Thursday, January 15, 2015

Words Fail Me . . .

So, just to show that odd behavior based on theological tenants isn't limited to adherents of any single religion, here's a story of an Israeli newspaper, HAMEVASER ('The Announcer') that photoshoped out the image of German Chancellor Angela Merkel from what looks to be becoming an iconic photo of world leaders marching in solidarity after the Paris terrorist attacks last week. Netanyahu and Abbas, Hollande and Merkel, all appear together in the forefront of the crowd -- except for readers of this one newspaper, for whom Merkel has vanished, with no sign to show she was ever there.

 At first I wondered if this could be due to anti-German sentiment, but no, the editor explains that it was "due to modesty concerns". It seems their audience (unidentified, but described as "ultra-orthodox") believes it "immodest" for pictures of women to appear in public; apparently members of this group do a lot of vandalism against posters, billboards, and advertisements.

What got me about the story was not the editor's rather incoherent attempt to explain that he had to do the censoring for the sake of the eight-year-old children who might see it, but the unknowns. Does this paper make sure, when deleting images of women, to mention in the text or accompanying caption that the woman in question was there? Do children whose parents belong to this group know what Golda Meir looked like, or even who she was? If Hilary Clinton were to become president, would this newspaper avoid printing her picture all the time she was in office, or would they devise some workaround to represent her without actually showing her?

Questions, no answers.

Here's the link

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