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The zionist controlled media must be on lunch
August 9, 2006 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Right-wing bloggers accuse photojournalists of photoshopping, posing bodies, and engaging in fraud. Warning: Not for the sqeamish. I think my favorite is the guy who poses as being dead. Or perhaps the photoshop skills of Adnan Hajj. Also, this video shows Hezbollah fighters driving around in UN ambulances. Feels alot like Rather-gate around here.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay (123 comments total)

 
Didn't some of Matthew Brady's people do this with casualties at Gettysburg?
posted by pax digita at 10:43 AM on August 9, 2006


Uh, the "Hezbollah fighter" looked like someone who was shot. Sorry.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:51 AM on August 9, 2006


How depressing.

The theories that the blogger puts forth to explain why these photos are doctored or staged seem off base though. My guesses would be mostly journalistic laziness (I'd rather guess about why this woman is crying (or make up a compellling reason about it) than find out her real story) or critical feelings towards Isreal. I'm betting their are many more journalists working in the region who are anti-Israel than who are pro-Hezbollah.
posted by serazin at 10:59 AM on August 9, 2006


StrasbourgSecaucus accuses right-wing bloggers of being complete fucking retards.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:00 AM on August 9, 2006


So, lemme get this straight. Somewhere, a photographer may have posed a shot in a war zone, right? And in other news, a photographer posted a photo with a half-assed clone-job to cover up a badly-composed section. Right?

The right-wing bloggers that are livid over this bit don't give two shits about journalistic integrity,. They're just roaming around in packs, looking for reasons to add any new names to the List Of Publications And Newswires They Can Ignore When It Suits Them. ("Yay! We don't have to rebut Reuters articles anymore!")
posted by verb at 11:00 AM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


I liked the one where a body was sitting up and it was compared to a scene Monty Python's Holy Grail. Too bad it was rigor mortis, otherwise it would have been a knee slapper.
posted by ryoshu at 11:02 AM on August 9, 2006


List Of Publications And Newswires They Can Ignore When It Suits Them. ("Yay! We don't have to rebut Reuters articles anymore!")

as we discussed elsewhere, reality is not a reliable source
posted by matteo at 11:03 AM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Teh Libruls are mocking us!

Look at how they fake things. Why. They make war look not so fun. Nobody is dying in these wars. Well. At least not the people we like, anyways. Dang you to heck, you libruls!
posted by tkchrist at 11:04 AM on August 9, 2006


They're also shitting themselves with glee now that a team of several hundred right-wing bloggers, working day and night, nonstop for several weeks, has finally come up with an acceptable term for yet another news organization: "Al-Reuters".

And people say the right is humorless!
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:05 AM on August 9, 2006


NWTF? Israel is bombing vast swaths of towns, highways, bridges, factories, refineries, tv stations. They've killed over a thousand people, caused billions in damage and destroyed a decade of miraculous recovery in Lebanon.
The fact that a couple of pictures are fake doesn't mean that this isn't actually going on right now.
posted by Flashman at 11:09 AM on August 9, 2006


They are all living in the rightwingoverse.
posted by chunking express at 11:09 AM on August 9, 2006


I prefer "Roto(scope) Reuters." (TM)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:10 AM on August 9, 2006


Adnan Hajj should be publicly crucified for being a liar as well as the World's Worst Photoshopper, but I don't think that his fuck-ups reflect much about Reuters or the media in general other than that editors are stupid.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:10 AM on August 9, 2006


The fact that a couple of pictures are fake doesn't mean that this isn't actually going on right now.


Amen.
posted by agregoli at 11:11 AM on August 9, 2006


Sorry to interrupt the thread with facts, but has anyone actually read the Adnan Hajj link? Regardless of the biased source, it's actually true that the photos were faked. Reuters
admitted it.
posted by unreason at 11:12 AM on August 9, 2006


Flashman, if these photos are fake, then who knows what else is fake. Do you even know for sure there is a country called Lebanon? I've never been there. I bet people bitching the loudest haven't been there either. Have you been there? Hmmm...
posted by chunking express at 11:12 AM on August 9, 2006


Sorry to interrupt the thread with facts

Don't. The cognitive dissonance and rationalization are hilarious.

I thought this crowd was all about journalistic integrity. I guess everything is partisan nowadays. As someone said above (paraphrasing) fake photos only enhance the reality of the situation.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 11:16 AM on August 9, 2006


I guess everything is partisan nowadays.

Calling UN ambulance drivers "terrorists" because a gunshot victim is being loaded inside is "objective"? Hmm.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 AM on August 9, 2006


The right-wing bloggers that are livid over this bit don't give two shits about journalistic integrity,.
 
Fine, but then the question is: do you? I do and this kind of thing disappoints me, to say the least.
posted by incongruity at 11:21 AM on August 9, 2006


I find it disgusting that people choose to focus on this rather then the real issues at hand. Reading most of these blogs turns my stomach, as the authors attempt to do anything possible to obscure the real issue-- that hundreds of innocent civilans are dead.
posted by cell divide at 11:23 AM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


From ryoshu's link:

"And while it shouldn’t put people off from holding strong views, it should make them wary of throwing “facts” out there that they can’t back up in any manner."

So people can hold strong views without backing them up, but they can use facts without backing them up? How do you back up a fact?

Look, I understand we all want to get a different angle on the same stories...

We do? Isn't the purpose of facts to lead you to a conclusion? The problem with the "blogosphere" is that everyone begins with a conclusion and tries to "get a different angle" on every contradictory fact to avoid having to admit that your conclusion was wrong.

So what if these photos are all doctored? There is no disagreement that the Israeli and Hezbollah bombings are killing civilians. Both sides have admitted as much. Just because one photo is a fabrication, what does that prove? What about the myriad of other photos of dead kids?

