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Tuesday, January 17th 2006

Stagery Fakery

I won’t call this photo fake. Instead, let’s give the benefit of the doubt, and imagine that the original caption to this photo was an overzealous mistaken on the part of the NY Times; looking to put a human touch on the perhaps dozen deaths (or more depending on who you want to believe) involved in the strike on a terrorist gathering in Pakistan. And there is strong evidence, that the strike killed foreign terrorists who were indeed at the location.

This is the original caption of the photo:

Pakistani men with the remains of a missile fired at a house in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border.

However the photo was obviously staged because that is a decades old artillery shell they’re standing next to. Lots of news photos are staged, and I find nothing wrong witht that. As well the photographer knew this wasn’t a missile or American ordinance he was lining these villagers up next to (or he is an idiot).

The question is on the intention of the NY Times photographer to have this photo used as a representation of the consequences of American action in Pakistan. Or was this just a mistake by the editors back in New York confusing the photo for something else?

We may never know. However, what is troubling is when liberally leaning publications continue to print the picture, even after the NY Times correction, with the intention of portraying it as a photo of American intervention and the trouble it causes in other countries.