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Were front-page photos staged? [Images from Qana raise issues]
Rocky Mountain News ^ | August 12, 2006 | Dave Kopel

Posted on 08/12/2006 12:02:21 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia

Kopel: Were front-page photos staged? Images from Qana raise issue of whether media were manipulated.

If you see a news photograph of the war in Lebanon, shot from within Hezbollah territory, can you be confident the picture and caption are accurate? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Earlier this week, Reuters fired photographer Adnan Hajj and withdrew his portfolio of 920 pictures after Little Green Footballs, The Jawa Report, and many other weblogs provided evidence that Hajj had used digital editing and other techniques to fake numerous photos of the Lebanon war.

On July 31, the News and Post ran the sensational front page photo of a "rescue worker" shouting while he carried the body of a child who was killed by an Israeli bomb in Qana, Lebanon. The photograph was taken by Nasser Nasser of The Associated Press. Substantial evidence suggests the photograph was not spontaneous.

British journalist Richard D. North was one of the founding writers of The Independent. He later wrote for the Sunday Times, and is currently media fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. On his weblog,, North presents evidence about the staging of the Qana photos.

In an Aug. 5 report titled "Qana - the director's cut," North compiles Qana photos from the still pictures and videos shot by the media there. (Among the photographers at Qana was Reuters' soon-to-be-fired Hajj.) The video evidence shows that a man directing the operation is a Hezbollah supporter; a TV France 2 interview from his house reveals his personal Hezbollah shrine.

Many photographs, including the front-page News and Post photograph, appear to be staged. The two "rescuers" in the pictures that were published worldwide are the man in the white T-shirt and a man in a green helmet. While carrying the bodies on a short path where the photographers are clustered, they wail copiously and cry in anguish, holding up the corpses for display. Before and after the "camera run," they display little emotion and treat the children's bodies callously. They make sure one rescuer completes his camera run before the next rescuer leaves the building for his own camera run.

Some television footage, available on (titled "eye witness") appears to show staging. While an interview is taking place, a couple of men carrying a body on a stretcher come around a corner; they set the stretcher down and wait for photographers to get in position before they pick up the stretcher and resume walking forward.

A clip from the German TV network Norddeutscher Rundfunk shows the "civil defense worker" featured on the front page of the Denver papers ordering journalists to "keep on filming" and "better images must be shot." He directs the corpse to be removed from an ambulance, placed on a stretcher, and posed for the cameras. ( v=4vPAkc5CLgc).

According to the daily Web newsmagazine Israel Insider, "Journalists were not allowed near the collapsed building." The Christian Lebanese Web site Libanoscopie cited an anonymous source stating Hezbollah had placed a rocket launcher on top of the building, then herded disabled children inside, hoping to create a massacre.

I e-mailed some questions to Linda Wagner, the AP's director of media relations and public affairs. She sidestepped my question about access to the building, stating: "We know that, generally, access to combat sites for journalists in Lebanon is greater than it has been for journalists operating within Israel, Iraq or Afghanistan."

On July 22, Reuters published a photo of a woman crying because Israeli planes had just destroyed her apartment. (See drinkingfromhome.blogspot. com, Aug. 6 entry). On Aug. 5, the AP published a photo of the same woman in Beirut, crying because Israeli planes had just destroyed her house.

Regarding the woman's claims, Wagner said, "We will not speculate." More precisely, it could be said the AP's decision to publish the photo and to attach a statement repeating the woman's claim as fact was based on speculation the woman was telling the truth.

Something else the AP will not do is release the original files of its Qana photos so the internal digital time stamps on the photos can be examined. At the least, such examination would reveal the time interval between various photos, which would provide evidence regarding whether the photos were staged.

Asked about the German network's video, Wagner replied: "There are gruesome realities in all war zones that result from war's death and destruction. Victims of such destruction sometimes want the world to see its results.

"The full sequence of AP photos and captions from the incident at Qana on July 30 reflect that reality.

"In AP's captions, the man in the green helmet was identified as a civil defense worker, and we have confirmed that he is in charge of civil defense in Tyre, which is near Qana.

"Partisans on both sides of a conflict will interpret images of that conflict in different ways. AP strives to stick to the facts."