GEORGE W. BUSH FALSIFIED OR SUPPRESSED INTELLIGENCE ABOUT IRAQ'S QUEST FOR WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION TO START A WAR.

Kind of makes this whole discussion of four goofy photos that most people haven't even seen silly, doesn't it?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:25 AM on August 9, 2006


I guess everything is partisan nowadays.

Calling UN ambulance drivers "terrorists" because a gunshot victim is being loaded inside is "objective"? Hmm.

For my future reference: does this mean it's okay to doctor and stage news photos as long as the people who catch you doing it are not objective? I need to know when exactly it's okay for me to find this kind of thing unethical. I only have so much indignation to go around.
posted by scottreynen at 11:27 AM on August 9, 2006


The right-wing bloggers that are livid over this bit don't give two shits about journalistic integrity,.


Fine, but then the question is: do you?


I do. But I also give a shit that these barbarian imbeciles are using a few staged photographs from a single photographer to cheapen and cast doubt upon the deaths of thousands of Lebanese civilians. In fact, I care more about that.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:30 AM on August 9, 2006


The cognitive dissonance and rationalization are hilarious.

I used to think that.

But then Bush started an ill-planned expensive war on false pretenses. That he and his supporters wouldn't pay for. That I knew we would eventually lose. And from which we would have to leave in shame.

And then it wasn't funny anymore.
posted by tkchrist at 11:32 AM on August 9, 2006 [2 favorites]


While keeping the media honest and finding fraud are important, the implications coming from the right-wing blogs after the discovery of some of the fakery is disturbing. The media does need to be more careful of absorbing propaganda (and make no mistake, some of this stuff is very suspicious, or outright fraud), but this transitions very easily into conspiracy theories, and, eventually, the same sorts of things practiced by Holocaust deniers -- "well, if we think this is fake, how do we know anything about this true?"

Regardless about how you feel about the justness of this war, or the way it is being carried out, there is a slippery slope here that is extremely dangerous, one that I am hoping these bloggers are aware of, even as they continue to debunk individual pictures.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:33 AM on August 9, 2006


As someone said above (paraphrasing) fake photos only enhance the reality of the situation.

Good point. As you said above (paraphrasing) dead Arabs are made of lard and straw.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:36 AM on August 9, 2006


That's why strawmen burn so bright.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2006


I think the point that the right-wing bloggers are making is that the media "representations" of events in the war exist at such layers of removal from the source that they can no longer be said to represent anything at all; when considered alongside the imperative that such reporting of "facts" must instead be analysed in their context as cultural texts, with the assumptions and biases of the media actors themselves as a key factor, then it is in fact reasonable to say that the war is not taking place.

Yes, the similarity between right-wing bloggers and left-wing French philosophers grows greater every day. I wonder if anybody's told them?
posted by flashboy at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2006 [3 favorites]


Were these same right-wing bloggers upset about the photoshopped images in one of Bush's 2004 campaign ads?



posted by mr.curmudgeon at 11:40 AM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


For my future reference: does this mean it's okay to doctor and stage news photos as long as the people who catch you doing it are not objective?

I don't know what this has to do with the video being interpreted (incorrectly) as making the UN a faction of Hezbollah.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:40 AM on August 9, 2006


The photo-hoaxster in this instance was again Adnan Hajj, proving beyond doubt that he was very familiar with how to alter images in Photoshop.

But not familiar enough to not suck at it.
posted by snofoam at 11:42 AM on August 9, 2006


Blog Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Cloning Tool
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:45 AM on August 9, 2006


Were these same right-wing bloggers upset about the photoshopped images in one of Bush's 2004 campaign ads?
 
I'm sorry, I missed the part where a campaign ad was assumed to be as truthful as something presented as "news". Don't get me wrong, I find that poor bit of photochopping in the Bush ad funny and all, but c'mon, there's a huge difference and if you can't see it -- or if this is all you can say in response to real concerns about journalistic integrity, then, well...I'm sorry.
posted by incongruity at 11:46 AM on August 9, 2006


I hope the arguments for peace are not so frail that we can't object to staged news without putting them at risk.
posted by scottreynen at 11:47 AM on August 9, 2006


I am surprised by the knee-jerk reaction displayed by flashman and seconded by a couple other posters in this thread.

The fact is, war is tragedy, and the Lebanese-Israel war is making plenty of it, on both sides. That point is well-taken. Another point is, this tragedy is being exagerrated in media, to an uncertain end (and more than likely due to unscrupulous photographers and incompetent editors). This is what the FPP is about. To suggest that the topic is not worth discussing simply because there is other, grander tragedy happening is ridiculous.

There is another important reason to discuss this. Media has a deep and profound influence over its consumers. When media lies, the consumers are misled, and the consequences of it can be devastating (to wit, popular media support for Iraq/WMD war). We cannot turn a blind eye to these lies, not even when refuting the lies casts a bad light on a worthy cause (the horror and death of war). Trust me, the horror and death will not go away.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 11:49 AM on August 9, 2006


Trust me, the horror and death will not go away.

bummer.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:53 AM on August 9, 2006


I don't like the way this discussion is developing.

I don't like war, I don't like the Bush administration, I don't generally like right-wing bloggers, and I'm not a big fan of Israel's policies and actions.

But I also don't like doctored photographs in the news. I find it really disturbing and unscrupulous, and I think it should be exposed and denounced whenever it occurs.

I don't think it's with-us-or-with-them situation. You don't have to be a right-wing blogger or agree with the right-wing bloggers to think falsifying news photographs is wrong.
posted by bookish at 11:59 AM on August 9, 2006


Am I kicked out of metafilter if I agree with the blogger who said its crap that these were staged?

Sharpening contrast is fine for editing purposes. Adding things that werent there, staging situations, and generally decieving arent ok, atleast from a journalistic standpoint IMO
posted by Addiction at 12:00 PM on August 9, 2006


blindcarboncopy, if what you said was what this FPP was about, I think people would have been less snarky.
posted by chunking express at 12:00 PM on August 9, 2006


The cognitive dissonance and rationalization are hilarious.

