Di Tzeitung, the Brooklyn-based Hasidic newspaper that Photoshopped Secy. of State Hillary Clinton and Counterterrorism Director Audrey Tomason from the now-famous situation room photo has explained its actions by posting a statement on its website, which we’ve excerpted here. The excerpt is unedited, however any emphasis added is ours.
Our editorial policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board and because of laws of modesty, does not allow for the publishing of photos of women. The readership of the Tzeitung believe that women should be appreciated for who they are and what they do, not for what they look like, and the Jewish laws of modesty are an expression of respect for women, not the opposite.
The allegations by some, that Orthodox Judaism denigrates women or do not respect women in public office,is a malicious slander and libel. The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based or gender, race, etc.
The current Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, was for eight years, a Senator representing New York State with great distinction. She won overwhelming majorities in the Orthodox Jewish communities in her initial campaign in ’00, and when she was re-elected in ’06 it was because the religious community, among others, appreciated her unique capabilities, talents and compassion for all.
We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders.
In retrospect, we apologize for any misunderstanding that this might have caused. We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department.
Notice that they haven’t conveyed any regrets or apologies directly to Clinton or Tomason — only to the agencies they work for. Also notice they aren’t apologizing for what constitutes wiping these women out of history (which is disrespectful and just not good journalism, no matter how you try to justify it) — only for altering a photo with an explicit warning that it “may not be manipulated in any way.” Wiping two woman out of a photo that shows them at one of the most defining moments of their careers hardly seems like a good way to appreciate them “for who they are and what they do.”
But that’s just what we think. Sound off on what you think about the photo and the photoshopping in the comments.