Just ask the Russians – running in an arms race can be awfully expensive. So you’ve got to hand it to the Iranians for figuring out an effective force multiplier: Digital photo editing.
See if you can guess which image of yesterday’s Iranian missile tests is real, and which one is bogus — and was reprinted by many of the world’s most prestigious news outlets today.
Photoshopping (or whatever tool they’re using) isn’t new to Middle East imagery – bogus photos have cropped up repeatedly from Lebanon, for instance. But this may be the first time we’ve seen evidence of it as a foreign policy tool. NYT:
Agence France-Presse said that it obtained the image from the Web site of Sepah News, the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, on Wednesday. But there was no sign of it there later in the day. Today, The Associated Press distributed what appeared to be a nearly identical photo from the same source, but without the fourth missile…
For its part, Agence France-Presse retracted its four-missile version this morning, saying that the image was “apparently digitally altered” by Iranian state media. The fourth missile “has apparently been added in digital retouch to cover a grounded missile that may have failed during the test,” the agency said.