Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Reuters photo fraud is hardly new

Dear friends,
The blogosphere expressed a level of surprise when Reuters was caught falsifying and staging photos, seeming to completely integrate into the Hezballywod propaganda machine.
I have been loading my archive history, and came across Reuters complicity in anti-Israel propaganda early in 2001.  See - exposing staged photography by Reuters journalist Suhaib Salem, with a blatantly misleading caption.  And a Google search on the man stumbled over the following piece from the Wall Street Journal of a year and a half later.
Wonder what motivates Reuters?
Monday, June 3, 2002 2:40 p.m. EDT

Family Ties--I
Remember Suhaib Salem? He's the Reuters photographer whom Israel arrested in Gaza on May 22 on suspicion of terrorism--the Israelis claimed, and he denied, that he had a grenade in his possession--then released last week. The Associated Press reports that Salem's brother Salah was "one of the men involved in the kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldier Cpl. Nachson Waxman in 1994. Both Salah Salem and Waxman were killed when the Israelis attempted to rescue Waxman." Reuters doesn't seem to have mentioned Salah Salem in its coverage of his brother's arrest.

Suhaib Salem, of course, is not responsible for his brother's actions, and we know of no reason to doubt he's fine journalist. (Here's a sample of his work, a shot of an unnamed Palestinian man enjoying a tender moment with the founder of the terror group Hamas.) But isn't there an obvious conflict of interest in assigning the brother of a Palestinian terrorist--or, in Reutervillian parlance, of "another man's freedom fighter"--to cover the Israeli-Arab conflict?

The AP reports that when Salem was arrested, he was on his way to Japan to cover the World Cup, a soccer tournament. If the folks at Reuters are really in the business of news rather than propaganda, they ought to let Salem stay in Japan, or else reassign him to cover some other part of the world where there would be no obvious reason to question his objectivity.

A second Reuters staffer, TV cameraman Jussry al-Jamal, remains in Israeli custody, the AP reports.

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