The Ghost of Snapped Shot

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Tale of a Supposed Tire Fire

This photo, made famous by its incorrect caption, has finally been explained!
Early on in the Lebanon war, there was a photograph published by both U.S. News and World Report and Time Magazine, which according to captions published with the picture was of a burning Israeli jet, shot down by Hezbullah missiles. The blogosphere was quick to call B.S. on the photo, and the widely-circulated story was that the photograph was actually that of a tire dump.

Well, it seems that the photographer responsible for taking the photograph, Bruno Stevens, has finally sounded off on Lightstalkers, explaining the photograph and telling the true story of how things ended up the way they did. He also notes that the site was not a tire dump, but was rather an old Lebanese Army base that had either been hit by an Israeli jet, or by a misfired Hezbullah rocket (both possibilites he appears to have recounted in his original captions). The key point that Bruno makes is that, while he sent in a fairly balanced caption to accompany the photograph, the wire services rewrote the caption completely, changing the pertinent facts surrounding the story. Where have we heard that before?

Bruno's story is available in full at Lightstalkers, and I recommend checking it out, even though it is mostly written as a response to someone who has been alleging that he was somehow covering up a civilian massacre. My favorite part, and the one that's the most damning of Photo Editors everywhere, is this:

This caption clearly says that there is no proof that an Israeli jet had been shot down and that the objective was indeed to destroy a legitimate military target.
...A week later TIME published this image shot at the same time as the first:
They choose to caption it this way (I had NO control in this matter), they HAD my original caption: “The wreckage of a downed Israeli jet that was targeting Hizballah trucks billows smoke behind a Hizballah gunman in Kfar Chima, near Beirut. Jet fuel set the surrounding area ablaze.”

I'm beginning to think that a major shakeup needs to happen in the editorial desks of just about every wire service. For this to continually happen means that somebody sitting in the Editor's chair is either (a) deliberately trying to shape the news, a gross violation of the public trust placed in them, or they are (b) too completely incompetent to distinguish facts and circumstances from the photographic and captional evidence presented to them.

Bruno, my hat's off to you for sharing your story so openly. Crossposted at NewsBusters.

Others discussing this article: LGF, Michelle Malkin, Allahpundit, RiehlWorldView, ProteinWisdom, Ace of Spades, Radio Hounds, The Jawa Report. Remember folks, you read it here first!

 Tags: bruno stevens #Israel/Lebanon War 2006


Comments:

#1 Ace of Spades HQ 14-Nov-2006
This is pretty big. Remember this photo? It appeared on Time magazine's cover, illustrating the wanton destruction Israel was wreaking on Lebanon. And, supposedly, the wreckage of an Israeli jet shot down in noble defense of the oppressed Lebanese. In...
#2 ric ottaiano 14-Nov-2006
this is absolutely outrageous and disgusting...i remember this story and photo when it was first released, and the subsequent "outing" of the caption, but this makes the matter even worse!! how anyone can trust the MSM for information is totally beyond me...
#3 The Jawa Report 14-Nov-2006
Remember the many fauxtography mysteries brought to you by the MSM in the recent Israeli-Hezbollah conflict? We helped solve at least one of those, but many more remained. For instance, we knew there was something fishy about this photo. We...
#4 Confederate Yankee 14-Nov-2006
Heads should roll. Early on in the Lebanon war, there was a photograph published by both U.S. News and World Report and Time Magazine, which according to captions published with the picture was of a burning Israeli jet, shot...
#5 TCO 16-Nov-2006
How does his caption clearly claim that there was no proof that the plane was downed? His quoted caption seems to refer to a downed plane? (Not even arguing a political point, just that your comments are not logical.)
#6 Brian 17-Nov-2006
From Bruno's remarks (see the block quote above),

*This caption clearly says that there is no proof that an Israeli jet had been shot down and that the objective was indeed to destroy a legitimate military target*.

The caption listed afterwards is what Time magazine printed, which was factually incorrect. It wasn't clear, the way Bruno explained it, but that is what he was trying to say.

Regards,
Brian
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