Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Photo captions and MSM fact-checkers

John Hinderaker spots a familiar type of error in ABC's reporting:
Today, ABC News reports on the story. They get off on the wrong foot with a picture of Miss USA, Rachel Smith, just after she slipped and fell down during the evening gown competition. The photo has an erroneous caption by the Associated Press:
Monday was a rough night for Miss USA Rachel Smith. After being booed by the crowd during the interview portion of the Miss Universe pageant, she fell during the evening gown competition.

Actually, as I described here, the evening gown competition preceded the interviews; only the final five contestants answered a question. So the AP got this simple fact sequence wrong, even though the event was observed by many millions of people.

This is similar to the Lebanon fauxtography scandals in which, among other things, photos were given false captions.  It seems that MSM caption writers often know no more about the subject than what they see in the photo.

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