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Janesville man spotted doctoring of photo from war in Middle East
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 8/16/06 | MARK JOHNSON

Posted on 08/16/2006 8:17:46 AM PDT by Kryptonite

He initiated uproar that exposed ethics breach

The furor over a photograph began in such a quiet, ordinary way.

Mike Thorson, a Janesville artist and part owner of a tool distribution company, was sitting at his computer on a Saturday, checking a few news sites after looking at his e-mail. On Yahoo, he came across a Reuters photograph purporting to show the smoky aftermath of an Israeli air raid on the Beirut suburbs.

"As soon as I saw it something looked very strange," said Thorson, 39.

What he found led to a story that raced around the globe and resulted in Reuters' severing its ties with photographer Adnan Hajj.

Looking closely at the photography, he saw an odd pattern in the thick, black clouds of smoke rising from the bombed area. He recognized the effect, a bit of Adobe Photoshop magic called cloning.

To clone, you simply click on part of a picture, then paste an exact copy of that part somewhere else on the photo. Thorson recognized the effect because he'd used it. Sometimes he'd worked on catalog photographs of the tools his company distributes. Sometimes, on close inspection, he would find on the photograph a speck of dust, a piece of dirt, a hair or some other imperfection. By cloning, he could replace the imperfection with a clean image.

The photo on the Yahoo site was different, though. It was supposed to be journalism.

"I was shocked," Thorson said later. "This is supposed to be serious. Reuters is a very well-known and respected wire service."

Within minutes Thorson went to the political blog Little Green Footballs and sent a comment about his suspicions that the photo had been doctored. He thought of the blog because it had been among those questioning the authenticity of the documents "60 Minutes II" used in a report on President George W. Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard.

The very next morning, Aug. 6, Thorson saw his suspicions posted on Little Green Footballs, and the story soon caught fire.

"I was really surprised that the story got to be as big as it did," Thorson said. "I certainly didn't mean for anybody to lose their job or anything like that. I am glad that it was exposed.

"I think people do need to have some sort of skepticism about the news: What's being presented? Who's presenting it? Do they have an agenda? What's being left out?"


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Israel; News/Current Events; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: adnanhajj; alreuters; antisemites; antisemitism; fake; fakephotos; fauxtography; goebbelswouldbeproud; lgf; littlegreenfootballs; mediawar; pajamahedeen; pajamapeoplerule; proterrorist; reuters; reutersbias; yellowjournalism; zogbyism
Sitting at his computer on a Saturday, and next thing ya know, Reuters is recognized as a fraud for its fauxtography. Good job Mike Thorson!
1 posted on 08/16/2006 8:17:47 AM PDT by Kryptonite
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To: Kryptonite
Reuters is a very well-known and respected wire service."

Not anymore...

2 posted on 08/16/2006 8:19:32 AM PDT by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some Freepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: Kryptonite
Hats off to you, sir.
3 posted on 08/16/2006 8:19:55 AM PDT by BallyBill (Serial Hit-N-Run poster)
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To: Kryptonite

"I was shocked," Thorson said later. "This is supposed to be serious. Reuters is a very well-known and respected wire service."

{snicker}


4 posted on 08/16/2006 8:19:58 AM PDT by proudpapa (of three.)
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To: Kryptonite

Can't agree with you, Mike...I WANT these FRAUDS to LOSE their JOBS!!


5 posted on 08/16/2006 8:20:02 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy ("When Cabals Go Kaboom"....upcoming book on Mary McCarthy's Coup-Plotters.)
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To: Kryptonite
"Reuters is a very well-known and respected wire service."

Say what?

Reuters?

I suppose that is how it earned the fond nickname of ROTO ROOTER? Doesn't sound like a "respected" news source to me. Also they can't seem to use the word "terrorist". They just can't figure out what that is.
6 posted on 08/16/2006 8:22:00 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Kryptonite
Reuters is a very well-known and respected wire service."

Ha!

