The whole media storm over the doctored photo of the National Security Team in the Situation Room (being briefed with the president and vice president on the Osama Bin Laden raid) has raised many questions and additional controversy.
Yesterday, I took part in an ad hoc Facebook forum moderated by journalist Steven I. Weiss that centered on the ethics of altering photographs. The interesting discussion touched on several aspects of the story including whether it is ever ethical to alter a photo. In my opinion, this is a “gut decision.” That is to say, touching up a photo to improve the lighting or to remove a few blemishes from a person’s face is acceptable. However, airbrushing an ex-girlfriend out of a group photo might feel good, but it alters the record of reality.
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