Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-39 next last
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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.