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A smoke-clearing blogswarm

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 6, 2006 08:06 PM

***scroll for updates…keep sending your finds and i’ll keep adding to this post (which I’ll send to Reuters’ global picture editor tomorrow for comment)…second Hajj Photoshop unmasked below involving Israeli F-16…will Reuters address the second photo? Contact info here…1120pm Eastern: another catch from Power Line…Beth at MyVWRC has a caption question…***

fear the football.jpg
Thanks to reader THX -42

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has unleashed an Army of Photo Debunkers and Scrutinizers.

Dan Riehl does a big dig here, here, and here.

DFH at Drinking From Home looks at two reaction shots, two weeks apart. Jim Hoft sees more Reuters theater.

Ace of Spades spots a too-good-to-be true bit of good luck in another Adnan Hajj shot of a burning Koran–and much more.

Jawa Report is looking closely at more smoky photos, including this one credited to Adnan Hajj:


Update 845pm Eastern: Rusty at Jawa Report nails the fakery of the above photo, which was captioned “An Israeli F-16 warplane fires missiles during an air strike on Nabatiyeh in southern Lebanon, August 2, 2006.”

Rusty points out: “The F-16 in the photo is not firing missiles, but is rather dropping chaffe or flares designed to be a decoy for surface to air missiles. However, a close up [of] what Hajj calls “missiles” reveals that only one flare has been dropped. The other two “flares” are simply copies of the original.” Check out his replication (see post for enlarged image):


Rusty notes:

So, the original photo of the Israeli F-16 was probably of a single anti-SAM chaffe flare being dropped. In other words, the F-16 which Reuters proports to show firing missiles at Lebanon, was taking defensive measures.

But what about the “bombs” that are in the photo?

Here is a close up of them. Notice anything? That’s right. The top and bottom “bomb” are the same…

Go check out the rest.

I suppose Adnan Hajj will tell us he was just trying to “remove dust marks” in this photo, too.


At INDCJournal, Dorkafork (gotta love that name!) dissects exactly how the Hajj digital smoke photo was altered with overlays of the original and Photoshopped images.

Thomas Lifson calls for an outside investigation of Reuters:

Since Reuters now acknowledges that it has been hoaxed, and in turn has hoaxed the world’s media, doesn’t it owe us a detailed explanation of its standards? Shouldn’t the review of the Qana pictures be put into the hands of an independent panel of experts.

Shouldn’t Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs be part of that independent review panel? After all, Reuters owes him a debt of gratitude for uncovering a mistake their own quality assurance standards were inadequate to detect.

I second that. It’s especially necessary given this pathetic excuse:

“The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under,” said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

“This represents a serious breach of Reuters’ standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him,” Whittle said in a statement issued in London. Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff freelance, or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.

Ed Driscoll
has an excellent big picture explanation of how we got here (required reading for MSM photo editors and johnny-come-latelys to the story).

Also superlative: Jeff Goldstein, who concludes:

[W]hat this should remind everyone is that modern wars are as much about propaganda as they are about battles being fought in the trenches. Which is why an ideological media that believes themselves to be part of the story—and that believes themselves responsible for revealing “larger truths” (which, naturally, they decide upon, and which flow conveniently from their ideology)—is so very dangerous to a democracy, particularly when they pose as objective or neutral observers but are not, in fact, constrained by any sense of journalistic ethics redounding to that pose. Which is problematic precisely because when the information from which the people are being asked to form their judgments is being massaged and finessed through a front-ended ideological filter in an effort to help us reach the “correct” conclusion, then democracy becomes nothing more than the righteous mask placed over a sham in order to disguise its ugliness beneath a veneer of moral authority.

And Thomas Lifson at always must-read The American Thinker has a link-rich analysis.

Kit Jarrell has submitted the new term “Reutered” to the Urban Dictionary. LOL.

Ed Morrissey has good questions for Reuters:

Reuters owes us an explanation — in fact, a couple of them. First, how did the editors at Reuters manage to miss the crude alterations Hajj made to the image in question? Is it because his doctoring helped bolster their own agenda in covering this war? Second and even more importantly, why has Reuters not pulled all Hajj images from their service? If he was willing to doctor his photos with Photoshop, why would anyone trust him not to stage his other efforts at photojournalism for his own political purposes?

11pm Eastern update: A Power Line reader looks carefully at the captions and dates in these two photos:



The question for Reuters: Which date was the building on the left flattened: July 24 or August 5?

Cox and Forkum weigh in:



Reutergate: Picture kill
Where there’s smoke, there’s Photoshop?
Hot Air: The worst photoshop I’ve ever seen

Remember Saddam’s “baby milk factory”? Check out the Palestinian baby milk tunnels

July 30, 2008 01:27 AM by See-Dubya

One of your more hilariously inept Pallywood propaganda ploys.

Fauxtography-fest 2008!

July 10, 2008 11:00 AM by Michelle Malkin

The return of Theater of Jihad

March 5, 2008 10:22 AM by Michelle Malkin

Koran as stage prop!

And now for some shoddy war reporting…from an NRO milblogger

December 2, 2007 10:10 AM by Michelle Malkin

Doubting Thomas, part II.

MSM propaganda watch: Ready, aim…not fired!

August 15, 2007 09:52 PM by Michelle Malkin


Categories: Fauxtography