Atlantic photographer and her 'McCain Derangement Syndrome'

This is an incredible story that pulls back the curtain on the media in a way that has never been done before.

Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Monthly wrote a very unflattering portrait of John McCain for the publication. To take the picture of McCain for the piece, the Atlantic hired Jill Greenberg, a free lance photographer.

The controversy arose when Greenberg informed her blog readers that she actually tried to take pictures of McCain in the most unflattering light possible. The New York Post
has the story:

"Greenberg also crowed that she had tricked McCain into standing over a strobe light placed on the floor - turning the septuagenarian's face into a horror show of shadows.

Asking McCain to 'please come over here' for a final shot, Greenberg pretended to be using a standard modeling light.

The resulting photos depict McCain as devilish, with bulging brows and washed-out skin.

'He had no idea he was being lit from below," Greenberg said, adding that none of his entourage picked up on the light switch either. 'I guess they're not very sophisticated,' she said.

The Atlantic opted not to use the distorted McCain shot on its cover, selecting instead a more straightforward portrait. 'We stand by the picture we are running on our cover," said Atlantic editor James Bennet. 'We feel it's a respectful portrait. We hope we'll be judged by that picture.'

But Bennet was appalled by Greenberg saying she tried to portray McCain in an unflattering way.

'We feel totally blind-sided,' he said. 'Her behavior is outrageous. Incredibly unprofessional.'

Greenberg posted the outtakes on her blog as a "political statement" - including one where she gave McCain shark's teeth and had him licking blood soaked lips.

In the insular world of New York journalism, Greenberg's doings would not be considered that extraordinary - if she had simply kept her mouth shut and not bragged about how she fooled both McCain and the magazine. We've seen this kind of thing before with the picture of Ann Coulter on the front of Time Magazine that appeared to show her through a fish eye lens that elongated her legs and face. Time denied any shenanigans at the time but it was clear that they were trying to put Ms. Coulter in the worst light possible.

Now we have Greenberg and her little political drama. This will not harm her career in the slightest and I predict she will always have plenty of work from Magazines looking to do hit pieces on conservatives and Republicans.

Update from Clarice Feldman (Fox News):

The editor of The Atlantic Monthly said Monday he is sending a letter of apology to John McCain after a woman the magazine hired to photograph the Republican presidential nominee posted manipulated pictures from the photo shoot on her Web site. . . . Editor James Bennet said Greenberg behaved improperly and will not be paid for the session. He said the magazine is also considering a lawsuit."

h/t Instapundit