Drudge Report plays up AP photo of Bush with 'devil horns'

Mike Sheehan
Published: Thursday December 21, 2006
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"BUSH 'DEVIL HORNS' PIC HITS WIRES..." blared the headline at the right-wing Drudge Report.

The site suggests that an Associated Press photograph of President Bush, credited to Lawrence Jackson, had intentionally been taken at an angle, or otherwise changed or cropped by the news organization, to portray the president in an evil light. Bloggers were quick to put their own spin on the charge by the Drudge Report, which follows several recent press photos that have come under fire for various forms of alteration.

A commenter at Hot Air had this to say of the "horns" shot:

It's not the photographer. Lawrence Jackson is a good photographer with no history of this type of thing, but the cropping is obvious. Why would you crop a photo almost to his chin, and then so high above his head unless you were purposely attempting to frame in the "horns?"

It is unknown at the present time if the AP has issued a public comment about what, if anything, was done to the picture of the president.

This latest alleged "photo manipulation" compares with a slew of press photos taken earlier in Bush's tenure that made him appear remarkably "holier"--such as this 2003 AP photo by Charles Dharapak, in which the president's head seems to be surrounded by a spectral halo. The "halo" is in fact a presidential seal mounted on the wall behind him, faded out in the distance--not unlike the somewhat clearer seal in the Drudge-hyped picture.

The Drudge Report has since taken the "devil horns" headline off the page, but it remains in their archives.