After LA Times media critic Tim Rutten called on his colleagues in the MSM to take a closer look at the Reuters photo scandal, The New York Times responded today with an article that focuses on a completely trivial aspect of the story. Rutten wrote:
…some hard questions need to be asked about why it occurred. Some of it may stem from the urge every photographer feels to make a photo perfect. Some of it probably flows from a simple economic imperative — a freelancer who produces dramatic images gets picked up more and paid more. Moreover, the obscenely anti-Israeli tenor of most of the European and world press means there’s an eager market for pictures of dead Lebanese babies.
The NYT had an opportunity to ask those hard questions. Instead, it assigned a reporter to explore the ”questions about the standards of photojournalism at a time of widespread digital photography.” The article is all about how Photoshop has made it very easy to alter images, and that “photo editors have fewer tools at their disposal and often rely simply on experience and instinct. As a result, the most skilled manipulations can be difficult to catch.”
All the more reason to start getting to the root of the problem, which Rutten hinted at: the demand for anti-Israeli photographs in the world press.