Photoshopping the news Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, February 25, 2006
It may seem trivial to some, but this is just another example of how low the media has sunk in the estimation of many in theis country. It appears, per The Smoking Gun.com, that in Vanity Fair's latest issue a reunion photo appears of correspondents who covered the Vietnam war. While Peter Arnett was there, he wasn't in a group photo taken in front of an old hangout in Saigon (screw the new name). He was apparently photoshopped in.
The Smoking Gun explains:
In its December 2005 issue, Vanity Fair magazine manipulated a photograph to make it appear that veteran journalist Peter Arnett was among a group of war correspondents gathered on a teeming Ho Chi Minh City street during a reunion of the Vietnam press corps. In fact, according to a source familiar with the photo shoot, Arnett was not present when photographer Jonas Karlsson shot a group portrait of eight journalists last April. Instead, the former CNN star (who covered the war for the Associated Press) was subsequently photographed solo and grafted—apparently through the magic of Photoshop—onto the group picture. Arnett, who attended part of the Vietnam reunion, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the war's end, is seen at the far left of the Vanity Fair photo. His space had actually been occupied during the group session by curious Vietnamese passersby. A photo caption claims that Arnett and the other reporters were "photographed outside their old hangout the Givral Café on April 29, 2005." Well, eight of nine ain't bad. Usually, when publications combine images into a single picture, the resulting photo is described as a composite. The Vanity Fair byline reads, "Photograph By Jonas Karlsson."
Now there are going to be apologists who think this is no big thing. But it is. It's an integrity issue. I'd have no problem with the photo if they had said "composite". Cool. But that's not how it was presented. It was presented as reality.
So what, you say, it's a photo of a group of old guys on a street?
What if it wasn't a photo of a group of old guys on a street? What if it was presented as a photo of an actual real event which would have international repercussions, say that of US troops torturing an Iraqi, when in reality it was a photoshopped composite presented as the real thing?
It reminds me of Russian photos with Stalin where those who had fallen out of favor were removed in subsequent editions of the photo. It was considered unacceptable then as a distortion of reality and it is no more acceptable now in an age where it it much easier to doctor pictures.
Can't wait for the next MSM yahoo to lecture blogs on why the MSM is so superior and all, given their ethics and the layers of editorship to which each and every story is submitted.
What if it wasn’t a photo of a group of old guys on a street? What if it was presented as a photo of an actual real event which would have international repercussions, say that of US troops torturing an Iraqi, when in reality it was a photoshopped composite presented as the real thing?
What if it were a photograph of Pashtun villagers standing by rubble with an unfired artillery shell - and the news organization claimed that the photograph was taken at the site of the US bombing of an alleged terrorist hideout, and named the artillery shell as a US "missile"?
What if the photograph were of a US soldier in Iraq, and the photo was cropped to make it appear as though he were threatening a young Iraqi child?
Thanks, W. "Whatever" sums up my view of anything the MSM publishes anymore. Journalists should be better educated in the topics they pretend to educate us about. My view is most reporters don’t have the breadth of experiences to advise me on issues like global climate, Sunni-intransigence, or Ford’s machinist unions.
I think these "truth-tellers" should publish their degrees in economics, biology and military history in short form after every story. This way we, the readers, can judge whether the reporter has the breadth of experience to "inform" us on tax-policy, health issues, or a war’s conduct an ocean away.
Publishing a reporter’s degrees could check two of the MSM’s biggest flaws.
1. Illiterate, ignorant reporters: if a reporter demonstrates illiteracy it will reflect negetavely on the institution that awarded his degree. The public will be informed and will choose accordingly. If he lied on his resume, ...see number 2 below ("fabricators").
2. Fabricators. If any reporter fabricates quotes, photos, or otherwise props the natives in unnatural poses then calls the photo "documentary," then it will tell the institution that awarded his degree that it needs to work on its "Ethics" curriculum. The paper’s HR departement should ready the walking papers.
3. Media Bias: the institutions that repeatedly produce politically-biased reporters will come under careful scrutiny. The public will be able to note the quality of these institutions’ allumni, and then can choose accordingly.
A side benefit of this suggestion would be to highlight recurring connections between certain "Journalism schools" and engrained political networks, thus exposing the politicized curriculum in some of our universities’ journalism programs. -Steve