Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More evidence of staged photographs

As if the discovery of the previous problems with photoshopped photos were not bad enough, now evidence of staged photos are showing up in the internet.

From the WSJ's Opinion Journal Best of the Web Today has the story-

The same scam seems to be popping up in Lebanon--quite literally. Look at this July 30 photo, shot by the Associated Press's Lefteris Pitarakis:

The caption reads: "Bodies of Lebanese residents of the southern village of Qana near the port city of Tyre, Lebanon, are laid covered after they were removed from under the rubble of a demolished building, background, that was struck by Israeli war plane missiles Sunday, July 30, 2006. At least 50 people, including scores of children, were killed Sunday in an Israeli air strike on this southern Lebanon village--the deadliest attack in 19 days of fighting."

The death toll subsequently declined, and a close look at this photo shows that the Hezbollah side of the conflict was exaggerating it with images as well as words. Note the "victim" denoted by the arrow here:

It's a little hard to see exactly what's going on at this size, but as luck would have it the Washington Post used the photo on its July 31 front page, and a sharp-eyed reader scanned it for us. Here's an enlargement of the portion in question:

It's a bit reminiscent of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: "I'm getting better.")

Plainly this scene was staged for the benefit of the cameras, though it is important to note we know of no evidence that the photographer was complicit in the staging. It is, however, a clear example of how terrorist groups use journalists to spread their propaganda.

Speaking of which, TimesWatch.org's Clay Waters notes that Saturday's New York Times featured a front-page photo from Adnan Hajj, the Reuters photographer who was fired the following day after it turned out he doctored photos to make Israel look bad. The photo ran four columns, at the top of the page.

Yet while Reuters says it has purged Hajj's photos from its database, the Times has not even covered the scandal. At this writing, the only mention of it on the Times Web site is Reuters' own coverage of it.

No comments: