Earlier, Rusty Weiss had a piece on the curious decision of the New York Times in its cover story on Selma to edit President George W. Bush and his wife out of the accompanying photo. In a column published just before noon, the Times’s public editor, Margaret Sullivan, claims that no offense was intended, adding that the photo was not cropped but, rather, altered for “technical” reasons.
Before unpacking the details behind the decision to use a photo that excluded the Bushes, Sullivan writes:
Twitter was ablaze with criticism of The Times, many conservative news organizations wrote critical articles — and my email inbox overflowed. Some readers said they were canceling their Times subscriptions. Others were simply disappointed.
So what really happened? In a nutshell, the photographer, Doug Mills, who is employed by the Times, had no choice but to send a “tight” version of the image to his editor because in the full-size wide-angle lens version “Bush was super-overexposed because he was in the sun and Obama and the others are in the shade.”
But if you compare the photo that was scrapped to the version that was published, you notice that in the original Obama and the people surrounding him are in deep shadow. In the final version, however, all of the figures have been lightened through an adjustment to color balance.
If it can be argued that Bush was overexposed in the original, Obama was underexposed. Yet, through the magic of Photoshop, he and the people around him are clearly visible.
I’m calling shenanigans on the Times. Or, put somewhat differently, they’re full of crop.
- Picture of the Day: New York Times crops Bush out of front page Selma photo
- Bonus Tweet for the day: 23 Republicans who did go to Selma (including one very big name)
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