Dan Gainor

Either way, they violate journalist practice and they violate Reuters voluminous guidelines to proper journalism. Here is an organization that vows everything it does is done “with the utmost integrity.” It lies.

Check out the integrity section of their Handbook of Journalism. Under the “dealing with people” section it says “When covering people in the news, Reuters journalists:

• Avoid needless pain and offense

• Treat victims with sensitivity

• Eschew gossip about the private lives of public figures

• Avoid sensationalism and hype

Running this photo runs afoul of every one of those standards. Reuters staff aren’t commenting.

Perhaps they are contacting Hustler’s Larry Flynt for lawyer referrals.

This isn’t the first instance of insanity from the Reuters photo department. In the Mideast, Reuters photographers might as well say they represent Hamas or Hezbollah and not any viable news organization. In the past few years, their photographers have been involved in multiple instances of unethical behavior where they manipulate photos to make Israel look bad.

When the Israelis stopped the bogus aid flotilla to Gaza and so-called activists attacked the soldiers, Reuters photographers were there to spin things toward the pro-terror crowd. One photo showed an Israeli commando surrounded by attackers including one with a knife. The Reuters photo edited out the knife.

The fight at the flotilla caused an international crisis and Reuters tried to make Israel look guilty. That’s not the work of a news organization. It’s the effort of a propaganda arm.

In another case, the agency had to withdraw a photo of Israeli bombing of Lebanon to make the results look far worse. Ynetnews.com quoted Reuters' head of P.R. Moira Whittle admitting it:

"Reuters has suspended a photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to a photograph showing smoke billowing from buildings following an air strike on Beirut.”

But four years later the same lies are repeated.

There’s more. Want to find a photo of Obama looking messianic complete with halo? Start with Reuters.

Want to find a news organization claiming there was no media bias in the 2008 election, again start with Reuters. That time they claimed the bias was “largely unseen in presidential race.” Obviously, they didn’t look at their own reporting. But who can blame them?

Still, that’s a far cry from running dirty pictures of a 17-year-old girl to make money. That’s usually reserved for sleazy old men you wouldn’t want near your children. -- In other words, the Reuters photo staff.

And they wonder why the news industry is losing credibility. Credibility, much like the innocence they help destroy, is difficult to regain.

Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.