It was June 1971, when Ken Light snapped the young John Kerry at an anti-war rally in New York state. Jane Fonda never even attended, but that won’t stop a fauxtographer from changing “history” years later.
In 2004, Light’s image–now doctored–suddenly appeared as campaign propaganda. If seeing is believing then what the altered image says, loud and clear, is that then candidate John Kerry was in cahoots with Jane Fonda. Actor Fonda, an anti-war protester in her youth, angered much of America when she publicly met with American POWs as a guest of the enemy during the raging Viet Nam war. Since veterans still remain angry years later, a photo that combines Kerry and Fonda is effective propaganda indeed.
Ironically, it was a now UC Berkeley professor of journalism ethics, according to San Francisco Chronicle, whose “fabricated Kerry-Fonda photo was circulated with an identifying logo of the Associated Press and became the subject of talk show fodder after it was placed on many Web sites as evidence of Kerry’s ‘anti-American’ activities after his war service.”
The Chronicle stated that “Light said this week that the use — and misuse — of his copyrighted photo might result in legal action.” They reported that Corbis, Light’s agent and the AP were both investigating. ” ‘With modern technology, anybody can do it,” he [Light] said of the doctored photo of Kerry, now a 60-year-old, four-term Massachusetts senator. ‘Someone has to be really motivated and understand what they’re doing.’ ”
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Light also told the Chronicle: ” You become very concerned for democracy when you realize people are so angry, they’re desperately trying to find anything to tilt the direction of what people are thinking. ”
So what happened to the “threat of a lawsuit” in 2004, now that its 2009? StinkyJournalism plans to investigate this blast from the past and will update this report.
Final note: StinkyJournalism has demonstrated time and again that fake photos are an internationally applied way of issuing harmful propaganda during a political campaign. See the two Malaysian cases. Here and here. The Australian example. Also one example involving George Bush.