Reuters Doctoring Photos from Beirut?

[quote]Real Photo Fakers
Real War Crimes
By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

During Israel’s war against the people of Lebanon, our media, politicians and diplomats have colluded with the aggressors by distracting us with irrelevancies, by concocting controversies, and by framing the language of diplomacy. In the fragile truce that is currently holding while Lebanon waits for Israel to withdraw, we are simply getting more of the same.

One example of the many distractions during the war that neatly reveals their true purpose is the “faked Reuters photograph” affair. The supposed scandal of a Lebanese photographer tampering with a picture to add and darken smoke from an Israeli missile attack – to little or no effect, it should be noted – has not only been decried by activists on Zionist websites but amplified by mainstream commentators into a debate about whether we can trust the images of this war.

Who benefits from these doubts? If we cannot be sure that this one photograph is genuine, then maybe many more that purportedly show some of the 1,000 Lebanese civilians killed by Israel’s bombardment are fake too. Maybe the dead have been airbrushed in as easily as a puff of smoke. Maybe too, were the smoke removed, we would still be able to see that Israel has “the most moral army in the world”.

The far worse photography scandal, which is not talked about, is that the images of the war we saw over the past month in our Western media were constantly doctored, day in, day out. Not by ordinary photographers who risk their lives, and hope to make their fortunes, conveying the reality of war, but by the senior executives of newspapers and TV stations who ensure we are never presented with that reality. Pictures were binned or cropped if they hinted at what suffering and death truly looked like. Western audiences were not shown the row of charred corpses lying in the street, or the agony of a son pressing a scrap of cloth to the severed arm of his mother as she bled to death, or the crushed baby pulled from the rubble.

Our news and picture editors say this is about good taste. They justify their decisions on the grounds that we should not exploit the victims of war by showing pornographic images of their death – a useful excuse as we can never know what the dead would have chosen. More significantly, however, the exclusion of meaningful images of the human cost of war protects us from understanding the appalling consequences of Israel’s military actions, an onslaught sanctioned and supported by our Western media, politicians and diplomats, and indirectly by our taxes.

How long would Israel’s war have been allowed to continue if American audiences had seen those charred bodies or dead babies? How long would most Western viewers have remained silent if they were exposed to the kind of images shown daily on the Arabic satellite channels? Might we then start to understand why they hate us – and more usefully why we should hate ourselves?

Much the same purpose has been satisfied in the diplomatic arena by the endless debates about whether Israel’s offensive was “disproportionate” – a word that raises a yawn almost the second it is uttered – rather than whether it was necessary. And by the controversy initiated by the United Nations’ Jan Egeland about the “cowardly blending” of Hizbullah fighters among Lebanese civilians, a comment he made while in Jerusalem, not Beirut, based on evidence he has never divulged. It is truly astonishing that the world’s representative on humanitarian affairs made most impact in this war – one in which more than 1,000 Lebanese were killed and in which hundreds of thousands more were made homeless – trying to hold Hizbullah to account for the thousands of Israeli air strikes on civilian areas of Lebanon. Such is the upside-down logic and morality of our leaders.

And we are in the same territory again with the current discussions about how Lebanon and Israel will be rebuilt after the fighting. Reconstruction – another word that provokes instant boredom – fits the bill perfectly: both nations, we are told, will need billions of dollars to repair the damage done to their infrastructure. The story of astronomical losses conveys reassuringly to us a sense both of technical problems that will eventually be solved and of the ultimate symmetry and justice in the suffering of these two nations. Both peoples face a terrible financial burden imposed by war, both are equally deserving of our sympathy.

But let us pause. How precisely are these two nations’ material losses equivalent? Israel’s derive mostly from the enormous costs of its attacks on Lebanon, the tens of thousands of missiles fired into its towns and villages, that killed mostly civilians, and damage to the tanks, helicopters and warships that were the machinery needed to invade another sovereign country. Most of the rest of the cost will follow from losses in tourism revenue and investment, the consequences of a fall in confidence caused by Israel waging an unnecessary war for the return of two soldiers captured by Hizbullah rather than engage in negotiations. A small share of Israel’s lost billions has been inflicted by the aggression of Hizbullah.

