HRC Op-Ed Exposes Hamilton Spectator Fauxtography (June 24, 2010)

June 24, 2010

HRC Op-Ed Exposes Hamilton Spectator Fauxtography
June 24, 2010

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Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber,

Reuters was recently exposed for unfairly cropping images of beaten and bloodied Israeli naval commandos, along with the very weaponry that was wielded by the extremists aboard the Mavi Marmara ship. Following a public outcry over what was perceived as a blatant manipulation of imagery for political effect, Reuters uncropped the offending photographs from its wire service.


But Reuters wasn’t the only news organization to use heavy-handed editing techniques with respect to these photos. On June 9, the Hamilton Spectator published a Gwynne Dyer column (see below) entitled “Gaza Strip blockade must end” and appended the same edited photograph as seen above to this column. Spectator editors had cropped out an extremist’s knife out of an Associated Press photograph, thereby removing evidence of the nefarious intentions of the so-called “peace activists”.


HonestReporting Canada brought this matter to the attention of senior editors at the Spectator who acknowledged that the “crop was unfortunate,” but “not intentional,” while committing “to be more sensitive in the future.” We accept that this was an isolated incident and appreciate the Spectator’s explanation and candour. In the interest of fairness, the Spectator also granted HonestReporting Canada op-ed space to expose their inadvertent fauxtography.

On June 19, an HRC op-ed was published in the Spectator pointing out that the “Photograph was more than it seemed.” The Spectator also republished the unaltered photo with a cut-line to clearly indicate how the extremist’s knife blade was unfortunately cropped out by Spectator photo editors.

To read HRC’s op-ed click here or otherwise please see the op-ed as it appeared in the Spectator’s print edition immediately below.


Perhaps as another example of the Spectator’s interest in providing fair and balanced Mideast news coverage, the June 21 edition of the newspaper featured an article by Dr. Jonathan Spyer, senior fellow at the GLORIA Center entitled “Flotilla aftermath: End knee-jerk criticism.” The article was submitted by UJA Federation of Hamilton in response to the same June 9 Gwynne Dyer column that we had originally critiqued.

We will leave you with a few choice quotes from this excellent article:

Despite the onslaught of media manipulation by extremists, it is now crystal clear that the intentions of this flotilla had nothing to do with humanitarian concerns for the people of Gaza.

“What took place on the decks of the Mavi Marmara was a skirmish in Israel’s defensive war against militant Islam. In much of the West, there is a widespread refusal to engage with or internalize this reality. Instead, media coverage was generated in which Israel’s concerns were seen as utterly inexplicable and the Islamist militants on the ship were depicted as peace-loving humanitarians. George Orwell could not have written this frightening novel of the utter inversion of every truth, moral and ethic as defined in the democratic tradition.

“Hopefully, with the lessons learned from this recent event, world leadership, media and public opinion will be a little less “knee-jerk” in their criticisms of Israel and a bit more prepared to seek out the truth before delivering blanket condemnations. After all, it’s not just Israel that is under attack, it’s every country that shares its democratic values.


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