Yep, al-Reuters Doctored the Photo

Sunday, August 6th, 2006 11:08 am by Neal
Reuters issues a picture kill of the doctored photo.

Last night we ran the Reuters photo of Lebanon that had quite obviously been doctored. little green footballs initially broke this story, and kudos to the good work of that blog.

This morning, little green footballs has this update:

Reuters admits altering Beirut photo. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

A Reuters photograph of smoke rising from buildings in Beirut has been withdrawn after coming under attack by American web logs. The blogs accused Reuters of distorting the photograph to include more smoke and damage.

The photograph showed two very heavy plumes of black smoke billowing from buildings in Beirut after an Air Force attack on the Lebanese capital. Reuters has since withdrawn the photograph from its website, along a message admitting that the image was distorted, and an apology to editors.

In the message, Reuters said that “photo editing software was improperly used on this image. A corrected version will immediately follow this advisory. We are sorry for any inconvience.”

Reuters’ head of PR Moira Whittle said in response: “Reuters has suspended a photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to a photograph showing smoke billowing from buildings following an air strike on Beirut. Reuters takes such matters extremely seriously as it is strictly against company editorial policy to alter pictures.”

“As soon as the allegation came to light, the photograph, filed on Saturday 5 August, was removed from the file and a replacement, showing the same scene, was sent. The explanation for the removal was the improper use of photo-editing software,” she added.

Earlier, Charles Johnson, of the Little Green Footballs blog , which has exposed a previous attempt at fraud by a major American news corporation, wrote : “This Reuters photograph shows blatant evidence of manipulation. Notice the repeating patterns in the smoke; this is almost certainly caused by using the Photoshop “clone” tool to add more smoke to the image.”

Here’s Reuters picture kill statement:

View all of Adnan Hajj’s photos here. Maybe you’ll find others that have been doctored.

Michelle Malkin has the “doctored” and the “corrected” photos together for your comparison pleasure. She also notes that the photographer has been suspended:

The photographer has been suspended pending an investigation. They better be combing his copious archive. How many more skillfully executed fakes might he be responsible for–or other more “talented” Reuters photo-manipulators, for that matter?

Also in our report last evening, we directed your attention to a blog of sports photographers, One of their readers, Geoff Miller, made the following observation:

Jenna, Yes, non-photographers have notices it. To make matters worse, Mr. Hajj was one of the photographers that covered the Qana apartment complex bombing where some people (incorrectly, I believe) questioned the truthfullness of the images. This photo is going to _really_ pour gas on the that whole issue.

So, to summarize:

  1. Reuters has admitted that they published a photograph of Israel bombing Beirut, Lebanon, that had been manipulated.
  2. The particular manipulations include more smog and damage that the original photograph depicted.
  3. The photographer of this particular picture has been suspended pending an investigation.
  4. The suspended photographer, Adnan Hajj, took some of the now-infamous pictures of the Israeli bombing in Qana.
  5. John at powerlineblog also picked up on this last point last evening.

    Thanks to the Israeli reader who alerts us to’s update on the Reuters photo alteration that we noted in “Reuters calls the doctor” last night: “Reuters admits altering Beirut photo.” As John noted last night, the photographer whom Reuters credited on the photo is the same man who shot some of the famous propaganda images from Qana. Reader William Katz writes:

    The key questions: What else has been faked? What else has been manipulated? Who are the people hired by Western news agencies to report from Lebanon? What are their backgrounds? It’s time to look even more carefully at Qana.

    Western media bias against Israel? You don’t say.

    Stay tuned, this is just the beginning.

    Has Reuters been “Ratherized?”

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