A very “civil” blogger who always hews to “substance” rather than invective has written a very dishonest little squib on Salon about the Reuters scandal. (h/t Allah.) (You can access it here; just click on the silly commercial and surf the net on a different browser window until it’s done.)
I won’t name the blogger, but he once linked a post (the very first link in this post) that called one of his opponents a “suburban douchebag” — among many, many other things. His writings are famously misleading. And he has some fierce defenders at his IP address.
And he has such great substance!
Anyway, his latest disingenuous bilge pretends that the Reuters photo scandal is all about two altered photographs:
It is indisputably wrong for a media outlet to alter photographs or other information so as to falsely represent what is being reported. That is beyond dispute. Yet for three straight days now (and still going strong), the right-wing blogosphere has been wallowing in a self-celebratory swarm because two photographs taken in Lebanon and published by Reuters were found to have been altered using Photoshop by the freelance photographer who submitted them.
Oh . . . is that what this is all about?? Because somehow I thought there was more to it than that.
Even Tim Rutten is honest enough to admit there’s more to it than that. A lot more. As Rutten recently noted:
There is an entire series of photos of children’s stuffed toys poised atop mounds of rubble. All are miraculously pristinely clean and apparently untouched by the devastation they purportedly survived. . . . . There’s an improbable photo by Hajj of a Koran burning atop the rubble of a building supposedly destroyed by an Israeli aircraft hours before. Nothing else in sight is alight. (With photos, as in life, when something seems too perfect to be true, it’s almost always because it is.) In other photos, the same wrecked building is portrayed multiple times with the same older woman — one supposes she ought to be called a model — either lamenting its destruction or passing by in different costumes.
As I noted in this post:
Rutten missed the Green Helmet guy who choreographed the photography of dead children, so that they would be removed from ambulances for a better and more effective shot. (More on him here and here.) He missed the photographer who admits that bodies have been dug up to make pictures more effective. He missed the girl who fell off the swing being portrayed as a bombing victim.
As I said in that post, I’m sure there’s even more than I have managed to keep track of. Zombie had a fairly comprehensive roundup of some of the major issues.
There is so much more to this scandal than two pictures that were photoshopped in minor ways.
And for our good Man of Substance to claim otherwise shows him to be either utterly ignorant of the extent of the scandal, or flat-out dishonest.
I know what my vote is.
UPDATE: I love how Ace puts it.
UPDATE x2: OK, I just noticed that the piece was dated August 7. Some of this stuff developed after that date. So I’m sure he’s updated his blog to reflect the new developments, and written Salon to have them correct the misleading impression created by his piece.
UPDATE x3: Wrong. Upon further investigation, he has, shockingly, done no such thing.
Here’s a quick timeline:
On August 6, Power Line and others had noted that the same building had been depicted as being destroyed on July 24 and August 5, and that the same woman had been depicted as lamenting the destruction of buildings on different dates. A blog published numerous photos of people in the identical hands-upraised pose in front of destroyed buildings. John Hinderaker said:
It is now obvious that this is a major scandal, and that Reuters has allowed itself to be used as a vehicle for publishing the crudest forms of Hezbollah propaganda.
The next day, our Man of Substance published his Salon piece describing the scandal as involving two minor photoshops.
On August 8, the scandal started picking up, and many of the other details discussed above were revealed.
On August 9, I published a post rounding up many of the various pieces of evidence, including Zombie’s summary and Slublog’s dust-free toys atop destroyed buildings. The same day, Mr. Substance published a post that called the Reuters scandal “hysterically overblown” — with a hyperlink to his own Salon piece.
He has no excuse.