Little truth and big truth at the New York Times

The mighty New York Times deigns to cover the Reuters scandal today, in an article in business section (of all places), by Katharine Seelye and Julie Bosman. Speaking of fraudster Adnan Hajj, they write

 Still, Reuters officials said they were unaware that any American newspapers had run the two pictures in question, although dozens of papers, including The New York Times, have printed his pictures over the years.

The Times, which ran a picture of his as recently as Saturday on its front page, has published eight of Mr. Hajj's Associated Press and Reuters photographs since March 2005. Times editors said a review of those pictures found none that appeared to have been changed improperly.

So the little truth is that the Times believes that it has not run any of Mr. Hajj's Photshopped pictures.

But the larger truth of both Mr. Hajj and the other photographers covering locales dominated by terrorists and thugs is that staging and cropping are even bigger problems than Photoshopping, though usually they are harder to prove. This excellent illustrated essay on Zombietime not only presents a typology, it concludes by showing an obvious fraud published by the New York Times and created by photographer Tyler Hicks. The fraud was first exposed yesterday by Gateway Pundit, presumably before the deadline for today's NYT business section article.

So the big truth is that the New York Times has been publishing fraudulent photos aimed at exaggerating the toll in Lebanon, not that it has avoided being hoaxed.

We await comment from the Gray Lady.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson  8 09 06

Update: 8/ 09 06 8:26 PM PDT

The following email came in today from the New York Times VP of Corporate Communication, Catherine Mathis"

Your item "Little truth and big truth at the New York Times" is wrong.  The photo was not staged.  The caption, however, was imprecise. When Mr. Hicks sent the photos, he clearly indicated that the man had fallen and was injured.  In the print version of the paper, the caption (page A15 ——July 27, 2006) said, "After an Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Tyre, Lebanon, yesterday, one man helped another who had fallen and was hurt."

 

Today we published on nytimes.com, a note indicating that the Web caption was imprecise.  Here's the link

Our friends at Powerline had an excellent response to the correction:

That's an improvement, obviously, but it leaves unanswered the larger question: what is the Times doing reproducing this sort of propaganda image in the first place? Isn't it obvious that this picture depicts a scene that was posed for the camera? The visual homage to a pieta is obvious. Look at the face of the man who is lying down. Is he supposed to be unconscious? Seemingly. But look how he's holding his cap against his side with his left arm; doesn't that appear to be a conscious act? And he was wearing that cap in an earlier photo. Why is he now holding it against his side? Maybe it was knocked off when he fell, and he caught it with his arm before he hit the ground. But I doubt it. I think he took it off to look better for his pieta pose. And look at the guy who is holding on to his arm. That's the main action in the shot, but what's it all about? Is he trying to help the other man to his feet? No; that isn't what you would do to help him up; nor would you try to help him up if he were actually unconscious. He's just lifting the man's arm up into the air. Why? It is a pose for the camera, nothing more.

No matter how you caption it, this is a propaganda photo on behalf of Hezbollah, taken by a photographer for the New York Times.

It is the same modus operandi the Times used when caught posting a posed photograph in Pakistan that was obviously posed, with an artillery shell in the ruins of a building attacked by air by the United States. No artillery was used in the attack, so the shell had to be dragged to the site, where it was labeled as a "missile." But the Times airily dismissed a propaganda piece as an innocent error in captioning, due to poor communication between editors and the field.

 

The fact that the Times is seemingly so incurious about errors which consistently serve as propaganda is itself becoming a matter of evidence against it.

 

Update:  8 09 06  9:05 PM PDT

 

Ace of Spades HQ issues a mea culpa for assuming the Times captioned the photo as having the man dead. Michelle Malkin however, adds

  The caption accompanying the photo:

The mayor of Tyre said that in the worst hit areas, bodies were still buried under the rubble, and he appealed to the Israelis to allow government authorities time to pull them out. (Photo Tyler Hicks The New York Times)

Only guess what? The body depicted "buried under the rubble" appears to have been up and walking in the photographer's photo series of the scene throughout the day as a rescuer, not a bombing victim.

Ace adds:

it sure does look the caption that most people saw strongly implied, on the verge of flat—out stating, that this man was dead. And buried in rubble by an Israeli strike.

He wasn't. At most, he slipped and fell. And who knows if even that much happened.

