This photo ran in the Hasidic Jewish newspaper Der Tzitung, but with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counterterrorism analyst Audrey Thomason removed. (Photo Credit: Public Domain/White House)

The news photo of the Osama bin Laden war room has quickly become iconic in the annals of U.S. politics. Yet readers of the Hasidic Jewish newspaper Der Tzitung might have no idea that Hillary Clinton or counterterrorism analyst Audrey Thomason were in the room, as the paper’s editors decided to erase the women from the photo. That the White House released the photo to media outlets under the stipulation that the photograph could not be altered may only be the beginning of the trouble Der Tzitung may face for attempting to alter history.

The deceit of Photoshopping history

Rabbi Jason Miller of Detroit, Mich., reports for The Jewish Week that the image in its original form was far from offensive. Clinton is wearing a long-sleeved blazer and is covering her mouth, no doubt shocked by the intensity of the bin Laden raid. All that is visible of Thomason is her head. However, the editors of Der Tzitung chose not to print images of the women in concert with its interpretation of ultra-Orthodox Jewish laws regarding sexually suggestive images. The rest of the photo remained unaltered.
Miller suggests that by editing Clinton and Thomason out, Der Tzitung changed history, which could conceivably violate the Jewish legal principle of g’neivat da’at, or deceit. Photoshopping (or “Fauxtograpphing,” as Miller calls it) an image arguably alters the truthful depiction of events. The White House released the bin Laden war room photo to the media with the following disclaimer:

“This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.”

Der Tzitung’s reply

Der Tzitung admitted in a statement that the newspaper’s photo editor failed to notice the “fine print” added to the photo by the White House and acknowledged that the it should not have published the altered photo. The publication stated that “the Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender” and that it “respects all government officials.”

However, Der Tzitung also reminds all that it adheres to Constitutional tenet of freedom of religion and believes that takes precedence over freedom of the press. The newspaper argues that it does not relegate women to a lower status but does not publish pictures of women due to religious laws involving modesty:

“We are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.”


The Jewish Week:
Wikipedia entry for Hasidic Judaism:

Hillary Clinton in the Osama bin Laden situation room

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]