Tuesday, May 10, 2011

US Paper 'Sorry' Over Bin Laden Raid Photo

A US newspaper has apologised for doctoring a photograph of senior White House staff watching the Osama bin Laden mission by editing out the women in the room, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Der Zeitung newspaper (R)
The women in the room were edited out of the photograph

The original photo, showing Mrs Clinton and President Barack Obama in the Situation Room, has made the front pages of newspapers throughout the world.
The New York-based Yiddish newspaper Der Tzitung explained in a statement it has a long-standing editorial policy to never publish photographs of women, which it says is in keeping with the "laws of modesty" of its Orthodox Jewish readership.
"The readership of the Tzitung believe that women should be appreciated for who they are and what they do, not for what they look like, and the Jewish laws of modesty are an expression of respect for women, not the opposite," the statement said.
The picture, taken by a White House photographer on May 1, shows the US president and his national security team seemingly transfixed as they watch the mission to kill the al Qaeda leader.
We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department
Apology by the editor of Yiddish newspaper Der Tzitung
Mrs Clinton is seen in the foreground, seated, with one hand clasped to her mouth.
But in Der Tzitung's version, there is no trace of her - she is replaced by the digitally reconstituted left shoulder of deputy national security advisor Denis McDonough, whom she had obscured in the original photo.
Audrey Tomason, the director for counterterrorism and the only other woman in the picture, was also removed from the image.
The White House distributed the photograph with the standard proviso that it not be "manipulated in any way."
Der Tzitung, which means "The Newspaper" in Yiddish, said its photo editor, "in his haste", did not read the proviso.
"The guy got carried away in the euphoria of the victory and he wanted to show what he could do in Photoshop," the paper's editor Albert Friedman said.
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House May 1, 2011.
The situation room was full of people during the raid
Mrs Clinton was, however, mentioned prominently in the text of the story.
"In retrospect, we apologise for any misunderstanding that this might have caused," the paper's statement said.
"We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department."
The newspaper added that it respected Mrs Clinton for her "unique capabilities, talents and compassion for all" and that she had served public office with "great distinction."

read more: Sky News