I thought this crowd was all about journalistic integrity. I guess everything is partisan nowadays. As someone said above (paraphrasing) fake photos only enhance the reality of the situation.


For fuck's sake.

Also, "cognitive dissonance" has got to be the least effective debating term in the history of the internet. Really, left-wing peoples, right-wing peoples, you're a lot better off just saying "betcha feel stupid now, huh?" At least then you're communicating.
posted by furiousthought at 12:06 PM on August 9, 2006


The problem with the "blogosphere" is that everyone begins with a conclusion

Don't assume that your own failings are everyone else's.

And there goes ghost of Ken Lay, flapping his gums and blowing an empty wind again. "Kaw! Ka-kaw! Strawman! Strawman!"

Nobody here has defended the practice of faking photos for news stories. NO ONE. Please in fact show us where that happened, douchebag.

They merely point out that a couple photographers faking photos doesn't in any way discredit the argument that what's going on in the Middle East is horrible, which is what your links to Right Wing bloggers is all about.

But you know that. You just choose to be dishonest and portray things differently. DOOOOOOUUUUUCHE BAAAAAAAAG. Sorry, dishonest douchebag.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:09 PM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Regardless about how you feel about the justness of this war, or the way it is being carried out, there is a slippery slope here that is extremely dangerous, one that I am hoping these bloggers are aware of, even as they continue to debunk individual pictures.

Not only are they aware of it, they're exploiting it to the hilt. That's their stock in trade.
posted by blucevalo at 12:10 PM on August 9, 2006


Bookish, I agree. Falsifying photos is wrong no matter who's doing it. Antiwar sites were up in arms a year or so (?) ago when a photographer altered a photo to make it look like a marine was comforting a little girl. The arguments were reversed in this case -- pro-war bloggers dismissed it as just a lot of ranting by those evil lefties who hate marines.

I think any sane person can agree that both instances of alteration are bad. What I find interesting, though, is that the pro-war bloggers seem, almost to a man, thrilled to find this kind of stuff. As I said, it lets them add another news agency to their list of 'news that we can dismiss as propoganda whenever it offers facts we find inconvenient.'
Regardless about how you feel about the justness of this war, or the way it is being carried out, there is a slippery slope here that is extremely dangerous, one that I am hoping these bloggers are aware of, even as they continue to debunk individual pictures.
You hope they're aware of it? They are actively, knowingly diving down the slippery slope and giving the finger to anyone who tries to slow them down.
posted by verb at 12:11 PM on August 9, 2006


er, s/news that we can dismiss/sources that we can dismiss
posted by verb at 12:12 PM on August 9, 2006


Why are so many of you trying to explain away these photographic frauds? Acknowledgment of this deceit isn't equal to an endorsement of Israel's aggression or the War in Iraq. Two wrongs...
posted by TetrisKid at 12:13 PM on August 9, 2006


I don't think it's with-us-or-with-them situation. You don't have to be a right-wing blogger or agree with the right-wing bloggers to think falsifying news photographs is wrong.

But they've made it such, and in this context - in the way that it has been presented - it *is*.

I think most reasonable/objective people are sick and tired of the feigned outrage from the right, every time they discover another relatively minor example of what they've determined to be evidence of a "vast media conspiracy" to undermine their ideological blathering.

These are the very same idiots who refuse to think critically about the broader crisis in the middle east or U.S. national security...or absolutely anything else, for that matter.

The ghost of Ken Lay, for example, still hasn't gotten past "Rathergate"...maybe he should change his handle to "the ghost of the Liberal Media" for fuck's sake.

These thugs lost any right to be indignant just after the first bombs were dropped on an Iraq that was devoid of WMD.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 12:17 PM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Tetriskid, I don't think people are trying to explain away anything. Faking photos and news is bad.

If there is one thing many people are guilty of here, myself included, it's of thinking most right wing bloggeres are dumbaclots.
posted by chunking express at 12:23 PM on August 9, 2006


Remind me again where the right-wing bloggers got all simmered up when our government embellished news events for political gain?
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:25 PM on August 9, 2006


I thought this crowd was all about journalistic integrity

yes, of course. you doctor photos, you lose your job, that's a given.

you know, the same way people like are asking for Bush's resignation or impeachment after it was discovered he lied about WMDs
posted by matteo at 12:26 PM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


The war in Lebanon is a deeply, deeply fucked up and awful situation. It's clear that there's some level of culpability on both sides, but the Israelis are really fucking up what was a potentially improving situation in Lebanon, politics wise.

That being said, these photos freak me out. How deeply has Hizbollah entwined itself into the coverage of the news? How far are we from the day that every single image or word spoken or seen can't be trusted?

It doesn't seem like it's that far... and I don't think you need to be for/against/horrified by the war in Lebanon to see that.
posted by fet at 12:27 PM on August 9, 2006


Maybe my stand on this is a little bit strange, but to paraphrase Schroedinger's cat: "to observe is to change." All reporting is a collection of biases, even if you recorded everything coming into someone's eyes there would still be the problem of what they chose to look at. If Hajj took photos of items contrary to his beliefs and didn't pass them along would that be bias? Yes - but it is the standard procedure that the photographer picks and chooses.
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima had some staging - and it had a lot of truth. It wouldn't bother me if the pair kissing at Times Square on VJ day was staged. It still told the truth.

Okay, then, what is the truth? We should be mature enough to distance ourselves from reporting and believing any individual statement or photo tells the story.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:28 PM on August 9, 2006


mr.curmudgeon: I think most reasonable/objective people are sick and tired of the feigned outrage from the right, every time they discover another relatively minor example of what they've determined to be evidence of a "vast media conspiracy" to undermine their ideological blathering.

