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Non-Glamour: Bush \"Potty Note\" explained - and an interesting quote
Old 09-16-2005, 11:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Spotted this over on PDNOnline regarding the now infamous note....

"Reuters Explains Photo Of Bush Bathroom Note

September 15, 2005

By Daryl Lang

Don't blame the photographer.

That's the message from Gary Hershorn, a picture editor for Reuters, about the photo yesterday that shows President George W. Bush writing an all-too-human note during a UN meeting.

Bush is shown writing: "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible."

The photo, which quickly became fodder for blogs and e-mails among friends, was taken by Rick Wilking, a contract photographer based in Denver who recently covered the flooding in New Orleans.

Hershorn, Reuters' news editor for pictures for the Americas, says he's responsible for zooming in on the note and deciding to transmit the photo to Reuters clients. He says Wilking didn't know what the note said when he shot the picture.

"I'm so adamant that Rick has nothing to do with this. He was just the guy who pushed the button," Hershorn says.

In response to the attention the photo is getting, Reuters' spokeswoman in London released a two-sentence statement about the picture: "The photographer and editors on this story were looking for other angles in their coverage of this event, something that went beyond the stock pictures of talking heads that these kind of forums usually offer. This picture certainly does that."

So how did the picture happen?

According to Hershorn, Wilking was one of several photographers covering the United Nations Security Council meeting between about 11 and noon yesterday. He was part of a pool stationed on a balcony that faced Bush's back; a group of White House photographers was on a balcony facing the president.

Wilking shot about 200 images and sent two memory cards to the press room at the U.N., where Hershorn was working. Hershorn looked at the images on a computer and initially decided not to send any of them.

But a few hours later, he started to wonder about a note that Bush was seen writing in three of the pictures. Out of curiosity, he zoomed in to see if he could read it.

Once he saw what it said, Hershorn decided the note was interesting and worth publishing. The white parts of the picture were overexposed, so a Reuters processor used Photoshop to burn down the note. This is a standard practice for news photos, Hershorn says, and the picture was not manipulated in any other way.

Around 4:30 p.m., Reuters transmitted two versions of the photo, including one that was tightly cropped around the note and Bush's hand.

The caption says that Bush was writing the note to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice; Hershorn says Wilking saw Bush write the note and hand the note to Rice.

Hershorn says heads of state seldom attend Security Council meetings, and it's possible that Bush was simply asking his secretary of state what the proper protocol was to be excused.

Online, some accused Reuters, and the media in general, of being insulting or juvenile. A letter writer to Editor & Publisher wrote, "You ought to all be ashamed of yourselves for this stupid trivia and childish focus."

It's unclear how widely the picture was published; Hershorn says The (Toronto) Globe and Mail published it but he wasn't sure of any other outlets. Hershorn says he decided to transmit the picture because it was interesting.

"There was no malicious intent," he says. "That's not what we do.""

Here's the quote to ponder:

"I'm so adamant that Rick has nothing to do with this. He was just the guy who pushed the button," Hershorn says.

Is this how media in general views photographers, or just news media? Do you published photogs on this board have editors chopping and cropping your carefully composed images for effect? And does it get to you or is the check that gets cashed more important that your original artistic vision?

I realize that the example above is an extreme case, but still...."just the guy who pushed the button"? Kinda like saying the reporter is "just the guy who took down notes". Or is the role of an editor in news just far more intrusive?

David
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Holy cow. . .
Old 09-16-2005, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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do you mean to say that argueably the most powerful man in the world needs to potty break just like the rest of us? Why I'm just not giog to feel comfortable in a public john for fear of who I might be standing next to. Come to think of that maybe I should take comfort in that thought the next time I hear some politico trying to tell me how dumb I am. You know: "like your's don't stink"
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Re: Holy cow. . .
Old 09-16-2005, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
You know: "like your's don't stink"

[/ QUOTE ]

Your's stinks? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Hey, The "Ascension" painting in your profile is simply amazing. You're one talented man.

David
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Re: Non-Glamour: Bush \"Potty Note\" explained - and an interesting quote
Old 09-16-2005, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think he is trying to degrade the photographer. I think he was trying to release the photographer from liability saying he was the one who chose to edit and post the picture. The photographer may not have even known what the note said, just a random shot for him.
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Re: Non-Glamour: Bush \"Potty Note\" explained - and an interesting quote
Old 09-16-2005, 12:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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David, it's journalism not art. The crop was valid for news value. Superfluos and shallow but news nonetheless.
j.urdaneta
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Fraid so. . .
Old 09-16-2005, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Metamucil and beans does that to ya.
The Red guys sure got gipped last night. Hope the Blues do a little better a week from now. I have now favorites. It they's from in state I'm fer 'em.
Ascencion is a favorite of mine. Did you check out the stuff on MM:
http://modelmayhem.com/pics.php?id=15458
We have fun.



This gal and horse are from Syracuse and won some sort of state Championship.
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Re: Fraid so. . .
Old 09-16-2005, 01:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Metamucil and beans does that to ya.
The Red guys sure got gipped last night. Hope the Blues do a little better a week from now. I have now favorites. It they's from in state I'm fer 'em.
Ascencion is a favorite of mine. Did you check out the stuff on MM:
http://modelmayhem.com/pics.php?id=15458

[/ QUOTE ]

Just checked out your MM stuff. I'm a big fan of Splorin as well. Cool stuff.
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Re: Non-Glamour: Bush \"Potty Note\" explained - and an interesting quote
Old 09-16-2005, 07:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is what is sad about such "journalism". When Mr. William Henry Taft was president, he loved to play golf, but he was a VERY large man. The press would not photograph him from the waist down (out of respect for the man who is considered the most powerful on earth) because he looked to LARGE in pictures. In todays society, a President trys to get a bathroom break and the tabs will try and make him look as ridiculous as possible...

[ QUOTE ]
Superfluos and shallow but news nonetheless.


[/ QUOTE ]

The President needs to pee...newsworthy?? Not in my book...
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Re: Non-Glamour: Bush \"Potty Note\" explained - and an interesting quote
Old 09-16-2005, 07:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just wondering why george THINKS he needs to go to the bathroom. Does he not know whether he needs to really go or not?
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Re: Non-Glamour: Bush \"Potty Note\" explained - and an interesting quote
Old 09-16-2005, 07:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The only BUSH I want to see is............Never mind!!

This is OFF TOPIC!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]


JP
 
 
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