Why Are AFP and Yahoo News Recycling An Old Photo?

Take a good look at the photo, the caption and the date, then ask yourself: What am I looking at? And what is this soldier looking at?

The caption was certainly strange: The image isn’t dated, but neither is it labeled as a “file photo.” I assumed it was photo of a recent air strike on Gaza — with a caption saying nothing about the image. In short, a gratuitous swipe at Israel, which Aussie Dave flagged on Yahoo News (Yahoo photo links get recycled pretty fast).

But then I started getting a familiar feeling. If you also have a feeling of deja vu, it’s for good reason.

I tracked down the photo at AFP/Getty Images. The original caption reads:

An Israeli soldier watches smoke billowing from Gaza following an Israeli airforce strike on January 11 , 2009. Tanks and warplanes pounded Gaza City before dawn on Sunday, hours after Israel warned it would escalate its war on Hamas targets, as the death toll in the 16-day-old conflict passed 850. AFP PHOTO / YOAV LEMMER

I’d sure like to know how the heck this two-year-old photo and extremely misleading caption ever saw the light of day on Yahoo News.  Has anyone spotted this problem elsewhere?