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Worst Excuse of the Decade

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Make sure you aren’t consuming any liquid substances when you read Reuters’ explanation of why Adnan Hajj concocted an entirely faked photograph of a nonexistent Beirut: Reuters drops freelance Lebanese photographer over image.

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Reuters, the global news and information agency, told a freelance Lebanese photographer on Sunday it would not use any more of his pictures after he doctored an image of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on Beirut. …

Reuters withdrew the doctored image on Sunday and replaced it with the unaltered photograph after several news blogs said it had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more smoke. Reuters has strict standards of accuracy that bar the manipulation of images in ways that mislead the viewer.

The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under,” said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

“This represents a serious breach of Reuters’ standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him,” Whittle said in a statement issued in London. Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff freelance, or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.

Notice they don’t accept any of the blame themselves, even though any competent editor should have noticed the fraudulent nature of this photograph long before it reached the newswires.

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