7 posted on 08/16/2006 8:22:06 AM PDT by RushCrush (I like pit bulls better than Democrats.)
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To: Kryptonite

I'm listening to Fox News interview one of the passengers on that London-DC flight which landed in Boston because of suspect materials, and the passenger said all the airline passengers have been self-deputized and are alert to their fellow passengers. The same thing is happening to the "news": the consumers of the "news" are now investigating the veracity of that "news." And it's a good thing, too.


8 posted on 08/16/2006 8:22:37 AM PDT by hsalaw
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To: Onelifetogive

http://inspectorclouseau.com/sounds/piano.wav


9 posted on 08/16/2006 8:23:19 AM PDT by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some Freepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: Kryptonite

What's his FReeper ID? People that smart must be FReepers!


10 posted on 08/16/2006 8:24:05 AM PDT by rock_lobsta (cair = hamas = iran = EVIL)
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To: hsalaw

Good analogy - absolutely correct. I remember our first couple of flights after 9/11 - everybody was pretty vigilant about who was on those planes. Seems to be coming back strong again after the London plot was foiled last week.

Dan Rather then tries to pass off a fake story and now people question the "news". This guy remembered the whole Blather TANG fraud and the Little Green Footballs involvement, so he went there to post his suspicions. It's a damn good thing he did.


11 posted on 08/16/2006 8:26:37 AM PDT by Kryptonite (Keep Democrats Out of Power!)
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To: Kryptonite
a new media success story of the first order.

this is what happens when liberty is allowed to flourish. This is what the founders had in mind.

12 posted on 08/16/2006 8:27:02 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand ("These formidable people....will die for Liberty")
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To: Kryptonite

Mike Thorson bump!


13 posted on 08/16/2006 8:29:30 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: RushCrush

If this is the guy that alerted little green footballs I can't help but think that statement about Reuters is laced with sarcasm. I'm sure he is laughing with his friends that the sarcasm was not picked up in the story.


14 posted on 08/16/2006 8:29:44 AM PDT by statered ("And you know what I mean.")
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To: Kryptonite

"Reuters is a very well-known and respected wire service."

Well-known maybe. Respected, NO.


15 posted on 08/16/2006 8:29:45 AM PDT by Old Grumpy
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To: Kryptonite

What a story! Little Green Footballs always acknowledged a tip from a reader lead to their Reuters investigation and smack down


16 posted on 08/16/2006 8:30:02 AM PDT by dennisw (Confucius say man who go through turnstile sideways going to Bangkok)
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To: proudpapa

ROTFL...There were an awful lot of people not shocked at all.


17 posted on 08/16/2006 8:30:38 AM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: Kryptonite

Weird headline--thought they caught the Janesville man in the middle of doctoring the photo. Someone really needs to work on the headline writing.


18 posted on 08/16/2006 8:31:10 AM PDT by madison10
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To: Kryptonite

The power of the individual and access to a MAC. :^)


19 posted on 08/16/2006 8:31:38 AM PDT by BigFinn
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To: statered

If this is the guy that alerted little green footballs .....

He sure seems to be! He's just a regular old American just like you and me. Except that he's an artist well acquainted with PhotoShop


20 posted on 08/16/2006 8:32:01 AM PDT by dennisw (Confucius say man who go through turnstile sideways going to Bangkok)
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To: Kryptonite

I just spoke with Mike and sent him the thread. I hope he has time to come and say hi.


21 posted on 08/16/2006 8:32:24 AM PDT by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: dennisw

http://mikethorson.com/

MILITARY PHOTOS


22 posted on 08/16/2006 8:34:31 AM PDT by dennisw (Confucius say man who go through turnstile sideways going to Bangkok)
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To: Kryptonite
"I certainly didn't mean for anybody to lose their job or anything like that.

Perhaps he is saying what will keep him safe now that his name and location have been revealed.
We are dealing with a vengeful enemy, giving this much information isn't in his best interest.

23 posted on 08/16/2006 8:36:02 AM PDT by The Brush
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To: doug from upland
I just spoke with Mike and sent him the thread. I hope he has time to come and say hi.

That's awesome, Doug!

