyn waterfront, engaged in conversation while the smoke from the fallen towers billows over Manhattan behind them.
Rich, as is his wont, sees in the photo something that jibes perfectly with his political convictions: "Traumatic as the attack on America was, 9/11 would recede quickly for many. This is a country that likes to move on, and fast. The young people in Mr. Hoepker's photo aren't necessarily callous." Slate's David Plotz disagrees: "The subjects are obviously engaged with each other, and they're almost certainly discussing the horrific event unfolding behind them. They have looked away from the towers for a moment not because they're bored with 9/11, but because they're citizens participating in the most important act in a democracy—civic debate." Without taking sides, Gawker wants to know how you interpret this photo: discourse or douchebaggery?