The sight of a child’s plush toy laying outside the ruins of a bombed-out building is certainly a powerful image. As a photographer, it’s the kind of shot you could only dream of. Now imagine being lucky enough to stumble across that very scene, not just once, but three times–in just seven days. Such is the good fortune of Sharif Karim, whose photos have been published by the former contractor of Adnan Hajj, Reuters.
Judith Klinghoffer posts all three of Karim’s photos, and though to this untrained naked eye nothing is amiss, you have to ask: what are the odds? Heck, what are the odds of getting this shot once in a lifetime, let alone three times in the span of one week.
If the photos are indeed fixed, they might not be alone as staged in the “children’s toys outside devastated house” category. Klinghoffer also posts three other similar photos, each taken by a different photographer, one of which was published by Reuters and the other two by the AP.
Perhaps all six photos are legit. But given that Hezbollah during this war has clearly been aping the long and documented history of the Palestinian propaganda machine, any photo or purported news event must be judged with a much higher level of scrutiny. Given that none of these photos should be afforded the benefit of the doubt, how have all of them been granted worldwide distribution by the planet’s top two newswires?
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