Something is fishy over at Reuters. The news wire has been caught distributing what appear to be staged photographs of Gaza power outages. Check out the two photographs above, taken by Gaza-based Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem.
The captions for the pictures read “Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008.”
Except… look closely at the pictures. Is that sunlight steaming in through the windows? Yes. Yes it is. They’re holding a parliamentary session by candlelight during the daytime.
Now allegations from anonymous Palestinian journalists are coming out, reporting that the photographs were staged by Hamas for the benefit of the international press:
“They had closed the curtains in the rooms to create the impression that Hamas leaders were also suffering as a result of the power stoppage,” one journalist told The Jerusalem Post. “It was obvious that the whole thing was staged.” Another journalist said he and his colleagues were told to wait for a few minutes before entering the chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council so that each legislator would have time to light his candle.
While the pictures are quite obviously staged (after all, who would hold a meeting of Parliament by candlelight during daytime with the curtains drawn?), we’re even more suprised Reuters ran the pictures. Even an eight-year-old would have noticed something was up with these pictures… but apparently Reuters did not. Oh well.