Classic Fauxtography Error: USA Today's 2005 Retouching AP Image of Condi Rice

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Look at those evil-looking retouched eyes in the image on the right. USA Today's original 2005 caption--"Rice aimed to reassure jittery lawmakers over the course of the war in Iraq"--first described a doctored image they published that would have not reassured anyone, let alone lawmakers. USA Today soon apologized for the botched retouching and replaced it with Mikhail Metzel's un-retouched AP photo, on left.

Certain “fauxtography” or doctored photo cases are repeated throughout the net. Here is one of the classics: a doctored image in USA Today of former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice that was found by bloggers,  in 2005. USA Today quickly admitted they had taken an Associated Press (AP) image of Dr. Rice by Mikhail Metzel and retouched the eyes.

Here is USA Today’s apology and explanation in toto:

Editor’s note: The photo of Condoleezza Rice that originally accompanied this story was altered in a manner that did not meet USA TODAY’s editorial standards. The photo has been replaced by a properly adjusted copy. Photos published online are routinely cropped for size and adjusted for brightness and sharpness to optimize their appearance. In this case, after sharpening the photo for clarity, the editor brightened a portion of Rice’s face, giving her eyes an unnatural appearance. This resulted in a distortion of the original not in keeping with our editorial standards.” Posted 10/19/2005 7:44 AM: Updated 10/26/2005 3:33 PM.

I found the Rice photo debacle included in a good list, titled, “10 News photos that took retouching too far” posted on the 10, web site.

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Classic Fauxtography Error: USA Today’s 2005 Retouching AP Image of Condi Rice

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