Monday, August 07, 2006
THE WAR AGAINST ISRAEL, MEDIA DIVISION
ast night I was looking for coverage of Sunday's big pro-Hizb Allah rally in London. I found an early wireservice bulletin and clicked on the accompanying photo to see if more photos had gone up yet. This took me to the Mideast Conflict gallery on Yahoo News, but there were only 3 or 4 pics posted from London, as it was still mid-day over there. There were however, some posted from the anti-Israel demonstrations in Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia, so I began stepping through the gallery pages to the more recent ones.
I had already known of the blogosphere's takedown of a sloppily manipulated Reuters photo from Beirut, after checking the Pajamas Media updates (much more today here), so imagine my surprise to see the obviously faked picture still in the gallery. I didn't bother to copy the image, since it was already captured by dozens of bloggers
by then. But while I was stepping backwards and forwards through the multiple thumbnail galleries, the faked photo was replaced by this: Reuters on Yahoo News (that link is the original one, which now doesn't exist and will take you to the current first photo on that gallery).
|Shoddily photo-shopped image was replaced by this image on Yahoo News Photos.|
I copied the text of the caption as well for posterity (as seen beside the "PICTURE KILL" ha, I love it!), but of course it's all over the place today (check the list of stories at the top of memeorandum when I looked this morning). The time given in the revised caption is for transmission of the original fake. As near as I can tell, this red-bordered badge of victory was posted around 1130GMT Aug. 6. In other words, the fake stood for about 21 and a half hours, when the manipulation is so bad it really should have been caught by any number of dedicated Reuters professionals and prevented from going up at all. But enough sarcasm for the moment.
|Photo was replaced by this reduction on Reuters website.|
Reuters is now catching up to this fast-moving story though, reporting that -
Reuters, the global news and information agency, told a freelance Lebanese photographer on Sunday it would not use any more of his pictures after he doctored an image of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on Beirut.The best part though, is photographer Adnan Hajj's excuses -- which basically amount to variations on "it was an accident." Heh. He was "trying to remove dust marks" and it was difficult due to "bad lighting conditions he was working under" while removing the dust marks.
Since when do lighting conditions affect one's ability to see a computer monitor? I can do it in the pitch dark!
It seems to be a fact of life these days that journalists, and now even photographers, shouldn't be trusted without good reason. John Burns of the New York Times is one MSM journalist whom I feel I can trust, and there aren't many like him in Iraq now, it seems. But if one can't even believe the photos we are given by our "eyes in the field," what is left? Already, other work of Adnan Hajj are being questioned, and further examples of his manipulation of images have been found (see the memeorandum link above).
He is also, coincidentally or not, one of the photographers who played along with the parading of a child's body for show, a week ago in Qana. One guy, the famous "green helmet man" carried the same body up and down the area for hours -- with helmet off, with helmet on, with gloves on, with gloves off, with orange vest on, with orange vest off -- without ever, apparently, putting the poor child's body down. I wonder how he did that.
The definitive illustration of exactly what was done to accidentally "enhance" the "smoke billowing..." photo is right here, utilizing the unretouched original for reference. Nice work by Dorkafork at INDC Journal, and raising the basic issue in my mind -- what in the hell was the point to do this in the first place? Other than unintentionally warning us not to trust journalists, I mean.
One more thing. I've noticed a few bloggers citing the death threat against Charles Johnson of lgf, and relating it to retaliation for his work in exposing this latest Reuters fakery. It's true, he did have a death threat lodged against him from someone at Reuters in London, but this happened at the end of May (as can be seen from the news story). Reuters did fire someone over that, but these are two separate incidents. What is abundantly clear though, is that Reuters employs some number of people with highly partisan agendas. One would expect that a "global news and information agency" might see a problem with that.
Oh, I finally found the pictures from London's pro-Hizb Allah, anti-Israel rally yesterday, right here. Hizb Allah flags seem to be hot sellers around the world these days (they go well with the "Smash the Jewish State!" placards, I guess). What year is it again?