Monday, August 07, 2006

Reuters, AP, And The Crone

A Brit blog alleges AP is sharing the Reuters rent-a-crone to create spurious images from Lebanon. But I think this an innocent slip-up in AP's text creation department.

Reuters tells us the person had her Beirut condo zapped by the IAF on July 22, only to have AP report the Zionist Imperialists flattened her house in the Beirut burbs on August 5th! Drinking From Home opines:
Either this woman is the unluckiest multiple home-owner in Beirut, or something isn't quite right.
Here's the AP image and caption - used I believe several thousand times by the BBC:

A Lebanese woman reacts at the destruction after she came to inspect her house in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006, after Israeli warplanes repeatedly bombed the area overnight.

Can you react "at" things? Anyway, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation - AP lost the correct caption, which reads:

A Lebanese woman reacts at the poor progress of her builders on inspecting at her supposedly completed building project at the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006.

This must be true because the crone is standing in a typical Southern Med home construction site.

What happens here is the builder commits to a demanding schedule, takes 25% up front ("for zee materials"), drives an earth mover around the site in a desultory way, dumps some delicate equipment to rust (the blue Aircon unit behind her head), then vanishes. I live in a neighborhood littered with such testaments to human gullibility (although the crone count is lower).

On the other hand, the blue object may be a post-modern chicken coop, and someone may have pinched her chickens - that would explain her hand gestures ("The Zionist Peegs stole 10 chickens!").

No doubt AP will mount a full investigation and let us know the fate of the missing builders/chickens.