Famous tabloid accused of breach of journalistic ethicsLater last week, the 'National Enquirer' was hauled as the tabloid that had gone where no other tabloid had gone before, scooping to the lowest of lows by running fake photos of Anna Nicole Smith dead. But that wasn't by far the worst thing that the 'Enquirer' was accused of: various media outlets were quick to jump on board and point the finger at how said tabloid tried to fool people into believing that the photos were real.
The heading on the front page said 'Chilling Final Image of Anna Nicole Smith' and the fact that said photos were only the work of Photoshop was mentioned at the bottom of the page in fine print. When confronted, the editor in chief of the 'Enquirer' said that the photos might as well be true, since they were 're-creations based on eyewitness accounts'. 'If you had our images side-by-side with the actual photos, I don't know if you'd be able to tell them apart', he added, as a means to convince the readers that what they were doing with publishing fake photos claiming to be real was still in the spirit of journalism.
Today, days after the glamour model has been laid to rest and the investigation in her death is nearing an end, a source close to the tabloid goes and spills the beans on the whole photo scandal, saying that the pictures were in fact real. Well, at least one of them was: while the larger pic had been obviously subject to lots of Photoshop, the inset (the source says) was taken with a cell phone in a Florida morgue, where Anna's body was laying, by an employee of the 'Enquirer'.
'The photos were real. They were taken with a cell phone. The "Enquirer" had to say that they were fake to protect their source. There are only a couple people who had that kind of access to the body.', the tipster tells PageSix. And, if his testimony is not enough to convince you how far the 'Enquirer' would go for a good photo, here is the opinion of a digital retouching artist who, speaking with 'Radar', had this to say about the larger photo printed in the tabloid: 'There's a definite difference between the neck and the chin. Also, the perspective of her face doesn't match the perspective of the body in the bag.'
The retouching artist also said that, while the smaller photo seems very real, it is obvious that someone also 'masked' it a bit to make it look as a fake. Many media outlets have already tried to contact David Perel, the editor in chief at the 'National Enquirer' for a comment, but all he had to say to accusations of breaching journalistic ethics was 'I won't talk about sources. I don't have photos of the body'.
Keep an eye on this space for more information on the phony/real photos scandal.