The material damage done to Lebanon is in a different category altogether. The bombed roads and bridges, the tens of thousands of homes in ruins, the destroyed power stations, factories and petrol stations, the oil slick across much of the Lebanese coast are the direct result of Israel’s campaign of precision bombing of Lebanese civilian infrastructure.

Think of how your local court might consider the respective claims of these two nations if this were a domestic dispute between neighbors. Would a judge view with any sympathy a claim from a man demanding compensation from his neighbour for the damage done to his expensive sledgehammer after a destructive rampage through the neighbor’s home, as well as for the loss of his reputation that followed the attack, as he found himself cast as the neighborhood pariah? Would it make any difference if it could be proved that his neighbor had sworn provocatively at him before he went on his rampage?

Incredibly, a similar claim may yet be heard – and possibly sympathetically – by the US civil courts if Israeli lawyers succeed in bringing a case for damages against the Lebanese government.

But all of this, like the “faked photograph affair”, is another layer of distraction. The real issue that should be the most pressing matter at the top of the world’s agenda is not an assessment of the mutual crimes against property but the mostly one-sided crimes against human beings – the massive Israeli war crimes that have been committed throughout the past month in Lebanon, whose effects will continue as cluster bombs blow up returning refugees, and are still being committed every day against the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank.

This urgent moral case is being quietly overlooked in favor of the material damages story, and for reasons not hard to discern. Because if we concentrated on the tally of war crimes, Israel would come out the undoubted winner in both Lebanon and Gaza.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the author of the forthcoming “Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State” published by Pluto Press, and available in the United States from the University of Michigan Press. His website is www.jkcook.net[/quote]

http://www.counterpunch.org/

Hmm…took a few days for this spinn to get wanked out.
The pic’s were faked. They were faked for a purpose.
The fakers were caught.
Now their apologists and spinn doctors crank out the deconstruction.
No surprises here.

How come when sports illustrated air-brushes their images, no one complains?
This is such a double standard.

[quote=“ac_dropout”]How come when sports illustrated air-brushes their images, no one complains?
This is such a double standard.[/quote]

True. Here’s a shot of Maria Sharapova from her Sports Illustrated swimsuit photoshoot in Beirut. In the orginal photo, her eyes were [color=darkblue]blue[/color]. Frankly, I am outraged by the deception.

sportsillustrated.cnn.com/featur … /athletes/

A good summary of a ‘process’ that has now been found to have been going on much longer than imagined.

