Monday, July 6, 2009

Peter Bronson Gets Busted for Posting a Photoshopped Picture of Al Franken...and Then Deletes the Entire Post

I have written criticisms of Cincinnati Enquirer columnist and blogger, Peter Bronson, in the past but this time will highlight an item that was posted by The Dean of Cincinnati over at The Cincinnati Beacon. (Full disclosure: I also contribute to the Cincinnati Beacon.)

Last week, Bronson posted a blog entry on July 1 saying that the joke was actually on Minnesota for electing Al Franken as their Senator. (I will address why I am not linking directly to his original entry in a moment). In his post Bronson wrote:

The new Franken-Senate may not be as congenial as his old cast and crew on Saturday Night Live. There will be defections, rejections, betrayals and walk-outs. And if they let Franken be Franken, he might embarrass his party and become a kick-me sign on the back of Democrats at election time. Meanwhile, Democrats are now running the federal Titanic and can no longer blame the icebergs on Republicans.

Or Franken might surprise us and become a pretty good Senator. (Cue the canned laughter.)

For now, if Republicans can find their misplaced sense of humor, there must be some great ads to be made from Franken’s clips and quips. Such as:

Is this who you want making decisions about your health care?

and then posted this picture:

As the Cincinnati Beacon pointed out, the only problem is that the photo was photoshopped (not by Bronson) and was debunked in 2006 by Think Progress. Ironically, a reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer also posted a piece debunking this photo in 2006. The Dean of Cincinnati wrote to Bronson and the Enquirer the following:

Dear Mr. Bronson,

I am writing to inform you that your recent blog item, “Minnesota - the joke is on you,” includes information that has been thoroughly debunked in 2006—and interestingly the information was debunked by Jon Craig on the Politics Extra blog. I would like to request formally, therefore, a correction and an apology on your blog for misleading your readers.

You included a photo of Al Franken where he appeared to be holding a stuffed animal and wearing diapers. However, that is a doctored photo. Here’s the proof from your own news organization:

You introduced this doctored photo without making any indication of its status as a fake. In fact, you suggested otherwise: “For now, if Republicans can find their misplaced sense of humor, there must be some great ads to be made from Franken’s clips and quips.” The phrase “Franken’s clips and quips” indicates that Franken owns the “clip” you provided, namely the doctored photo. But that is not true. The picture is a fake, and your item totally misleads your readers—unacceptable even for a columnist.

Please advise what steps you intend to take to remedy the situation, and I look forward to reading your reply.


[The Dean of Cincinnati]

So in the comment section of the original post, Bronson then posted:

PeterBronson wrote:

Yes, the photo of Franken in a diaper was apparently altered. But it’s not exactly a big reach to believe it could have come from one of his SNL skits. It resonates because people find it easy to see Franken that way.

7/6/2009 10:46 AM EDT

Interesting response that seems to justify Bronson's posting of the fake image in the first place..."It resonates because people find it easy to see Franken that way." That argument can be made to justify the posting of all sorts of inappropriate items, but I digress.

After this story was picked up by numerous other blogs, Bronson posted another entry entitled "Changing Al Franken's Diaper" in which he wrote:

Last week I posted a blog about comedian Al Franken joining the Senate (here), including a picture of Franken wearing bunny ears and a diaper.

Franken did many things on Saturday Night Live that could be embarrassing to a Senator. But apparently, that was not one of them. It turns out the picture was photoshopped.

We don't knowingly run false pictures, so I took it down and replaced it with another goofy picture of Sen. Franken.

So he replaced the one image in his original post with a new image. Apparently what Bronson meant by this, is that he would delete all evidence of the original posting by deleting that blog entry, which is what Bronson did. He actually links back to his original entry within the text of his corrected entry, but it jumps to this page.

So to recap, Peter Bronson posted a photoshopped picture (that was debunked in 2006)of Al Franken in order to make fun of his election to the Senate. Bronson gets caught by The Dean of Cincinnati who writes about the issue and writes a letter to Bronson asking for a correction. Bronson posts a comment in the original thread that admits that the picture was photoshopped, but justifies that it "resonates" with people because many can see Franken in that manner. After the item gets reposted and linked to at other blogs, Bronson posts another entry as a half-apology for posting a fake image and completely deletes the original entry from the record.

and this is the same guy who just posted an entry about the so-called "liberal media" unfairly attacking Sarah Palin.

1 comment:

Ethan Smith said...
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