Hope Mike shows up bump.

24 posted on 08/16/2006 8:37:15 AM PDT by andyandval
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To: Kryptonite
He's a bright guy but apparently confused about Reuter's and its seriousness. Reuter's, like much of the MSM, is anything but serious. It's agenda is to help America's enemies. This is a fact even if they don't realize it themselves. They're never skeptical of terrorists and take them at their word. They never believe our own government or our allies even when there is incontrovertible proof.
25 posted on 08/16/2006 8:37:39 AM PDT by elhombrelibre (Civilization and democracy are under attack in Israel. Stand by her.)
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To: Kryptonite

Get that guy over here to FR!


26 posted on 08/16/2006 8:37:39 AM PDT by bonfire
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To: andyandval

He has occasionally seen FR.


27 posted on 08/16/2006 8:37:46 AM PDT by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: Kryptonite
Who says one man can't make a difference?

Way to go, Mike!
28 posted on 08/16/2006 8:39:20 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Get off my lawn!)
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To: Kryptonite
To clone, you simply click on part of a picture, then paste an exact copy of that part somewhere else on the photo.

That is not how the clone tool in Photoshop works, there is no paste to it.

But I guess we can't expect reporters to be accurate with facts!
29 posted on 08/16/2006 8:39:42 AM PDT by TexanByBirth
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To: Kryptonite
...was sitting at his computer on a Saturday...

Yes, but was he wearing his pajamas?

30 posted on 08/16/2006 8:41:34 AM PDT by reformed_dem (I'm not against immigrants.... just those who do it illegally)
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To: hsalaw

"I'm listening to Fox News interview one of the passengers on that London-DC flight which landed in Boston . . ."

That was Greta Van Sustren. She wasn't on that particular flight, but was sharing her experience on a recent flight out of London. None of the passengers aboard this flight have been interviewed yet.


31 posted on 08/16/2006 8:46:15 AM PDT by rightazrain (“Ceasefire” is just another word for “reload.")
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To: rightazrain

Thanks for the correction. Between reading/posting on FR and listening to the news on various channels, some bits of information are obviously falling through the cracks.


32 posted on 08/16/2006 8:48:31 AM PDT by hsalaw
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To: doug from upland

I hope he comes aboard too. He'd be an assett to FR.


33 posted on 08/16/2006 8:51:17 AM PDT by Kryptonite (Keep Democrats Out of Power!)
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To: reformed_dem

I was wondering the same thing.....


34 posted on 08/16/2006 8:52:36 AM PDT by Kryptonite (Keep Democrats Out of Power!)
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To: Kryptonite
News organizations will be well served if they only accept film.

Digital images should not to be trusted by anybody.
35 posted on 08/16/2006 9:03:33 AM PDT by Beckwith (The dhimmicrats and liberal media have chosen sides and they've sided with the Jihadists.)
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To: rightazrain

PING me when one of the interviewed "passengers" yells out "Babba-booey" and "Stern rules!".


36 posted on 08/16/2006 9:14:59 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: Kryptonite; Timesink; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; ..
Within minutes Thorson went to the political blog Little Green Footballs and sent a comment about his suspicions that the photo had been doctored. He thought of the blog because it had been among those questioning the authenticity of the documents "60 Minutes II" used in a report on President George W. Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard.

A more ACCURATE description would be "exposed the documents on '60 Minutes II' as modern forgies" and later exposed ties between the DNC and the path the letters took to CBS.

Also, it would be good to mention that Reuters had an employee who sent electronic death threats from work to Little Green Footballs PRIOR to this Reuters scandal.

37 posted on 08/16/2006 9:18:55 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: weegee

I let him know that FR was the first to be on top of the National Guard documents.


38 posted on 08/16/2006 10:04:02 AM PDT by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: madison10
Weird headline--thought they caught the Janesville man in the middle of doctoring the photo. Someone really needs to work on the headline writing.

Thats the Milwaukee Urinal for ya...
39 posted on 08/16/2006 1:13:49 PM PDT by edgrimly78
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