Well-known photojournalist David Hume Kennerly is ripping mad at Newsweek for cropping his photo of Dick Cheney and his family to make it look like the former vice president is picking over the remains of a small animal. (Be sure to click through so that you can see the before and after pictures.)
Appropriately enough (make that inappropriately enough), the photo was used to illustrate something Cheney had said about torture, of which he’s all in favor.
Noting that Newsweek had taken a picture of a warm family scene and cropped it so that it looked like an animal sacrifice, with Cheney as the knife-wielding priest, Kennerly writes:
This radical alteration is photo fakery. Newsweek’s choice to run my picture as a political cartoon not only embarrassed and humiliated me and ridiculed the subject of the picture, but it ultimately denigrated my profession.
Kennerly’s right on target, as the lame response from a Newsweek spokesman makes clear. The photo was tortured into something that it was not. As a result, it’s not journalism, either.