Fair enough, but that does not mean the media should cooperate with "victims" (or Hezbollah operatives) in producing staged or posed photos. On Aug. 1, the AP, Reuters and Agence France Press released a joint statement "strongly denying that the images were staged." In light of the videos, those denials are implausible.

Bob Newman of KOA-AM (850) investigated a July 31 Time magazine photo, which the caption said was "the wreckage of a downed Israeli jet." Actually, the fire in the background of the photo was coming from burning tires in a garbage dump. After being contacted by Newman, Time corrected the photo and apologized. The dump apparently began to burn after some nearby Hezbollah rocket launchers were hit by the Israelis, and a Hezbollah rocket may have misfired into the garbage dump.

The same overly dramatized burning garbage dump appears in the background of an AP photo captioned: "A Hezbollah gunman aims his AK-47 at a fire caused by an explosion in Kfarshima, near Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, July 17, 2006" (, Aug. 8), while the cover of the July 31 U.S. News & World Report featured the Hezbollah gunman in the foreground with the sensational flames and smoke in the background.

Most of this article's sources, which have provided evidence about misleading photographs from Lebanon, have been compiled by people who support Israel in its war with Hezbollah, as do I. Notwithstanding the media critics, Hezbollah has, in the war for Western public opinion, sometimes succeeded in subverting Western news organizations into organs of its own propaganda. At Qana at least, it appears that the media may have been complicit in the production of controlled, staged images using dead children as props, which were falsely presented to the public as authentic, spontaneous photos of a rescue operation.

Dave Kopel is research director at the Independence Institute, an attorney and author of 10 books. He can be reached at

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2006israelwar; 4thestate5thcolumn; adnanhajj; alreuters; antisemites; arabstreet; biasmeanslayoffs; buckheadismyhero; bullzogby; communisttrick; congame; d; daralislam; denydenydeny; dhimmis; drivebymedia; dustypixels; enemedia; fabrication; fakebutaccurate; fakephotos; fauxlebanonpics; fauxtography; fired; ghg; goebbelswouldbeproud; greenhat; greenhelmet; greenhelmetguy; haj; hajj; hezbollah; idiots; islam; islamoganda; israel; lebanon; leftistsubversion; lgf; liberalism; maggotman; makingitup; malkin; mdm; mediabias; mediajihad; mediawar; mediawarwaronerror; middleeast; mohamedanmedia; msm; msmwoes; muhammadsminions; muslim; nme; pajamahadeen; pajamapeoplerule; pallywood; photoshop; picturekill; pingdanrather; powerghraib; propaganda; proterrorist; qana; ratherbiased; reuterbias; reutergate; reuters; reuterschmoiters; revisionisthistory; rooters; rootersgate; rotoreuters; rotorooters; terrorists; terrorsympathizers; theevilweevil; traitors; treason; trysellingthetruth; waronerror; whywefight; yothehugemanatee
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1 posted on 08/12/2006 12:02:26 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: knews_hound; Grampa Dave; martin_fierro; Liz; norwaypinesavage; Mo1; onyx; SmithL; petercooper; ...

Pinging the Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™ List

2 posted on 08/12/2006 12:04:42 PM PDT by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

Seen this ?

3 posted on 08/12/2006 12:05:57 PM PDT by COUNTrecount
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

Dadgum, dude.

Did you put all those keywords up there?

4 posted on 08/12/2006 12:07:35 PM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

Those keywords yours too?

5 posted on 08/12/2006 12:07:40 PM PDT by onyx (1 Billion Muslims -- "if" only 10% are radical, that's 100 Million who want to kill us.)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

6 posted on 08/12/2006 12:07:48 PM PDT by radar101 (The two hallmarks of Liberals: Fantasy and Hypocrisy)
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To: abb

Does anyone have that great thread from zombienet(?) that detailed the 4 identified types of photo fraud Rutgers has perpetrated?

7 posted on 08/12/2006 12:10:55 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (The Democrat Party stands for open treason in a time of war.)
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To: COUNTrecount

Thanks for that, It's pretty good.

8 posted on 08/12/2006 12:12:58 PM PDT by Not now, Not ever! (john F'n skerry = The First Spork Weasel)
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To: COUNTrecount
Yes great recap. Here's a decent roundup I've been keeping:

The Reutergate scandal and issues with Beirut Photos in general.

There are 2 areas of concern: 1) Staging of photos and; 2) Doctoring of photos. Links are in chronological order.


