Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Just when I thought Fox couldn't be more evil...

The NYTimes has picked up on a story first covered by Media Matters for America:

Below is a screenshot of Fox & Friends featuring the photo it used of Steinberg, with the original photo on its left. Comparing the two photos, it appears that the following changes have been made: Steinberg's teeth have been yellowed, his nose and chin widened, and his ears made to protrude further.

More on the story "Fox News airs altered photos of NY Times reporters at Media Matters for America

Writes David Carr in the NYTimes:
...In a technique familiar to students of vintage German propaganda, his ears were pulled out, his teeth splayed apart, his forehead lowered and his nose was widened and enlarged in a way that made him look more like Fagin than the guy I work with. (Mr. Steinberg told me that as a working reporter who covers Fox News, he was not in a position to comment. A spokeswoman said the executive in charge of “Fox and Friends” is on vacation and not available for comment but added that altering photos for humorous effect is a common practice on cable news stations.)

When I started calling around about Fox News, Mr. Lewis, the public relations head, made himself available on very short notice on the Fourth of July. He patiently explained that while yes, the game had changed, it was hardly in the way I was describing. There are no dark ops, he said, and no blacklist — “a myth” — only good relationships and bad ones.

Mr. Lewis said that members of his staff were not in the business of altering photos, that they had no control over stories that appeared on “Fox and Friends” or other shows, and he pointed out that it makes their job harder when they go after reporters. He called my suggestion that there was something anti-Semitic about the depiction of Mr. Steinberg “vile and untrue.” Mr. Lewis denied that his staff had threatened one of my colleagues or planted private information about him on blogs.

That comes as a surprise to reporters I talked to who say they have received e-mail messages from Fox News public relations staff that contained doctored photos, anonymous quotes and nasty items about competitors. And two former Fox employees said that they had participated in precisely those kinds of activities but had signed confidentiality agreements and could not say so on the record.