Friday, November 9, 2012

HP Bias in Pictures: Putin Photo Choice

The Huffington Post covered the news that Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin met with Israeli president Shimon Peres in Russia "for talks focusing on economic ties and international crises." The headline reads "Putin Meets with Shimon Peres, Israeli President." Any guesses what the picture should be for this article? Maybe a picture of Putin or Peres or perhaps the two of them together? Well, the Huffington Post decided to take a different route:

The Huffington Post instead chose to show Putin meeting with not Peres, but two of the most stereotypically Jews it could find. This is the caption for the photograph:
"In this Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, meets with chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, left, and chairman of Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Boroda at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)"
The picture is of a completely different meeting with different people on a different day. So why did the Huffington Post chose this picture? What kind of news service just slaps together tangentially related photos and articles?

Most other news services either chose not to include a picture or, in the case of Ha'aretz, show an old picture of Peres and Putin together. But most news services aren't hoping to generate comments like these two (both HuffPost approved).

Anti-Semitic comments based purely on appearance? Another success for the biased Huffington Post editors!

Several hours after posting, the HP updated the picture:

But the damage had already been done.

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