Yeah. Much like an exhibitionist pervert in a public place, AP has just opened its coat and revealed to its readers something no one wanted to see.
The irony of it all is that, much like any flasher, AP sought to wow onlookers and enhance its reputation.
The plot of this tragicomedy revolves around altered photographs of Coma-Andante Fidel Castro, who, according to the AP, is a “retired leader.”
AP announced today that it was pulling from its archives several photos that it had published of the senile Caribbean dictator, on the grounds that these images had been digitally altered in order to make him seem less frail than he is. The photos in question were all taken by Alex Castro, son of the ailing monster, and had been altered to remove a wire from his ear canal.
AP had accepted the photos directly –and without any questions — from Estudios Revolucion, a photo bureau run by the Castro dynasty.
Oh, but lo and behold: after someone at AP obtained the digital originals from Alex Castro and checked them against the images from Estudios Revolucion, it became apparent that a hearing aid wire had been erased from the originals.
To buff up its credibility, AP denounced the deception and made a big deal out of the fact that they were yanking all these photos from their archive. The smug AP denunciation focused on the issue of “reality” and its opposite, deception.
“Under AP standards,” said someone at the news agency, “photos must depict reality and cannot be manipulated to add or subtract elements that alter that reality.”
And there’s the rub, as Hamlet might say. Why this hissy fit? Why now? Why make such a fuss over a hearing aid wire, of all things? Why protest so loudly about such a minor “manipulation” of reality by the Castrogonian propaganda machine when the AP has been accepting all sorts of much greater deceptions and manipulations from those propaganda hacks for five and a half decades, especially in the realm of statistics?
Go figure. Don’t even ask why they so blatantly display their hypocrisy, or why they seem so blithely unaware of the fact that they’ve just exposed it to the world, merely by referring to the tyrant as a “retired leader” in this announcement. If that little tweak of the English language doesn’t count as “manipulation” or “distortion”, then what does?
Any beginning student in a logic class –even the dullest or most incompetent– could successfully argue that calling a murderous monstrous tyrant a “retired leader” is far worse an offense against “reality” and far greater a manipulation of the public than erasing a wire from that blood-drenched monster’s ear. Never mind the other millions of Castro-altered details that the AP has passed on to the world as “facts.”
Ah, but hypocrites, like all perverts, live by their own twisted code of ethics, and sometimes they get a kick out of displaying their naughty bits.
The hypocrisy and perversion meters actually break with this one.
And so does the laugh meter, if you look at it the right way. If only the joke weren’t at the expense of the Cuban people.
…and… by the way, on the subject of cruel jokes played on the Cuban people, according to one report, the camera most often used by Alex Castro is a top-of-the-line Canon EOS-1D, which sells for a mere $11,999.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is eliminating from its archive seven Cuban government handout photos of Fidel Castro after determining some were digitally altered to remove what appears to be a hearing aid from the retired leader’s ear.
The images in question were released through the government-run Estudios Revolucion, an entity that distributes photos of Cuba’s top leadership, during a recent Latin America and Caribbean summit in Havana. They were retransmitted by the AP and other international news organizations to clients around the world.
“We have concluded that a number of official photographs of Fidel Castro were manipulated. Removing elements from a photograph is entirely unacceptable and is in clear violation of AP’s standards,” said AP vice president and director of photography Santiago Lyon.
The AP informed Cuban officials of its decision regarding the photos, but there was no public reaction or comment.
Under AP standards, photos must depict reality and cannot be manipulated to add or subtract elements that alter that reality. The news agency’s policy is to use handout photographs only when there is no other option, and to scrutinize them carefully for possible manipulation.
It was during such screening that photo editors noted an anomaly in a picture that showed Castro meeting with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa in Havana on Jan. 29.
The AP acquired the original, high-resolution image files from the photographer, Alex Castro, the former leader’s son. The original clearly showed a thin wire snaking into Fidel Castro’s ear that was missing from the altered photo released through Estudios Revolucion.
The AP did not transmit the Correa photograph or any official photos of Castro handed out subsequent to it to customers. But a review of other handout images, including a photograph of Castro meeting with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, showed similar signs of manipulation. The photo was transmitted by the AP, as well as by other news organizations.
Photographs published as recently as a month earlier showed a thin, transparent device in Castro’s ear, believed to be a hearing aid.
Alex Castro has taken most of the pictures of his 87-year-old father that have been released since a near-fatal illness forced him from office in 2006. The younger Castro immediately provided the original unaltered image files when the AP requested them and told the AP he was unaware they had been manipulated prior to their distribution.
His pictures were first submitted to Estudios Revolucion, then redistributed through other official Cuban news outlets.
In addition to eliminating the seven images, the AP is conducting a review of all Cuban handout pictures of Castro from recent years, about 150 images in all.