Excellent Video recap by

Excellent Video recap by Michelle Malkin

CNN's Anderson Copper Admits to seeing staging plus Germany TV video catches Green Helmet in the Act


"Milking it" (Critical look at Qana photos)

"Hezbollywood? Evidence mounts that Qana collapse and deaths were staged"

"Qana - the director's cut"

"Reuters calls the doctor, take 2" (Powerline blog exposes yet another suspect group of photos same damage reported as new 12 days apart).

"Extreme Makeover - Beirut Edition" (Drinking from Home exposed more photos. This time, the same woman is shown losing her home first in Southern Beirut on 7/22 and then in the "suburbs of Beirut" on 8/5)

"Shaking the Dead" (Confederate Yankee shows staged photos of a "rescue worker" grasping a hand protruding from the rubble for both Reuters and AP)

"The Passion of the Toys" (Slublog has a collection of all the posed stuffed animals among the ruble)

"Lights, Camera, Action!" Red Cross workers pose for fauxtos

Green Helmet the movie director [Germany's NDR busts him in the act]


Little Green Footballs uncovered an obviously doctored photo by Hajj (Beirut Smoke)

It was quickly picked up here on FR

Reuters admits the first photo (Beirut smoke) was doctored and suspended Hajj

A second doctored photo (F16) was identified by Jawa

Reuters admits the second photo was also doctored, fired Hajj and withdrew all 920 of his photographs

9 posted on 08/12/2006 12:14:15 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: COUNTrecount

That photo with the smoke is so incredibly obvious I don`t see how anyone could miss it. But Reuters initially used it didn`t they? That says a lot about them.

10 posted on 08/12/2006 12:17:00 PM PDT by Screamname (Batman and Godzilla : When will they fight?)
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To: onyx; Skooz

The keywords come from the other posts on this subject that people added as they went along. Especially "The Passion of the Toys" and the original Reuters Fauxtography post. (see roundup above)

11 posted on 08/12/2006 12:17:45 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

LOL -- they're very good!

12 posted on 08/12/2006 12:28:02 PM PDT by onyx (1 Billion Muslims -- "if" only 10% are radical, that's 100 Million who want to kill us.)
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Bump and bookmark.

13 posted on 08/12/2006 12:29:30 PM PDT by OSHA (Lose money FAST playing penny stocks. Ask me how!)
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To: All
FYI Green Helmet Guy recently got an MSM makeover to morph into . . . wait for it . . . Blue JournalistTM Guy:

14 posted on 08/12/2006 12:32:09 PM PDT by Milhous (Twixt truth and madness lies but a sliver of a stream.)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia


15 posted on 08/12/2006 12:33:07 PM PDT by EverOnward
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To: abb; devolve; ntnychik; PhilDragoo; Interesting Times; Kenny Bunk; bitt; IPWGOP; Seadog Bytes

16 posted on 08/12/2006 12:57:29 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia
How about this photo?

The caption says that this kid was pulled out from the rubble of a destroyed building. She's as clean as the spotless throw-down stuffed animals that pop up in the scenes. There's not a speck of concrete dust in her hair and her pink shirt couldn't be any cleaner. And the crusted dried blood around her mouth was added after pulling her out of the rubble.

Original web link here:

17 posted on 08/12/2006 1:02:52 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ("Sharpei diem - Seize the wrinkled dog.")
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Go here, to post 9 and click on Qana the Director's cut and you'll see how those were staged.

18 posted on 08/12/2006 1:11:03 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
I love the caption that goes with that pic: Note that the "rescuer's" clothes are clean too, even after digging through all that rubble.
19 posted on 08/12/2006 1:13:56 PM PDT by Between the Lines (Be careful how you live your life, it may be the only gospel anyone reads.)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

(Al Reiuters)Burnt car bombed by five Israeli jets and 7 Jew helicopter gunships. The car was carrying crippled, deaf children from the Peach Tree School of Classical Music in Tyre. 18 children were killed. The driver, Miss Yasmin attempted to save 7 other unwounded children, but they were all killed in a follow up ambush by Zionist commandos wearing NY Yankee ballcaps and eating pork-chop sandwiches, according to civil defense workers.
20 posted on 08/12/2006 1:14:05 PM PDT by Leisler (Islam is the ROP. I know because the President told me so.)
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