September 3, 2011
Yikes: NYTimes Puff Piece on Mickey Mouse Photos from Lebanon? Remember when photographers like Ben Curtis got caught placing child’s toys in rubble in Lebanon bomb sites? The NYTimes debates whether such dishonesty has any truth it it. It is almost as if they are claiming bullshit is art. Why can’t the media just apologize? Say.. gee I’m sorry… I did wrong. why can’t the propaganda machine admit that what they are doing is unethical. Instead we get a backhanded comparison to some civil war photographer that placed cannonballs to tell a story. It is annoying that this paper has no integrity. Rather then owe up to unethical behavior they are now trying to spin their sins. That takes a lot of Chutzpah.
: If the Mickey Mouse was in a building that was bombed out, what is the likelihood that it was undamaged like that? And second, if the toy wasn’t planted by someone (and I believe Curtis that he did not plant it), then how is it that at just about every bombing site that was photographed during the Second Lebanon War, posed pictures of children’s toys would show up? Could that be coincidence? I doubt it.
Zombie Time: While it may be possible that these photographers all just happened to stumble on toys and stuffed animals perfectly positioned for maximum emotive response, the cumulative effect of all the pictures together (along with others visible on Slublog) suggests that some if not all of the photographers moved the toys to be better positioned for a good photo. Several readers have also written in to point out how new, clean and undamaged the toys look — unlikely, if they had all just been in an explosion. But this is not a definitely conclusive example of fraud — it’s almost impossible to prove that a photographer moved an object to his benefit. Instead, the images just feel faked.