Montreal Metro Issues Photo Gaffe Clarification (May 7 2009)

Montreal Metro Issues Photo Gaffe Clarification May 7, 2009
Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber,

In a Media Action Alert we released yesterday, we informed you about how the Montreal Metro had demonized Israel’s 61st Independence Day, by featuring a grossly inflammatory and misleading photograph (see below) showing an image of a blood-soaked Israeli and American handshake, all while blood drips onto pictures of dead or wounded Palestinian children as a Palestinian woman walks idly by. The message disseminated to Metro readers was that of an American and Israeli policy to be complicit in the murder of innocent Palestinian children.

To recall, the Metro’s photograph and caption were deceptive as the original AP photograph clearly stated in its caption that the Palestinian woman “walks next to a poster… during an event organized by Hamas culture ministry… to commemorate Nakba day,” (see picture right for an additional photo). Instead, Metro’s version didn’t inform its readers that the woman wasn’t part of the poster in the first place. Likewise, readers had no way of knowing who (Hamas – a terrorist organization) had created the dubious poster image in the background. As the Metro didn’t properly contextualize this caption, it seemed as though they were almost promoting this Hamas propaganda piece.

Thanks to scores of emails sent by HonestReporting Canada subscribers to Metro Editor-in-Chief, Eric Aussant, the newspaper promptly issued the following clarification on page 10 in today’s edition:


Clarification Translation:“Under a photo entitled “Middle East: Historic Week” published on page 12 of our April 27 edition, it should have read: A Palestinian woman walks in front of a poster protesting against the Israeli operation in December and January in the Gaza Strip during an event organized by Hamas to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the Nakba.”

While we credit the Metro for clarifying its caption context gaffe, notwithstanding, this clarification does not exonerate the newspaper for its questionable editorial choice in selecting this inflammatory photo when hundreds of different photographs could have been used to show regular Israelis celebrating this momentous and “historic” event.

Most Metro readers who originally saw the photo in the first place will not see the subsequent clarification, thus is the importance of getting it right in the first place. However, we trust that by sensitizing Metro editors to our concerns, they will be more vigilant in the future.

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