Saturday, December 8, 2012

Don't Believe Your Eyes, Read the Caption

    Scott Johnson at Powerline posted twice this week under the heading "Terrorist Theater."  The subject was "Palestinian fauxtography," the phenomenon of staged photos that seems to characterize an inordinate portion of the photojournalism relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Powerline has raised the topic numerous times over the years.  The photo in question is below and was captioned "A Palestinian girl tries to push an Israeli soldier at a demonstration in the West Bank village of al-Masara…":

    Johnson and Dr. Allon Friedman, the skeptic in Johnson's post, question the circumstances surrounding the photo and the caption's characterization of the events.  A video of the scene would surely be enlightening and might resolve some of the objections raised by Dr. Friedman.  However, another European Pressphoto Agency photo taken around the same time requires less interpretation to debunk the caption:

    The EPA caption on this photo is: "Palestinian children cheer with portraits of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Hebron, 02 December 2012, after the United Nations vote upgrading Palestinian status to nonmember observer state."  However, although the lead girl in the photo might be said to be "cheering", look at the child two behind the lead girl.  This child (a girl, I believe) is clearly sobbing, not "cheering."

    As if it's not bad enough that little children are pressed into service exalting terrorists, now the press must mischaracterize their orchestrated actions when one of them goes off script.

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