Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Forget the Picture; What About the Words?

Michelle Malkin has a terrific summary of the details of the unfolding story of the Reuters photographer caught doctoring photos. Reuters has withdrawn all 920 photos they have used from this fellow. In an age of pixels, pictures do lie.

Good start. Now, when is Reuters (or al-Reuters, as some people perceptively call them) going to fix its doctored reporting? After all, if fiddling with pixels is deceptive and inaccurate, how about the way its correspondents fiddle with words (like avoiding the term "terrorist")?

Funny how Hezbollah never fires any of its rockets from near the Reuters office building. Just a thought.

Discussions - 17 Comments

If Reuters had half a brain, it would post all of Hajj’s photos on a separate site and welcome continued blogger analysis that uncovered this debacle in the first place.

Malkin’s idea isn’t half bad. I like Reuters (or "al-Reuters" as those who can’t stand any news source that doesn’t worship at the alter of President Bush and the U.S. military call them), but if they are really interested in the truth, it would seem like that would be the best way to do it. I will be extremely disappointed in them if they don’t at least launch a public investigation in these photos . . .

Yeah, there goes that liberal-biased MSM again. Kinda reminds me of this fiasco, when those shameless Leftists just had to point out that GOP congressional candidate Howard Kaloogian (running to replace that OTHER exemplary Republican, Duke Cunningham, in Cali’s 50th district) had a photo of idyllic, peaceful Baghdad (!!) on his campaign website to prove how much of a success the mission has been there. Only it turned out the picture was taken in Istanbul, not Baghdad. Whoops! But really, did MSNBC HAVE to say anything about it?? I’m sure it was just an honest mistake, like his other photos, showing him almost as tall as G.W.Bush next to him, or visiting an airbase in Iraq that was actually located in Florida.

It’s totally appropriate that Reuters sacked this guy, but it does strike me as odd that his alterations were not only so poorly done, but also so pointless and stupid. Not that it would in any way justify or excuse his actions, but really, does he really think he’s going to help any cause by adding a bit more smoke (the undoctored photo doesn’t exactly show a place a whole lot nicer than say....Baghdad) or a couple more flares. On this issue especially, I don’t think anyone’s going to be swayed by just a little more, or darker, smoke. Silly, petty exaggeration. Nonetheless, it’s wholly dishonest, and he deserves to be canned, of course. I mean when people exaggerate - or "sex up" something like this, they SHOULD lose their job, right?

Frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is. Sure the photos are fake, but still they may be "accurate" After all, there are explosions in Lebanon, and Israel is fighting there. And, as we all know, "fake but accurate" has been the journalistic standard of excellence ever since Dan Rather was caught peddling forged documents in a propaganda piece for his former employer.

No big deal, except that Reuters is published in every other small-market paper in America, and most of the majors too, and as Little Green Footballs has documented time and time and time again, there seems to be a serious bias there on Middle-East/Islam issues, that just might have something to do with their willingness to rely on pro-Hezbollah (that’s ARMY OF GOD in Arabic for the anti-theocrats out there) stringers for their photos about the current war.

No big deal, except that it seems to be a cardinal tenet of the media that photography speaks the truth, and allows its viewers to penetrate to the essence of things, which is always DRAMA, always WHAT TO BE OUTRAGED ABOUT, whereas uncertain and necessarily long-winded analysis is generally shunned. Has any MSM outlet really been providing us analysis of the Israeli strategy? This sort of situtation gives these stringers and others immense power to spin the images in ways that they think will affect the outcome, by shifiting the imagisitic/sentimentalist OPINION of the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. Reuters and co. created this situation, and it is their responsibility to remedy it. Until they fire scores of their present EDITORIAL people, nothing essential will change.

And the reason why, at bottom, is this: as Tocqueville recongized, THE authority in modern democracy is mass opinion. That is what the largely one-sided media wars are about. Where there’s photoshopped smoke of a "lone" stringer, believe me, there’s a long-concealed fire of intense and deliberate bias.

None of the above should be read as simply assuming that the Israeli government’s current strategy is smart, and thus worth the inevitable civilian casualties and damage to Lebanon’s infrastructure. But I learn precious little from the MSM about that key issue.

There is an issue here that very few people have picked up on. REUTERS HAD THE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH when it published the doctored one. Virtually immediately upon exposure of the fraud by LGF, Reuters published the original. Reuters, therefore, had to have known what it was doing, had to have known it was perpetrating a fraud, when it published the doctored photo. Hajj is a prostitute. Reuters is his pimp.

Guido -

I don’t think this was a malicious conspiracy on the part of Reuters. I do think, however, that they just had a serious institutional failure and need to seriously reconsider how they judge their photographs before they just put them out in print . . .


I just do not see how the editors can claim simple negligence when they had both photographs in front of them and chose to publish the altered one rather than the original. As you know, for 14 years now I have thought the television and print media have had an agenda. This is pretty solid proof. It’s a surprise only because it’s so blatant. A conspiracy? O.K. I’m good with that.

Hajj was not Reuters’ only photographer. Many bloggers are now going through pics of virtually all of Reuters’ stringers.

Uncle Guido (who isn’t my uncle) - any evidence that Reuters "had both photographs in front of them and chose to publish the altered one"?

Dante - If your recycled PowerLine "fake but accurate" rant was aimed at my comment, it was misdirected. You’d have to twist my points beyond recognition to find a "fake but accurate" dismissal of the Reuters photo issue.

Another thing this reminded me of was Sen. Mike DeWine’s inexplicable blunder of running a campaign ad with faked video that somehow showed the south tower of the World Trade Center smoking and ablaze while the north tower was untouched (!!) I don’t even know if that would qualify as "fake but accurate," would it? I’m surprised that debacle wasn’t brought up by NLT’s resident Ohio experts, Schramm, Ponzi, or Moser. Of course, if one’s sole motivation is "no left turns" then I guess some things are better left unsaid. Haven’t heard much here about Bob Ney, either! (Isn’t the Ashbrook Center based in Ohio?)

I didn’t vote for the Reuters photographer, but plenty of conservatives have given their votes to Kaloogian and DeWine.

Uncle Guido (who isn’t my uncle) - any evidence that Reuters "had both photographs in front of them and chose to publish the altered one"?

Yes, the fact that they produced the original so quickly after LGF exposed the fraud.

UG, you’’’ve used logic on the trolls! Don’t you realize that this could create countervailing directives in their (rather tiny) brains, leading to mental meltdown? We could have trolljuice all over the floor!

On the other hand, who could tell the difference? We already have trolljuice oozing up between the floorboards. Reason away, good sir.

Oh yes, now I see. It’s the reason/logic/evidence of "because Uncle Guido and Dain say so."


I see what you mean.

EEEWWWWWW...trolljuice EVERYWHERE! Roll up your cuffs, U.G. Anyone got a mop?

A very insightful comment.

Whew...what a job. That trolljuice is naaassssty. Hmm..but how are we going to get the smell out of the carpet?

Another very insightful comment.

And another useless comment on my comment...I guess we could do this all day, OR you could just admit to being a nitwit.

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