[quote]The photo op shop of horrors
By Michelle Malkin, August 19, 2006

It’s the story journalistic elite would rather just go away. After Reuters’ admission one of its photographers, Adnan Hajj, manipulated two war images from Lebanon after bloggers smoked out his crude Photoshop alterations, and all 920 of his Reuters photos were pulled, evidence of far more troubling photo staging and media deception in the Middle East continues to pour in. Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs ( www.littlegreenfootballs.com ) calls it “fauxtography.”
One of Mr. Hajj’s photos was an iconic image of a dusty dead child with a clean blue pacifier clipped to his shirt, paraded by a corpse handler at the site of an Israeli airstrike in Qana, Lebanon. Mainstream journalists have sneered at bloggers’ suspicions, first raised at EU Referendum ( www.eureferendum.blogspot.com ), that some of the gruesome photos from that scene may have been staged. The Washington Post’s photographer Michael Robinson-Chavez, who was at Qana, huffed: “Everyone was dead, many of them children. Nothing was set up.”
But last week, a German television station aired damning video footage from the scene showing a lead propaganda director (dubbed the “Green Helmet Guy”) positioning a young boy’s corpse, yanking it from an ambulance, placing it on two different stretchers for the cameras and pushing aside bystanders for clearer shots.
This Lebanese version of horror film director Wes Craven was identified by the Associated Press in a softball profile as “Salam Daher,” who told the reporter, “I am just a civil defense worker. I have done this job all my life.” To clear-eyed readers, that’s an inculpatory, not an exculpatory, statement. How many more “jobs” has Mr. Daher overseen? And how many more such media stage managers are out there?
Not all photographers overseas have their heads in the sand. Last week, Middle East-based photographer Bryan Denton, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, revealed on the professional photography Web site Light Stalkers ( www.lightstalkers.org ) that he had observed routine staging of photos – and even corpse-digging – by Lebanese stringers:
“[I] have been witness to the daily practice of directed shots, one case where a group of wire photogs were choreographing the unearthing of bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put in graves so that they can photograph them in people’s arms.” Mr. Denton said he witnessed the photo choreography at numerous protests and evacuations and at an Israeli airstrike in Chiyeh, Lebanon. He followed up with a report that respected photographer friends of his in Lebanon informed him “this was not an isolated incident” and “this has been something I’ve noticed happening here, more than any other place I’ve worked previously.”
That is probably why bloggers have noticed so many copious examples of phony-looking scenes – from countless pristine stuffed animals lying in the foreground of destroyed buildings (www.hotair.com/archives/2006/08/14/faux … g-new-iaf- missiles-mimic-sledgehammer-damage/ ).
Miscaptioning (which always makes Israel look worse, never Hezbollah, go figure) adds another dimension of faux to deception. One Associated Press image of an anguished father carrying his dead 5-year-old daughter into a Gaza City hospital last week blamed the death on an Israeli airstrike. Charles Johnson found a correction of the caption revealing the girl had been killed in a swingset accident.
I found a Reuters photo of an 18-month-old girl with two broken legs that was pulled by the wire service in late July from a photo set of hospital patients injured in an Israeli air raid. In truth, the girl had been admitted for a “routine hospitalization.” Then there was the New York Times’ misrepresentation of a half-naked young man sprawled Pieta-like, appearing dead, amid Tyre rubble. The original Times’ Web site photo caption? “The mayor of Tyre said that in the worst-hit areas, bodies were still buried under the rubble.” Turned out the “dead” man was a “rescue worker” supposedly “injured” (with his baseball cap tucked neatly in his arm as he closed his eyes and flung his head back) and photographed in several other scenes running around the bombing site.
Isolated incidents? In a rare moment of candor, CNN’s Anderson Cooper revealed the routine mechanics of Hezbollywood propaganda tours last week: “I was in Beirut, and they took me on this sort of guided tour of the Hezbollah-controlled territories in southern Lebanon that were heavily bombed… they clearly want the story of civilian casualties out. That is their – what they’re heavily pushing, to the point where on this tour I was on, they were just making stuff up. They had six ambulances lined up in a row and said, OK, you know, they brought reporters there, they said you can talk to the ambulance drivers. And then one by one, they told the ambulances to turn on their sirens and to zoom off, and people taking that picture would be reporting, I guess, the idea that these ambulances were zooming off to treat civilian casualties, when in fact, these ambulances were literally going back and forth down the street just for people to take pictures of them.”
“Just making stuff up.” Remember that.
Meanwhile, media ostriches carry on. Joe Elbert, The Washington Post’s assistant managing editor for photography, told ombudsman Deborah Howell smugly: “We don’t use tools to change reality.” Newsflash: You are the tools being used.
washtimes.com/commentary/200 … -7126r.htm[/quote]

Yes.
I wonder why you seem to be dragging this on? Would you criticise your corrupt government that does worse? Of course not.

There are even people believing faulty building work and not bombs brought down the buildings in Lebabnon? An idiot neo-con supporter on a recent fox show said this.

The experts at fake news are the Neo-cons, just google bush fake news:
[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1170535,00.html]US government faked Bush news reports
Chris Tryhorn
Tuesday March 16, 2004

TV news reports in America that showed President George Bush getting a standing ovation from potential voters have been exposed as fake, it has emerged.

The US government admitted it paid actors to pose as journalists in video news releases sent to TV stations intending to convey support for new laws about health benefits.

Investigators are examining the film segments, in which actors pretending to be journalists praise the benefits of the new law passed last year by President Bush, to see if they could be construed as propaganda.[/url]

and
[url=http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article621189.ece]Bush ‘planted fake news stories on American TV’
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 29 May 2006

Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies’ products.

Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.[/url]

Anyone remember the stagedsaddam statue toppling?

Robert Fisk: “A statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down on Wednesday, in the most staged photo-opportunity since Iwo Jima.”

Or the London Evening standard front page: “Freedom”