THEY KNEW. BUT THEY PRINTED IT ANYWAY. That's the only interpretation I can put on an "Editor's Note" in today's Boston Globe apologizing for the publication of a photo showing pornographic depictions of rape. Here's the note:
A photograph on Page B2 yesterday did not meet Globe standards for publication. The photo portrayed Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and activist Sadiki Kambon displaying graphic photographs that they claimed showed US soldiers raping Iraqi women. Although the photograph was reduced in size between editions to obscure visibility of the images on display, at no time did the photograph meet Globe standards. Images contained in the photograph were overly graphic, and the purported abuse portrayed had not been authenticated. The Globe apologizes for publishing the photo.
In other words, at some point editors realized the pictures that Turner and Kambon were showing off were too graphic to be published - but rather than remove the photo altogether, they simply shrunk it down and hoped no one would notice.
This isn't good. For crying out loud, this is a paper that killed Doonesbury a couple of weeks ago because B.D. shouted out "son of a bitch!" after he learned that his leg had been blown off. What are these people thinking?
I do believe it's ombudsman Christine Chinlund's week to write this coming Monday.
Meanwhile, the Boston Herald is having fun with this today. Inevitably, the tabloid reports that the Globe is "reeling" from the mistake (how does one reel?), and points out that the photos obtained by Kambon had already been exposed by the website WorldNetDaily.com as porn shots being passed off as evidence of American atrocities. The Herald quotes a statement from Globe editor Martin Baron:
"This photo should not have appeared in the Globe," editor Martin Baron said in a statement. "First, images portrayed in the photo were overly graphic. Second, as the story clearly pointed out, those images were never authenticated as photos of prisoner abuse. There was a lapse in judgment and procedures, and we apologize for it."
The story also recycles some of Globe reporter Donovan Slack's very candid quotes to WorldNetDaily.
An unusually long Herald editorial, headlined "Prouder Than Ever to Be an American," includes this swipe: "It's a nation where that daughter puts herself in harm's way to protect the freedom of the press which allows Boston Globe editors to run bogus photographs of American soldiers raping Iraqi women."
Not a proud moment for the folks on Morrissey Boulevard.
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