"Relatively minor example" ? Doesn't the idea of forged and/or staged photos in the news presented as fact bother you at all?

The sad fact is no one but the folks in the middle of this fucked up situation actually know what's going on. There's no way for us behind our keyboards and monitors to actually know what's happening without relying on the news media. If the news media is misleading us, knowingly or unknowingly, doesn't that trouble you?
posted by fet at 12:30 PM on August 9, 2006



The problem with the "blogosphere" is that everyone begins with a conclusion

Don't assume that your own failings are everyone else's.

posted by the_savage_mind at 3:09 PM EST on August 9 [+] [!]


Zing! Whew, man, you got me with that super ultra major BURN!!!!!

Seriously, dude, your comment isn't responsive to anything anyone even so much as implied, let alone said.

Nobody here has defended the practice of faking photos for news stories. NO ONE.

That's nice. No one before now has discussed the relationship of a hypothetical delicious pie of the week club either. So?

My point about the blogger critical of the right wing WSJ editorial criticizing the photos is that he is stating quite clearly that both sides understandably try to slant stories to support their conclusions. That's the problem.

Now what the hell were you complaining about again?
posted by Pastabagel at 12:33 PM on August 9, 2006


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Please see the attached portfolio for samples of my work. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:33 PM on August 9, 2006


MISSION ACOMPLISHED!
posted by Artw at 12:36 PM on August 9, 2006


If the news media is misleading us, knowingly or unknowingly, doesn't that trouble you?

Christ almighty, are you actually naive enough to believe that these pictures are somehow the beginning of the news media misleading us? Could you be that dumb?

What about all the god-damned spin, obfuscation, omitting of facts and outright lying the media's been doing for, I dunno, a hundred years or more? What about Hearst and the Spanish American War? What about Fox News every god-damned second of the day? What about the so-called liberal Washington Post and NY Times feeding us lies leading us into the Iraq War which were based on complete shit?

Give me a fucking break. This latest thing is a tempest in a teacup. Sure, I'm against it. Completely. The fact is, there doesn't need to be any falsification of photos to make the same point. The fact is, it doesn't actually change the state of the world, unlike those other cases. The photographers caught faking should be fired. End of story. And the right wing bloggers and febrile geeks like ghost of Ken Lay should learn to actually care about their country's security. And humanity at large, whether Muslim, Jew, Christian or other.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:37 PM on August 9, 2006


Acknowledgment of this deceit isn't equal to an endorsement of Israel's aggression or the War in Iraq. Two wrongs...

First we already discussed this before.

Second. We expect this stuff. Remember "Baghdad Bob," Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf? The guy who proclaimed ""We butchered the force present at the airport. We have retaken the airport! There are no Americans there!"

We KNOW truth is the first casualty of war. But Mr. Lay here, He isn't offering a fair analysis of journalistic integrity, he is a one trick pony. What he is essentially doing is screaming "Librul Media Lies!" Pretty boring.

So a couple of guys do the equivalent of pasting Bush's head on a sheep being fucked by another guy with the head of Hitler on it and it nearly passes as news. So?

Doesn't mean we ENDORSE falsified images. Unless, of course, they are of Linsey Lohan's face on Jenna James' body.

Any hoo. You see some of the stuff the Israeli PR machine is churning out? Sometimes it's not much more sophisticated than the goat fucking.
posted by tkchrist at 12:38 PM on August 9, 2006


I am surprised by the knee-jerk reaction displayed by flashman and seconded by a couple other posters in this thread

I guess I'm knee-jerk reacting to how this relatively minor detail is yelled about by these same loudmouths who pounce on every scrap of tenuous evidence to support their position (which I think even they must know is deeply suspect) that Israel is doing something noble and good by casually destroying a nation with American explosives.
posted by Flashman at 12:40 PM on August 9, 2006


shows Hezbollah fighters driving around in UN ambulances.

NO IT FUCKING DOESN'T. If you read the article, even the person who originally posted that doesn't claim that. From the page

As I indicated above, the video shot by a Reuters cameraman on May 11, 2004. The film documents two ambulances with flashing lights entering a street in Southern Gaza.

So, this is a film from 2004, from Southern Gaza - quite a long way from home for Hezbollah.
posted by silence at 12:41 PM on August 9, 2006


"Doesn't the idea of forged and/or staged photos in the news presented as fact bother you at all?"

Fet,

Of course it bothers me. But what we seem to have here is a bunch of right-wing loons pretty much asking "the left" to go lynch the photoshoppers with their own bare hands, in order to prove - once and for all - that "the left" is 100% supportive of journalistic integrity.

It should be a *given* that this is despicable, and Reuters appears to be handling the situation accordingly. So, wtf?

What's just as despicable as this agenda-driven photogs actions is, however, how a bunch of equally agenda-driven right-wing mouthbreathers will continue to use these doctored photos as a horribly weak excuse to ignore the very real destruction going on in the region.

If they were truly concerned about journalistic integrity, they wouldn't be watching Fox News and buying Ann Coulter books by the truckload.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 12:41 PM on August 9, 2006


The CSM has an article about LGF today. Glenn Greenwald finds it lacking.
posted by homunculus at 12:45 PM on August 9, 2006


What I'm trying to say, in summation, is this FPP as it is has been framed by Mr. Lay...is a huge steaming pile of maggot-ridden op-ed bullshit.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 12:46 PM on August 9, 2006


It honestly seems like right-wing bloggers are constantly saying everything is fake, anything they don't like or that dosn't jibe with what they belive to be true already is fake.

Sometimes, they're correct. Most of the time they're not, and it really only gets reported when they are. It's quite stupid.

Most of the "photo analysis" is about as cogent as the stuff that gets spewed by 9/11 conspiracy theorists. You can scour photos for stuff you think is "wrong" all you want, but that doesn’t prove anything unless you have some real evidence for tampering (such as the obvious clone stamp).

