Immoral Nuclear Relativism

One is an ultra-repressive communist dictatorship in North-East Asia; the other is the only real democracy in the MidEast. One recently tested a nuclear device and has previously shared missile technology with Syria and Iran; the other stands with the West on the frontline of the battle against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Two states that could hardly be further apart. However, the usually sound Sky News chose to run a feature on Israel’s purported nuclear capabilities in the aftermath of North Korea’s alarming nuclear test. Correspondent Ian Woods states that “nowhere did any [Israeli media] reports mention what is the country’s worst kept secret. Israel is a member of the nuclear mafia.”

This so-called “mafia” includes the USA, UK, Russia, France, China, India and Pakistan, while Iran aspires to join this club. Yet, Sky prefers to concentrate solely on Israel. While Woods’ report is neither ground-breaking nor particularly controversial, HonestReporting finds it somewhat strange that Sky has attributed any moral relativism between North Korea and Israel.

Indeed, it is perfectly legitimate to disagree with nuclear weapons in anyone’s hands. HonestReporting, however, calls on subscribers to be alert for dubious comparisons between Israel and North Korea in the media, as well as anti-nuclear campaigns designed specifically to single out Israel at the expense of the other members of the nuclear club. This particularly applies to Iran, in whose hands nuclear weapons would represent an existential threat to Israel and a danger to all states in the region.

For more on the issues surrounding Israel’s purported nuclear capabilities see Mitchell Bard’s Myths & Facts.

PHOTOGRAPHER EXPLAINS NYTIMES CAPTION ERROR

Tyler Hicks, the photographer behind this image from the recent Lebanon conflict explains how his original caption was changed to misrepresent the photo (Hat tip: Solomonia):

“My caption, as filed to The New York Times, was verbatim as follows:

“TYRE, LEBANON. WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2006: Israeli aircraft struck and destroyed two buildings in downtown Tyre, Lebanon Wednesday evening. As people searched through the burning remains, aircraft again could be heard overhead, panicking the people that a second strike was coming. This man fell and was injured in the panic to flee the scene. He is helped by another man, and carried to an ambulance. (Photo: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times)”

The New York Times published this photograph in the next day’s newspaper. The caption published in the newspaper read as follows:

“After an Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Tyre, Lebanon, yesterday, one man helped another who had fallen and was hurt. Cars packed with refugees snaked away from the town. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times)”

The problem came later when this photograph appeared among a slide show of my photographs on The New York Times website. The web published the following caption:

“The mayor of Tyre said that in the worst-hit areas, bodies were still buried under the rubble, and he appealed to the Israelis to allow government authorities time to pull them out.”

As you can see, the caption was totally misleading. I received an apology from the person responsible at the website, stating that the photo had been captioned from “?a generic sentence taken from the article [written by the reporter] that made it appear the man was injured in the attack instead of the aftermath. We should have used the caption information you filed with the photo?”

As soon as it was noted, they updated the website, with a correction, and changed the caption, to coincide with the caption as filed by myself and correctly published in the newspaper earlier.

Photographers are also reporters, and writing a correct caption is as important as taking an honest picture. I was content with the apology; what happened was done and I decided to allow this issue to rest on its own. Unfortunately it’s continued to surface and I?m now taking the opportunity to let people know that I was not at fault in this case. I work hard to take honest photographs and I hope for those efforts to be truly and positively received by those who view them.

We will see more of this kind of blogging activity in the future, and it should be welcomed, but it should be understood that things aren’t always as they appear on the surface.”

HonestReporting commends Hicks for his explanation and hopes that this incident serves as an example to newspaper editors to be more careful with their captions in the future.

 

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