The mighty New York Times deigns to cover the Reuters scandal today, in an article in business section (of all places), by Katharine Seelye and Julie Bosman. Speaking of fraudster Adnan Hajj, they write

 Still, Reuters officials said they were unaware that any American newspapers had run the two pictures in question, although dozens of papers, including The New York Times, have printed his pictures over the years.

The Times, which ran a picture of his as recently as Saturday on its front page, has published eight of Mr. Hajj's Associated Press and Reuters photographs since March 2005. Times editors said a review of those pictures found none that appeared to have been changed improperly.

So the little truth is that the Times believes that it has not run any of Mr. Hajj's Photshopped pictures.

But the larger truth of both Mr. Hajj and the other photographers covering locales dominated by terrorists and thugs is that staging and cropping are even bigger problems than Photoshopping, though usually they are harder to prove. This excellent illustrated essay on Zombietime not only presents a typology, it concludes by showing an obvious fraud published by the New York Times and created by photographer Tyler Hicks. The fraud was first exposed yesterday by Gateway Pundit, presumably before the deadline for today's NYT business section article.

So the big truth is that the New York Times has been publishing fraudulent photos aimed at exaggerating the toll in Lebanon, not that it has avoided being hoaxed.

We await comment from the Gray Lady.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson  8 09 06

Update: 8/ 09 06 8:26 PM PDT

The following email came in today from the New York Times VP of Corporate Communication, Catherine Mathis"

Your item "Little truth and big truth at the New York Times" is wrong.  The photo was not staged.  The caption, however, was imprecise. When Mr. Hicks sent the photos, he clearly indicated that the man had fallen and was injured.  In the print version of the paper, the caption (page A15 ——July 27, 2006) said, "After an Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Tyre, Lebanon, yesterday, one man helped another who had fallen and was hurt."

 

Today we published on nytimes.com, a note indicating that the Web caption was imprecise.  Here's the link

Our friends at Powerline had an excellent response to the correction:

That's an improvement, obviously, but it leaves unanswered the larger question: what is the Times doing reproducing this sort of propaganda image in the first place? Isn't it obvious that this picture depicts a scene that was posed for the camera? The visual homage to a pieta is obvious. Look at the face of the man who is lying down. Is he supposed to be unconscious? Seemingly. But look how he's holding his cap against his side with his left arm; doesn't that appear to be a conscious act? And he was wearing that cap in an earlier photo. Why is he now holding it against his side? Maybe it was knocked off when he fell, and he caught it with his arm before he hit the ground. But I doubt it. I think he took it off to look better for his pieta pose. And look at the guy who is holding on to his arm. That's the main action in the shot, but what's it all about? Is he trying to help the other man to his feet? No; that isn't what you would do to help him up; nor would you try to help him up if he were actually unconscious. He's just lifting the man's arm up into the air. Why? It is a pose for the camera, nothing more.

No matter how you caption it, this is a propaganda photo on behalf of Hezbollah, taken by a photographer for the New York Times.

It is the same modus operandi the Times used when caught posting a posed photograph in Pakistan that was obviously posed, with an artillery shell in the ruins of a building attacked by air by the United States. No artillery was used in the attack, so the shell had to be dragged to the site, where it was labeled as a "missile." But the Times airily dismissed a propaganda piece as an innocent error in captioning, due to poor communication between editors and the field.

 

The fact that the Times is seemingly so incurious about errors which consistently serve as propaganda is itself becoming a matter of evidence against it.

 

Update:  8 09 06  9:05 PM PDT

 

Ace of Spades HQ issues a mea culpa for assuming the Times captioned the photo as having the man dead. Michelle Malkin however, adds

  The caption accompanying the photo:

The mayor of Tyre said that in the worst hit areas, bodies were still buried under the rubble, and he appealed to the Israelis to allow government authorities time to pull them out. (Photo Tyler Hicks The New York Times)

Only guess what? The body depicted "buried under the rubble" appears to have been up and walking in the photographer's photo series of the scene throughout the day as a rescuer, not a bombing victim.

Ace adds:

it sure does look the caption that most people saw strongly implied, on the verge of flat—out stating, that this man was dead. And buried in rubble by an Israeli strike.

He wasn't. At most, he slipped and fell. And who knows if even that much happened.