Economist Photoshops Obama Cover, Doesn’t Care What You Think About It

obamashoop07062010.jpgPro-capitalism British weekly The Economist will alter cover photos as heavily and as often as it pleases, just at has been doing for quite some time.

The few people who weren’t too busy nursing post-Independence Day hangovers yesterday would’ve noticed a post on The New York Times‘ Media Decoder blog calling attention to some fairly aggressive editing on the cover of The Economist‘s June 19 issue. In transposing a Reuters photo of President Obama to its cover, The Economist cropped Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen out of the frame and then mercilessly hacked Louisiana politician Charlotte Randolph out from right under Obama’s nose.

“It was the ideal metaphor for a politically troubled president,” said the Times. “The problem was, he was not actually alone. The photograph was just edited to make it look that way.”

The Times then quotes Economist deputy editor Emma Duncan, who basically says she doesn’t see what the big deal is and everybody needs to get over this:

We often edit the photos we use on our covers, for one of two reasons. Sometimes — as with a cover we ran on March 27 on U.S. health care, with Mr. Obama with a bandage round his head — it’s an obvious joke.


I asked for Ms. Randolph to be removed because I wanted readers to focus on Mr. Obama, not because I wanted to make him look isolated. That wasn’t the point of the story. “The damage beyond the spill” referred to on the cover, and examined in the cover leader, was the damage not to Mr. Obama, but to business in America.