The unsung heroes of any news operation, any editor will tell you, are editors. They're the ones who are supposed to catch mistakes or look at content through a different prism to make sure what their news organization "publishes" can't be taken the wrong way.
The Associated Press apologized today for the caption that went with the picture, which apparently wasn't particularly clear. So it reworded it... after the fact:
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney poses for photographs with students of Fairfield Elementary School, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, in Fairfield, Va. A student, right, reacts as she realizes Romney will crouch down directly in front of her and her classmates for the group photo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
In a news release today, AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll explained:
"The original caption on the photo of Gov. Romney taken Monday at a Virginia school was literally correct -- it said the governor was posing for photos with schoolchildren. But it was too generic and missed the boat by not explaining exactly what was happening. The student with the surprised expression had just realized that the governor was going to crouch down in front of her for the group photo.
"We amended the caption on Tuesday with that explanation, but by then many people had seen the photo and were confused by or angry about it. Those generic captions help us process a large number of photos on a busy campaign day, but some photos demand more explanation and we fell short of our own standards by not providing it in this case."
Not unexpectedly, people saw a conspiracy...
I wonder if Bill O. would like to specualte on the political motivations of Michael E. Samojeden, the AP photographer who took the iconic "Dukakis in a tank" photo?
Brings a whole new meaning to "trickle-down."