Update III: A Yiddish-speaking factchecker informs me I’ve been incorrectly transliterating the titles of the newspaper. It is Di Tzeitung, or “The Newspaper.” I’m sorry about the mistake, and thanks for the fix!
Update II: Read more about this story and about the second photoshopped image here.
Update: Di Tzeitung responded in an emailed statement, that the photo editor did not read the fine print on the picture and the newspaper has since apologized to the White House and State Department. “In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status... Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.” Read the full statement at the bottom of the post.
Di Tzeitung confirms it is their front page, but has not commented on their decision yet.
(For a breakdown of the real Situation Room photograph, check out some of the Post’s experts explain the decor, the posture and the food.)
Correction: An earlier version of this blogpost stated that it violated the White House’s copyright. As Dave, a BlogPost reader points out, that the U.S. government cannot, under law, hold copyrights to any work it produces. “Anything created by the government is in the public domain from the moment of inception.” As another reader, Don, points out, “The US Government most certainly can hold copyrights that it receives via transfer or assignment - if someone else does the work and they buy it,” but not to any work it creates.
Update: Full statement by Di Tzeitung.
The White House released a picture showing the President following “live” the events in the apprehension of Osama Bin Laden, last week Sunday. Also present in the Situation Room were various high-ranking government and military officials. Our photo editor realized the significance of this historic moment, and published the picture, but in his haste he did not read the "fine print" that accompanied the picture, forbidding any changes. 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.
The allegations that religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel. The current Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, was a Senator representing New York State with great distinction 8 years. She won overwhelming majorities in the Orthodox Jewish communities in her initial campaign in '00, and when she was re-elected in '06, because the religious community appreciated her unique capabilities and compassion to all communities. The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender, race, etc.
We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders, and there is no mention of gender in such prayers.
All Government employees are sworn into office, promising adherence to the Constitution, and our Constitution attests to our greatness as a nation that is a light beacon to the entire world. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. (See below.) That has precedence even to our cherished freedom of the press! In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.
We are proud Americans of the Jewish faith, and there is no conflict in that, and we will with the help of the Almighty continue as law-abiding citizens, in this great country of our's, until the ultimate redemption.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.