Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More photo manipulations

Looks like you can add the NYT to the list of publications that were punked by unscrupulous Arab photographers. The RW blogopsphere is reporting that my favorite newspaper recently ran a series of pictures in which you can see a muscular half-naked man scrambling over debris. In the last picture, the same man is posed like the Pieta. The caption suggests he was found dead under the rubble.

Make no mistake: I know this is dishonest, and I hope the photographers who perpetrate such frauds are fired. In fact, I am going to write a letter to the Times demanding an explanation, and calling for the dismissal of the photo-editor who okayed that array. Update: The Times issues a correction

But at the same time, I find myself saying, "so what?" Does the fact that the Times published a picture of a fake corpse mean that absolutely no one is dying in Lebanon? Does the fact that some idiot photographer named Hajj tried to goose up a boring picture by adding some smoke mean that Beirut hasn't really been reduced to rubble?

You'll say this proves bias on the part of the media, that two or three doctored photos is the smoking gun that the honestreporting crowd always knew existed. But really? Junior photo editors process, perhaps, 4000 pictures over the course of a single day. Given that work load, an innocent mistake is far more likely than the ludicrous theories being hawked by some of the more irresponsible members of the wingnut-osphere. To put it succinctly, a worldwide media conspiracy to make Israel look bad would require a paper trail. Until someone finds the memo from the editor instructing staffers to use words and images to deliberately screw Israel, the idea that news agencies are purposly targeting Israel is nothing but a right-wing fever dream.

Update: A non-liberal magazine (US News) appears to have done something worse.

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