Monday, August 07, 2006


Availing themselves of a flinty Charles Johnson (LGF), CNN frollicked on-screen today with the latest revelation brought to us by righty bloggers looking to skewer the mainstream media: smoking buildings of Beirut. The smoke, as Johnson points out, was altered in Photoshop. Altered! Oh, my god! one is expected to say. Oh, those terrorist-loving, pantywaist journalists love to court Hezbollah and make Beirut look like it is being bombed to smithereens by Israel, when, in fact ... it is being bombed to smithereens by Israel. Except with different billows of smoke.

I am completely unable to gleen just what the photoshopping of already smoking buildings was supposed to indicate to the LGF/Malkin crowd. Maybe they now are convinced that Beirut is not aflame, that the wholesale destruction of swaths of the city is not actually happening.

I doubt that, but that is really not the point. Just as with Rathergate, righty bloggers are not calling to question the events taking place, but only the provenance of the documentation describing facts that are already known. Bush did have a flaky term with the Texas Air National Guard, but by frothing about a few documents that further described what was already well-known, the focus moved from the content to the purveyors of the so-called fraud. And Bush's record in TANG was never questioned again, even as Kerry's Vietnam service was, amazingly, being used against him. It worked like a charm. I doubt the current effort will be quite as successful in distracting the media this time, though, as Israel continues to pound Beirut.

But Johnson must be giddy with the accolades from his fellow bloggers and CNN. I can't help but note that the phrase "photoshopped smoke" connotes so much more than what Johnson probably thinks it does.


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