This stuff is just an excuse to ignore reality, and shows that the intellectual capability of the right-wing bloggers is that of a bunch of moon landing conspiracy theorists.
posted by delmoi at 12:46 PM on August 9, 2006


The WMDs are in Syria!
Hussein and bin Laden were in secret cahoots!
The NYT Travel section is trying to sneak secret security info to al Qaeda!

PNAC? What are you, a conspiracy theorist?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:53 PM on August 9, 2006


sonofsamiam you are sooooo 2002.

Iran and Syria are forming a caliphate and will share nukes with each other using material hidden in the Bekka valley by Saddam.
posted by tkchrist at 1:00 PM on August 9, 2006


Don't think of it as Ginning up fake new photos, think of it as the visual equivelent of "spin"
posted by Megafly at 1:03 PM on August 9, 2006


Dang kids. Back when I was your age our blogs just talked about what we had for lunch. Now you kids all measure your blogs by this new-fangled "journalistic integrity". Well hogwash. It's just your tuna sandwich all dressed up like real news.

Get off my lawn!!!!!
posted by Wizzlet at 1:17 PM on August 9, 2006


In true blogosphere fashion, critics of Johnson's littlegreenfootballs created lgfwatch, which spawned a counterstrike by supporters (the lgfwatchwatch website), which spurred critics to respond with (you guessed it) lgfwatchwatchwatch.

This is basically scientific proof that politics turns people into complete retards.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 1:38 PM on August 9, 2006



"Relatively minor example" ? Doesn't the idea of forged and/or staged photos in the news presented as fact bother you at all?
- posted by fet

Yes, it obviously bothers me because it's fraud, but what are those pictures really showing me? What story do they tell? Do I really care whether the Israeli fighter in that photograph plane fired one flare or three, or whether that particular plane in the picture was shooting flares instead of missles? Or whether the body of that kid was moved around? What is a picture of one dead kid or a fighterplane or smoke that is more or less dark supposed to really tell me?

The reality is that all of the 100% undoctored photos of the same kinds of things tell you precisiely nothing about the overall situation. Would you even know if someone subbed in photos from the IRan-Iraq war in the 80's? No, because it's a goddamn war, and with the exception of traffic signs, billboard ads, and skin color, ever war looks exactly the same.

These photos and stories we are innundated with are one of two kinds - war porn or an Asperger's syndrome level of factual detail (think all the description of numbers killed on either side, which group of people are where, which city got bombed today,etc).

They are intended to make you, the person behind the computer far away from any personal connection with or decision making control over the event, feel either "in the know" or emotional upset at one or the other party, neither of which helps you determine which proposed solution to the mess is the best one (which we will have to do when it comes time to vote for someone).
posted by Pastabagel at 1:48 PM on August 9, 2006


Of course it bothers me. But what we seem to have here is a bunch of right-wing loons pretty much asking "the left" to go lynch the photoshoppers with their own bare hands, in order to prove - once and for all - that "the left" is 100% supportive of journalistic integrity.
 


And what we have in this forum is a bunch of left leaning posters demanding the same sort of absolutism in judgement from "the right" as if it were all a unified single-minded thing. The downright hysterical name calling on the part of some rabid, anti-right sorts here is just as disgusting as the rabid anti-left tantrums that some on the right are launching into.
posted by incongruity at 1:56 PM on August 9, 2006


The problem with the "blogosphere" is that everyone begins with a conclusion

Don't assume that your own failings are everyone else's.

posted by the_savage_mind at 3:09 PM EST on August 9 [+] [!]

Zing! Whew, man, you got me with that super ultra major BURN!!!!!


Considering your statement has nothing to back it up, I kinda did. ZING! BURN!

Seriously, dude, your comment isn't responsive to anything anyone even so much as implied, let alone said.

Actually, if you could read you'd realize it's a direct response to your statement on the 'problem with the blogosphere'.

Nobody here has defended the practice of faking photos for news stories. NO ONE.

That's nice. No one before now has discussed the relationship of a hypothetical delicious pie of the week club either. So?

I'm sorry to keep picking on your illiteracy, but that point was addressed to ghost of Ken Lay, who in fact was making the point that the evil libruls here are defending faked photos because its done by people who support their politics.

Better luck next time.
posted by the_savage_mind at 1:59 PM on August 9, 2006


sorry, but isn't " Giving false or misleading captions to otherwise real photos that were taken at a different time or place." one of the examples of nefarious behaviour being complained about in your first post ?
Don't you think your misrepresentation of the ambulance film might come under that category ?
You don't seem to have addressed this.
posted by silence at 2:00 PM on August 9, 2006


Yep. I was wrong about the ambulance. Carry on.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 2:06 PM on August 9, 2006


Would you even know if someone subbed in photos from the IRan-Iraq war in the 80's?

Well, I'd probably know.

...which doesn't invalidate your subsequent point regarding war porn and statistics; I'm merely indicating that your illustrative example was poorly chosen. When you break out this argument later (it's interesting) stay away from concrete examples and statements like "all wars look the same" unless you first qualify what you mean by that. Because nobody could confuse WW1 with, say, the Korean Conflict, and it undermines your real point.
posted by aramaic at 2:06 PM on August 9, 2006


Yep. I was wrong about the ambulance. Carry on.

Wow.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:21 PM on August 9, 2006


OMFG!!!

Did you see the smoke in the picture!!!

It ACTUALLY wasn't AS DARK as it was portrayed!!!!

This changes everything.
posted by mano at 2:32 PM on August 9, 2006


I'll go over this one more time for the knuckle-dragging troglodytes who are too busy polishing their knobs at the thought of a media takedown to read what other people say:

Passing off staged or edited photos as the real thing is bad. Full stop.

