Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kaloogian Changes His Story

So, 2006 is shaping up to be the Year of Everything Being Someone Else's Fault. Ben Domenech's plagiarism is the fault of P.J. O'Rourke and William and Mary newspaper editors, who pasted huge swaths of other people's work into Domenech's original material, which, I suppose went uncommented on by Domenech because I guess he never read his own articles after they were published or was too stupid to complain. The bad news in Iraq is all the media's fault. President Bush can't figure out what to do about the failure of the Department of Homeland Security to move stacks of temporary trailers to the Gulf Coast (if only he could appoint someone to DHS over whom he would have purview...some sort of "secretary" or something.

Now, after being caught passing off a picture of Istanbul as downtown Baghdad, Howard Kaloogian has changed his website and his story. Apparently, the Istanbul picture was mistakenly placed on his website by his webmaster.

Okay. That's a pretty convenient explanation. It still doesn't explain how the original caption came to rest alongside the picture of Istanbul. Someone would have had to have told said webmaster, "Take this picture and place this caption alongside it." Unless of course, the webmaster fancies himself to be a budding Communications Director.

Well, said webmaster still has a job today, despite his embarrassing mistake, because now there's a new picture up:

With a new caption to accompany it:

Downtown Baghdad
We originally posted a photograph not of Baghdad, Iraq but from Istanbul, Turkey where our delegation traveled on the way home to the United States. We apologize for this mistake. We have corrected it with a photograph we took from Baghdad. We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.

They have "corrected it with a photograph [they] took from Baghdad." Hmmm. It looks an awful lot to me like this was a picture taken "from" nowhere near Baghdad. In fact, it looks an awful lot like a picture taken "from" some sort of aircraft, high above downtown Baghdad.

One is left to pick from one of two possible conclusions.

  1. Howard Kaloogian is a big fat liar.
  2. The person who took the picture was, in fact, in downtown Baghdad, and the odd "from an aircraft" perspective of the picture is because the photographer is several hundred feet tall and the ordinary cities of Earth look like puny miniature towns for ants. Also, despite being a giant, the photographer is too big a pussy to enlist in the armed forces and help fight the war on terror.

I shouldn't even HAVE to comment on Kaloogian's batshit contention that "...many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism." This is what is called a "straw man argument" in which accusations are levelled against people who do not exist.

NON EXISTENT JOURNALIST 1: Gosh, I sure hope we lose the war on terror so that I can be brutally subjugated or killed!

NON EXISTENT JOURNALIST 2: I know! Anything so that I can stop having to be a journalist!


SHAC said...

Option 3. The photographer was blown several hundred feet into the air by a car bomb and before he or she fell said, "Hey, that's the only view of non-war-ravaged Bahgdad I've ever seen -- better take a picture before I become one more civilian casualty in this unnecessary bloodbath!"

Anonymous said...

This is the best commentary on the photo flap I've seen yet.

Anonymous said...

See, I was thinking that maybe the photo was taken out of the window of their hotel room on the highest(and thereby hopefully the safest) floor of one of the tallest buildings in the city.

PK said...

Right, because we all know that the tallest buildings are the ones safest from terrorists.