We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There's an awful lot of ink and pixels being spilled over the Reuters use of obviously photoshopped images, as well there should be. We've taken a crack at the absurd angle of it here as well. But...
It is interesting to read all the thousands of column inches appearing magically to eviscerate Reuters, and to see the unanimity of the analysis. I feel as though I am standing in a herd of elephants, and the blogosphere is asking me if I've seen a mouse.
The photoshopped image of Beirut burning, and the Israeli jet plane with the phony ordnance dubbed in, are not "made up." That is to say, Beirut was burning a bit, and that was an Israeli plane doing something.
So what are we looking at? Hyperbole, at the least; exaggeration for effect. As you know, this can be a sort of benign tumor - a simple lust for attention, a digital tall story more suited to the barroom than the newsroom. Or it can be yoked to a hidden purpose -the malignant cancer-propaganda.
Since Mr Hajj, and Reuters, don't seem to be in the market for airbrushing things out of their pictures, I imagine that their shenanigans mesh nicely with their worldview, and so their efforts are more to the Joe Goebbels end of the spectrum than the Paris Hilton. It's not: "look at me," it's:"will you look at that."
So what's the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room? It's not: "I'll never trust the pictures in the paper again." Why did you trust them before, exactly? That's not the problem. This is:
WHAT ABOUT THE WORDS?
You remember words don't you? They are those things that have been acoompanying those misleading pictures since before there were pictures to accompany, and the words had to try to give you the wrong impression all by themselves.
The obvious folderol with the images in question only shows that the suppliers are getting brazen. They have reported barefaced falsehoods and misrepresentation with such impunity for so long they don't feel the need to simply choose the angle they wish to portray anymore. They're not picking cherries, they're chopping down the media cherry trees now.
The "reporting" in the media --what is said and what is written -- is every bit as "photoshopped" for effect as those pictures. Events are seen only through the prism of the desired effect. And the words are carefully chosen to achieve a desired result at the la-di-da outlets like the New York Times, and hamfistedly filigreed at the other end of the media dial, the internet. But the idea is the same: What used to be "news" is replaced with editorial. What used to be "editorial" is now the journalistic equivalent of a streetcorner rant from a deranged lunatic. And the streetcorner lunatic? He's not talking anymore. He's got an entry level job for Reuters, and AP, and the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and CBS, and TruthOut! and all the others caught red-handed every day either making stuff up and reporting it as news, or convoluting the reportage so profoundly that it no longer should qualify as even vaguely factual. And you're dreaming if you think that getting caught is going to change their outlook. They are not very very sorry they did it. They are very very sorry they got caught. The method will improve. The approach will stand.
I've been reading the news for a long time, trying to parse what the hell might have actually happened out of the subtle and not so subtle shinola. I stopped paying attention to the TV news a long time ago altogether, because my intelligence can be insulted in print faster than having the wrong pages of a bad newspaper read to me slowly by hair farmers.
Nice to see the digital age is catching up with me.