What I find disgusting is the orgasmic glee of the right-wing blogtards leading this crusade. the ghost of Ken Lay didn't exactly shy away from that angle -- he framed the post with it. They are already convinced that all news is slanted against them by an evil global conspiracy of liberals. They sieze on incidents like this not to increase the quality and dependability of journalism, but to check off news organizations they can smear as 'biased' whenever inconvenient truths are brought to light.
posted by verb at 2:53 PM on August 9, 2006


verb,

BINGO!!
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 3:02 PM on August 9, 2006


How far are we from the day that every single image or word spoken or seen can't be trusted?

Hello, this is the future calling. . .
posted by gorgor_balabala at 3:05 PM on August 9, 2006


Hey, ghost of Ken Lay, why should we believe anything you say, since you were wrong about the ambulance? Huh, huh? Why should anyone take you seriously, now that you have totally discredited yourself. Go sit in the corner with reuters and the rest of "the liberal MSM", so we can ignore you forever.
posted by mano at 3:06 PM on August 9, 2006


no. i won't just "carry on" and let you off the hook. You were wrong about the ambulance because that was what you WANTED the image to be. You used an image - which as far as I can tell has nothing to do with the present situation, to bolster your case, and in the process lied and misrepresented the nature of the image. Sorry, but this seems like an even more heinous fraud than the ones reported in your links. The guy carrying the dead baby may well have been posing for the camera - i've got no idea - but I've often seen new photographers ask people to repeat things which they missed the first time, or for people to do things a slightly different way. The baby was dead either way. Isn't that the point of the picture ?
In your case there seem to be you have either So which was it ?
posted by silence at 3:21 PM on August 9, 2006


What a classic example of how a stupidly opinionated presentation of links can kill a discussion at Metafilter. Thanks a fuckload, ghost of ken lay.

Next time try starting things off smart instead of stupid, ok?
posted by mediareport at 3:33 PM on August 9, 2006


I’m not seeing the metaphoric connection to “Rathergate”. Unless it’s because George Bush is avoiding getting involved in this war as well.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:39 PM on August 9, 2006


And really
posted by Smedleyman at 3:54 PM on August 9, 2006


I’m not seeing the metaphoric connection to “Rathergate”. Unless it’s because George Bush is avoiding getting involved in this war as well.
After 'Rathergate,' right-wing sychophants ignore anything published or broadcast by CBS if it contradicts their claims, while trumpeting anything published or broadcast by CBS if it backs their claims. Obviously if such a horribly biased source as CBS admits that {x} is true, it must be!

Newsweek gets the same treatment since the story about desecration of the Koran was published.

Now, Reuters will enjoy it as well.
posted by verb at 3:54 PM on August 9, 2006


What I find disgusting is the orgasmic glee of the right-wing blogtards leading this crusade.
Pretty much par for the course, really.
Look, this is just so much posturing. Blowing something way out of proportion so that they can "officially" dismiss Reuters as a valid news source, while, at the same time, reinforce the mantra that you can't trust anyone (save for Fox or the WashTimes, of course)
They did it with CBS and "Rathergate". They'll do it again to whatever other news outlet becomes enough of a pain to them.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:58 PM on August 9, 2006


I think this post is some kind of comedy or something.
posted by bob sarabia at 4:02 PM on August 9, 2006


I think this post is some kind of comedy or something.

The irony is pretty funny, isn't it?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:08 PM on August 9, 2006


Is Charles Johnson aware that all major Liberal Media Networks (LMNs) artifically modify the appearance of the faces of their news anchors and reporters before they go on air, in order to make them appear more attractive???1?

Shocking but true!

Clearly, we can no longer trust Loreal of Paris.
posted by Jimbob at 4:35 PM on August 9, 2006


If you want to understand how retarded and out to lunch these retardo- rightwingblogger- activists are, check out the forums on freerepublic.com. Its a favorite haunt of the species that frequent the LGF blog and drool over Michelle Malkin.

A most telling window into their mental processes actually can be found in the progression of comments on the threads surrounding the Mahmoudiya rape/murder case in Iraq.

The processes by which this online comunity comes to terms with the reality, or should i say, mostly avoids coming to terms with it, are f*cking downright amazing feats of mental gymnastics. I'd post exemplars here, but you have to see it in context, especially how they turn on their own when the few thinking specimens on those boards chime in with a reality check.
posted by mano at 4:53 PM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.

Or in the media's case, none of what you see.
posted by bwg at 5:16 PM on August 9, 2006


posted by Megafly Don't think of it as Ginning up fake new photos, think of it as the visual equivelent of "spin"

They aren't not staged or fake, they're Freedom Photoshopped!
posted by fandango_matt at 5:49 PM on August 9, 2006


not
posted by fandango_matt at 5:49 PM on August 9, 2006


Hey guys, I wish I agreed, but I don't think these right wing assholes are actually retarded. What they're doing actually affects a chunk of the population and makes them disbelieve reality. There's a reason such a large percentage of the American population currently believes WMD were found in Iraq.

It's really, really frightening. Their tactic should be retarded. but instead it's a sizable portion of the citizenry that's retarded. They're ruthless and don't care how they destroy America to further their purpose.

Whereas if you are a liberal, you can't fight on an even keel because you actually respect things like truth, justice, the Constitution, etc.
posted by the_savage_mind at 6:23 PM on August 9, 2006


the world isn't the way the tv says it is. deal with it.
posted by quonsar at 6:44 PM on August 9, 2006


I don't think these right wing assholes are actually retarded. What they're doing actually affects a chunk of the population and makes them disbelieve reality.
You say that like they're mutually exclusive.

Seriously though, I don't think they're retarded either. They're just rabid partisans, all marching to the same drummer. I was there when these kinds of grass roots echo chambers were really starting to ramp up in the conservative movement, reading the newsletters, nodding vigorously and nurturing the sense of disaffected injury that's so essential. I drank the kool aid and had my five minutes of hate whenever that liberal bitch Cokie Roberts appeared on TV, etc etc.

