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Fauxtography updates

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 10, 2006 04:30 PM

Two interesting items for you:

pietaupdate.jpg
Not what it appeared to be

Tyler Hicks, photographer of the fake Lebanese Pieta, explains himself in a short piece at PDN and posted at the Lightstalkers website (hat tip – Solomonia):

My caption, as filed to The New York Times, was verbatim as follows:

“TYRE, LEBANON. WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2006: Israeli aircraft struck and destroyed two buildings in downtown Tyre, Lebanon Wednesday evening. As people searched through the burning remains, aircraft again could be heard overhead, panicking the people that a second strike was coming. This man fell and was injured in the panic to flee the scene. He is helped by another man, and carried to an ambulance. (Photo: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times)”

The New York Times published this photograph in the next day’s newspaper. The caption published in the newspaper read as follows:

“After an Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Tyre, Lebanon, yesterday, one man helped another who had fallen and was hurt. Cars packed with refugees snaked away from the town. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times)”

The problem came later when this photograph appeared among a slide show of my photographs on The New York Times website. The web published the following caption:

“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.”

As you can see, the caption was totally misleading. I received an apology from the person responsible at the website, stating that the photo had been captioned from “…a generic sentence taken from the article [written by the reporter] that made it appear the man was injured in the attack instead of the aftermath. We should have used the caption information you filed with the photo…”

As soon as it was noted, they updated the website, with a correction, and changed the caption, to coincide with the caption as filed by myself and correctly published in the newspaper earlier.

Photographers are also reporters, and writing a correct caption is as important as taking an honest picture. I was content with the apology; what happened was done and I decided to allow this issue to rest on its own. Unfortunately it’s continued to surface and I’m now taking the opportunity to let people know that I was not at fault in this case. I work hard to take honest photographs and I hope for those efforts to be truly and positively received by those who view them.

We will see more of this kind of blogging activity in the future, and it should be welcomed, but it should be understood that things aren’t always as they appear on the surface.

Yes, we understand that perfectly well.

Item number two: Charles Johnson updates DNC fauxtography follies with the original stock photo of a crowd cheering on the non-American troops, except they’re not really cheering on any troops.

I wonder what exactly they are cheering?

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