A Reuters photograph of smoke rising from buildings in Beirut has been withdrawn after coming under attack by American web logs. The blogs accused Reuters of distorting the photograph to include more smoke and damage.
The photograph showed two very heavy plumes of black smoke billowing from buildings in Beirut after an Air Force attack on the Lebanese capital. Reuters has since withdrawn the photograph from its website, along a message admitting that the image was distorted, and an apology to editors.
Earlier, Charles Johnson, of the Little Green Footballs blog, which has exposed a previous attempt at fraud by a major American news corporation, wrote : “This Reuters photograph shows blatant evidence of manipulation. Notice the repeating patterns in the smoke; this is almost certainly caused by using the Photoshop “clone” tool to add more smoke to the image.”
Johnson added: “Smoke simply does not contain repeating symmetrical patterns like this, and you can see the repetition in both plumes of smoke. There’s really no question about it.”
Adnan Hajj, the photographer who sent the altered image, was also the Reuters photographer behind many of the images from Qana — which have also been the subject of suspicions for being staged.