This kind of reality distortion is what they've been psyching up for for decades. It's no wonder they're good at it.
posted by verb at 7:16 PM on August 9, 2006



posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:19 PM on August 9, 2006


you're all products of the statecraft you hate. suck it up, sisters! /devil's advocate, sorely needed
posted by gorgor_balabala at 7:46 PM on August 9, 2006


I demand an immediate apology from Ned Lamont.
posted by swell at 8:22 PM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


I drank the kool aid and had my five minutes of hate whenever that liberal bitch Cokie Roberts appeared on TV, etc etc.

But loony left hates that Bush-shill Cokie Roberts, too! This may be the genesis of a bipartisan movement to finally purge the airwaves of that peke-faced bagpipe.

So, verb, what brought you around? Seriously, no snark at all. When and why did you leave the dittoheads?
posted by vetiver at 9:15 PM on August 9, 2006


Well thank God for that, for a while I thought they were actually killing children and blowing people's fucking arms off over there.
posted by nanojath at 9:20 PM on August 9, 2006


Does this mean nothing to you? I think it would be nice if reuters and nyt would check their pics a little closer.
posted by tomplus2 at 9:43 PM on August 9, 2006


don't you guys get it? ... it's all a bunch of underemployed movie extras romping around in baja california pretending to be lebanese, palestinians, iraqis and israelis blowing each other up so the oil companies can justify raising prices

there IS no middle east ... THAT is a myth the knights templar started 800 years ago along with pope innocent iii, who didn't want people to know that he was conducting a crusade in various countries against heretics, seeing as the albigensian crusade proved to be so divisive ... it worked like this ... you put the french on a ship and sent them to spain and told them it was the holy land ... the spanish went off to italy ... the italians went to england, the english went to germany and the germans went to france ... the polish would just be circled around in the baltic a few times and sent back and the irish were all going to hell anyway, so who cared about them?

remember the saraha forest? ... of course you don't ... it was all cut down for pieces of the true cross

it's a conspiracy, i tell you ...

(and don't tell me about those "satellite pictures" that google supposedly has ... they were all photoshopped by mexicans in tijuana working for EL-reuters ... adnan hajj is really named jesus alfaro and is now working construction in marietta ga)

the lizard people told me so ... who do you believe? ... the media or them?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:45 PM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


So the dead baby that Green Helmet dude is holding, is it a fake too?
posted by c13 at 9:46 PM on August 9, 2006


FAKE BUT ACCURATE, FAKE BUT ACCURATE, FAKE BUT... *inhales* ... ACCURATE LA-LA-LA-LA-LA SHUT UP SHUT UP
posted by Krrrlson at 11:01 PM on August 9, 2006


that's not a helmet...
posted by quonsar at 11:01 PM on August 9, 2006


Krrrlson, this thread is dangerous and should be deleted.
posted by quonsar at 11:02 PM on August 9, 2006


Quick, someone call this fellow a UN ambulance.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 PM on August 9, 2006


Krrrlson, since all your available digits are crammed into your various orifices, I'll click for you:

posted by verb at 2:53 PM PST on August 9 [+] [!]

I'll go over this one more time for the knuckle-dragging troglodytes who are too busy polishing their knobs at the thought of a media takedown to read what other people say:

Passing off staged or edited photos as the real thing is bad. Full stop.

What I find disgusting is the orgasmic glee of the right-wing blogtards leading this crusade. the ghost of Ken Lay didn't exactly shy away from that angle -- he framed the post with it. They are already convinced that all news is slanted against them by an evil global conspiracy of liberals. They sieze on incidents like this not to increase the quality and dependability of journalism, but to check off news organizations they can smear as 'biased' whenever inconvenient truths are brought to light.


Also:

posted by silence at 12:41 PM PST on August 9 [+ 2] [!]

shows Hezbollah fighters driving around in UN ambulances.

NO IT FUCKING DOESN'T. If you read the article, even the person who originally posted that doesn't claim that. From the page

As I indicated above, the video shot by a Reuters cameraman on May 11, 2004. The film documents two ambulances with flashing lights entering a street in Southern Gaza.

So, this is a film from 2004, from Southern Gaza - quite a long way from home for Hezbollah.


Also:

posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 2:06 PM PST on August 9 [+] [!]

Yep. I was wrong about the ambulance. Carry on.

Yes, Krrrlson, please do carry on. I hope your rods and cones weren't too terribly damaged by all that scrolling past words you don't like to read.
posted by vetiver at 11:29 PM on August 9, 2006


Dude, you all need to forget about the hundreds of dead bodies. The lighting looks off.

Seriously, Karrlson, if I take a family portrait of yours, and photoshop an ass onto your face in it, does that mean the people standing next to you, the photoshopped assface, aren't family members anymore?

FAKE BUT ACCURATE?
posted by mano at 11:44 PM on August 9, 2006


.
posted by Jimbob at 11:44 PM on August 9, 2006


It's probably pointless at this point in the thread.. but

no matter what, this is a propaganda war, and so far it's been successful in detracting the American public from the important issues at hand - namely Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on self-ownership and governance.
posted by hypersloth at 3:21 AM on August 10, 2006


