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Adnan Hajj: Staged and Faked

John on August 7, 2006 at 12:57 pm

Powerline has several good posts about Adnan Hajj, the Reuters photographer who was fired today after he was caught by Charles at LGF photoshopping extra smoke into one of his photos. In this post, Scott Johnson notes two photographs of the same destroyed buildings which are dated a week apart. Here they are:

beirut7-24.jpg

The caption on this one (above) reads 7-24-2006.

beirut8-5.jpg

The caption on this one (above) dates it 8-5-2006. Scott notes the identical building in the background. A quick scan of Yahoo news turned up this one.

beirut7-18.jpg

Same building again and apparently taken with the same lens, but this one is captioned 7-18-2006. What’s going on here? Did Adnan return to this site three times and take three seperate pictures from basically the same spot? Or did he take these the same day and then release them piecemeal? Either way it seems a bit dishonest. I’d love to hear from Reuters on that one.

One more Hajj photo worth highlighting. Again, Powerline has an excellent post up today titled Staging and Faking. In this one John Hinderaker says:

[I]n my opinion, a great many of his pictures were staged, and, in my judgment, that is the more significant offense.

In that regard, I’d like to submit this picture for your consideration:

burning-koran.jpg

The caption reads:

A copy of the Koran burns in southern Beirut after the Hizbollah stronghold was targeted by Israeli air strikes July 16,2006. Israeli air raids shook Beirut on Sunday, the fifth day of a devastating assault on Hizbollah and Lebanon that has prompted no U.N. Security Council action and only a mild plea for restraint from Israel’s U.S. ally. REUTER/Adnan Hajj.(LEBANON)

What are the chances that Hajj would just happen to come across a burning Koran laying open atop the rubble in the few moments before fire reduced it to ashes? Seems somewhat unlikely to me. What’s very clear, in light of the Newsweek Koran-flushing scandal, is the propaganda value of this photo in the Muslim world.

Update: It’s only been an hour, but I’ve already got an update. Below is a photo taken by Hajj, dated 7-18-06:

hajj-7-18.jpg

Here’s another photo taken by Hajj on 7-23-06:

hajj-7-23.jpg

Note the building in the background. Again it appears Hajj either returned to a scene of picturesque wreckage for additional shots almost a week later, or he took both shots at the same time and filed them with Reuters five days apart. Either way it’s fishy.

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