Thursday, August 10, 2006

Reuters' Image Problem

LA Weekly It’s been a good week for Los Angeles’ most controversial political Web site, Little Green Footballs, widely reviled by some because it takes global Islamist terrorism more seriously than, say, a Dick Cheney hunting accident.

Who in their right mind would not take global Islamist terrorism more seriously than Dick Cheney's hunting accident. Global internation terrorism has resulted in the deaths of many thousand innocents; no one died in Dick Cheney's hunting accident, and only one lawyer was even injured. And he did not blame Dick Cheney.
On August 5, Little Green Footballs (LGF) provided convincing visual evidence that a Reuters photograph of the aftermath of an Israeli bombing of Beirut was a poorly Photoshopped fake. The black clouds of smoke and duplicated buildings shown in the photograph were so obviously “cloned,” in Photoshop-speak, that it seemed surprising they could escape notice on one of the world’s most prestigious news desks. But escape it they did, and the image went ’round the world, one more victory in Hezbollah’s propaganda war against Israel and the U.S.

But then, it has long been the contention of LGF’s webmaster, 53-year-old Charles Johnson, who is the co-founder of Pajamas Media, that an awful lot of dodgy news items seem to slip past the news desks of Reuters, the Associated Press, and other major media organizations and newspapers. Two years ago, Johnson was the blogger responsible for exposing CBS anchorman Dan Rather’s use of forged memos about George W. Bush’s military service in an attempt to influence the 2004 presidential election. The memos were such obvious forgeries that Johnson was able to reveal them as such in a matter of minutes, posting the results online. But Dan Rather, the heir to Walter Cronkite and figurehead for CBS News, bought into them wholesale.

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