Mr. Lay seems to have gone a bit quiet on this thread, but I'm afraid my bile isn't spent yet. Everyone else should probably just skip this and I apologise in advance if I'm beating an obviously posed dead horse.
If you would like Mr. Lay, I can send you some completely undoctored images of the results of this war. But if you found the images in your link to be difficult to look at, I think perhaps you better avoid these ones - they're just the usual war stuff, children's heads split open, guts spilling out on the ground, random limbs and bits of face lying around on the floor - that kind of stuff.
If you think that reporters need to pose and photoshop pictures in order to get suitably gruesome images for the news I'm afraid you're really, really wrong. These images may well be posed, but if they are I doubt it's because the photographer is short of spectacle to record - it's more likely that most pictures of dead and dying people are not very saleable to the "liberal media" that you're convinced are out to shock us as much as possible. Instead of the child with it's face hanging off there's the long tradition of the metonymic shot of the teddy bear in the rubble - and I'm pretty sure, as your friends point out, that quite a few of these teddy bears may well be impostors pretending to be dead. The reason the news channels carry those pictures, is that the other ones, the ones that show the real dead people (not the relatively undamaged looking baby being carried along the street, but the baby with half it's face missing and its chest torn open and its limbs crushed) would rip a gaping hole in your self satisfied reality, and the consumer complaints would shut them down immediately.
Faking news images is wrong, but I think you've misunderstood the motivation here. The motivation for the photographer is to produce an image you can sell - and the western media wants it toned down, not exaggerated.
I think you should thank your lucky stars for Photoshop, Mr Lay. Otherwise you might find yourself looking at the real effects of this war you're supporting.
posted by silence at 3:48 AM on August 10, 2006 [4 favorites]


this ken lay ghost dude is a sock puppet, right?
posted by mr.marx at 5:39 AM on August 10, 2006


It's truly unfortunate about the Reuters reporter/photographer who faked some pictures of what's going on in Lebanon right now.

But arguing about one instance of jouranlistic malfeasance while many are dying from Israeli warplanes (provided to them by the United States with weapons we constructured) is a bit like a gunshot victim wanting to argue about who shot him while he's bleeding to death.

Better to get the patient to the hospital and answer who shot him later before he dies.

Punish the journalist(s) who faked the pics, but let's not forget the bigger picture here. Israel and Hezbollah are knocking the crap out of each other with Israel getting in much deadlier body blows. And we sold them the equipment that made this possible.

And in the meantime, much of the Middle East sees Hezbollah's standing up to Israel as a heroic act. And it doesn't help that the Israelis are killing a whole bunch of women and children who almost certainly didn't have any weapons.

I am all for journalistic integrity and keeping the blogosphere mellow (right or left), but a few faked photos are inconsequential compared to all the dead bodies Israel is stacking up in Lebanon. Which just gives Hezbollah that much more authority and street cred unfortunately.
posted by Nacho Libre at 5:42 AM on August 10, 2006



posted by quonsar at 7:09 AM on August 10, 2006


"...Whereas if you are a liberal, you can't fight on an even keel because you actually respect things like truth, justice, the Constitution, etc." - posted by the_savage_mind

*spittake*
Oh yeah, teh internets...general statements...never mind. (I’d be considered “right wing” and I’m rather fond of all those things).
posted by Smedleyman at 9:14 AM on August 10, 2006


Do all the theatrical spittakes you want.

If you deny the fact that the American Right has shat all over the country, its defense and the Constitution, you're either a blind apologist or a liar.

I'm not targeting every conservative, I'm targeting the douchebag RW bloggers that this thread references and the particular people in power they support. Its their tactics I decry and draw a contrast to. There are plenty of conservatives I know who recognize this fact and are just as repulsed as myself.

So do me a favor and learn to read and take things in context.
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:45 AM on August 10, 2006


Krrrlson, since all your available digits are crammed into your various orifices...

Amazing! You found a comment from someone admitting photo manipulation is bad, pushing the multiple comments about the eeeevil Zionist-Karl-Rove-sponsored "right wing bloggers" out of your 2-second attention span and causing you to spew trite and uncreative insults. You have a promising future in political commentary.


Seriously, Karrlson, if I take a family portrait of yours, and photoshop an ass onto your face in it, does that mean the people standing next to you, the photoshopped assface, aren't family members anymore?

So you do subscribe to the fake but accurate philosophy. Good for you, because there aren't any problems there at all.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:06 AM on August 10, 2006


So you do subscribe to the fake but accurate philosophy.

Absolutely. The photo was faked, but the existence of the war and the bombed out civilians is accurate. Hell, even Israeli newspapers admit that.

Thanks for accepting that the two things (faked photo vs war that's decimating civilians) have nothing to do with each other and accepting that we were right all along. I think much better of you for it.
posted by the_savage_mind at 10:13 AM on August 10, 2006


Yes, of course, most adults with a modicum of intelligence realize that photoshopped images are not good journalism. Neither is any of the crap currently delivered through mainstream news channels in the US. But I digress

The issue raised by Karrlsons mocking dismissal of my serious consideration of "FAKE BUT ACCURATE" actually raises an interesting point.

The bulk of information that we (citizens of industrialized nations in the information age) are faced with processing, whether political or not, newsmedia or not, is in fact, spun, and spun much more severely (and inevitably) than some carelessly captioned photo, or darkened smoke.

And that shouldnt be a problem.

The whole point of being a functioning, intelligent, well-developed and adjusted modern adult in the informational age is being able to handle that spin, understand it, and still be able to process and work with the relevant facts that are delivered in these biased formats. Moreover, thats part of being a scientist, a judge, a social worker, a CEO, a student, a consumer, etc. as much as it is part of being an intelligent person who can watch Fox News or Al Manar and become more informed, rather than more retarded, as a result.

On the other hand, certain troglodytes evidence a relentless insistence that we all participate in their recasting of the world in terms of black and white. They insist on shedding any remnants of an ability to process information that isnt prechewed by their propaganda mill of choice. Suprisingly, some of us american psychologists are still allowed to study the issue, as in this study. The most relevant characteristic of political "conservatism" that applies to these right wing blogtards is "Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity".
posted by mano at 3:28 PM on August 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


More pointless MetaTawkin'.
posted by davy at 8:34 AM on August 11, 2006


Reuters says he was a freelancer.
posted by davy at 8:37 AM on August 11, 2006


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