Thursday, December 01, 2005

MoveOn Caught Altering Photos In Anti-Iraq Ad

A couple of days ago, MoveOn was caught with a silly mistake in an anti-Iraq ad shown over the Thanksgiving holiday. The ad bemoans "A hundred and fifty thousand American men and women are stuck in Iraq," while showing this scene.

It turns out that these are British soldiers, not U.S. troops. Note specifically the one soldier in shorts, which is not a typical U.S. combat uniform. I did find it humorous that the good people of MoveOn, who are so concerned with the welfare of the U.S. soldiers in Iraq, can't even take the time to identify them. However I didn't consider it blog-worthy until I saw this follow-up (hat tip Instapundit).

It seems that MoveOn posted a still of the video on the web site and digitally altered the soldier in shorts to be wearing pants.

I detest digitally altered photographs used in news stories. But I find this alteration baffling. Why did they remove shorts? Did they know the still wasn't of U.S. troops? If so, why didn't they find some footage of U.S. troops--it can't be hard to acquire.

MoveOn has pulled the anti-Iraq ad admits the criticism.
James Taranto, the author of the column, wrote that the Army captain was "an old friend" of his who emailed with his criticism. The captain was quoted as calling the TV ad "completely offensive" and "a Bush-bashing ad" that "shows turkey and crying wives and blames Bush for it all."

As "the idiots from ... pretend to argue on my behalf, they show a group of soldiers standing around a table in the Middle East," the captain reportedly wrote and added that the individuals in the photo were "actually British soldiers.

"One is in shorts (we don't have shorts as a normal combat uniform), and the others are all clearly wearing British pattern fatigues," the Army captain wrote, noting that people at "don't even know what an American soldier looks like!"
The Opinion Journal wonders if MoveOn's dishonesty is simply pathological. I'm tempted to agree.