When I attended the Shore Leave Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention last month, I saw a T-shirt that I almost bought. It read: “I Am The Dread Pirate Roberts #73249. Ask Me About Franchise Possibilities In Your Area.” (The same vendor sold me this T-shirt.)
I was reminded of that when the whole Adnan Hajj/Reuters photo flap came up.
A couple of bloggers digging into his photos have noticed that Mr. Hajj is an amazingly prolific photographer, and really gets around. Perhaps around more than any one man physically can.
Now, this is purely speculation, with virtually no evidence to back it up, but I find myself wondering: could Mr. Hajj been more than just a photographer? Could he have been a clearinghouse for staged and faked photos, passing off the collective work of a whole group of fauxtographers all generating pro-Hezbollah, anti-Israel propaganda? And could he have traded on his own past accomplishments with Reuters to get those photos out to the world through the willing dupes, the “useful idiots” at Reuters?
If so, then the next logical question is this: if such a group exists, what is to prevent them from simply finding another front man to channel the propaganda stream? It’s a win-win for all concerned; the front man gets paid for the photos, while the propagandists get their work put out on a world stage.
I guess we’ll just have to trust the multiple layers of editors, fact-checkers, and professionals at Reuters and the other wire services to make sure it doesn’t happen.
No, I have NO idea how I wrote that last sentence without dissolving into hysterical laughter.