August 08, 2006

Is Adnan Hajj Two People?

UPDATE: I was wrong. Reuters responds and I have independent verification from Fox News that the two are different. See update here.

Does Adnan Hajj have a second identity? A Rusty Shackleford to his Dale Gribble, if you will? UPDATE: Hajj may still be employed by Reuters! Scroll down. Note: This is evidence, not proof. But it seems like enough evidence to demand answers from Reuters.

Here is a Reuters photo by Adnan Hajj, dated July 23:

A Lebanese woman cries as she carries belongings from her home which was hit by an Israeli air strike in south Beirut July 23, 2006. REUTERS/Adnan Hajj (LEBANON)

Here is a Reuters photo from the same day by Issam Kobeisi. Seems kinda similar.

A Lebanese woman cries as she carries belongings she founded in the wreckage of her home that was targeted by the Israeli air strikes,in southern Beirut July 23, 2006. REUTERS/Issam Kobeisi (LEBANON)

Who is Issam Kobeisi? Does this one look familiar?

A Lebanese woman wails after looking at the wreckage of her apartment, in a building, that was demolished by the Israeli attacks in southern Beirut July 22, 2006. REUTERS/Issam Kobeisi

Is it possible that Reuters is sending two checks to Adnan Hajj? That his crimes go deeper than simple doctoring of photos? Are the editors at Reuters that lazy that they didn't notice that one of Hajj's photos is identical to that of Issam Kobeisi?

Or is this just a mislabelled photo attributed to the wrong journalist?

For what it's worth, Reuters has not used a single photo by "Issam Kobeisi" since Adnan Hajj was fired. UPATE: Looks like there are various ways to spell his name. Also spelled Issam Kobeisy.......and still working for Reuters.

Hat tip to Mrs Abe Froman who found the photos.

And just to clarify, this is not a slam dunk case. We're in the investigation stage still.

UPDATE: Variations on a theme? Way more evidence & updates below.

All of Hajj's photos have been taken off of Yahoo News. But Dan Riehl has this photo and caption attributed to Hajj. I've reduced the quality some to save on bandwidth, but Dan has the original.

A Lebanese man carries belongings he found in the wreckage of his home after it was targeted by the Israeli air strikes, in southern Beirut July 23,2006. (Adnan Hajj/Reuters)

Notice both the theme of the photo and the caption, this time by "Issam Kobeisi".

A Lebanese carries his belongings after his apartment was demolished by the Israeli attacks in southern Beirut July 22, 2006. REUTERS/Issam Kobeisi(LEBANON)

If you look through Kobeisi's photos, you find that they are very similar to Hajj's.

Of course, it's possible that this is nothing. That Reuters just attributed the photo to the wrong guy.

But, then again, why would a guy who has no problem photoshopping "missiles" into his pics have a problem with trying to collect two checks from Reuters?

Reuters admitted that the way photos were submitted from Beirut was pretty lax and, in response to the Hajj scandal, have changed their editorial process.

Filing drills have been tightened in Lebanon and only senior staff will now edit pictures from the Middle East on the Global Pictures Desk, with the final check undertaken by the Editor-in-Charge, Reuters said.
I hope I'm wrong.

UPDATE II: Okay, now tell me this is a coincidence.

Adnan Hajj photo:

Issam Kobeisi photo:

A Lebanese Hizbollah guerrilla looks at a fire in a Beirut suburb, July 17,2006. (Issam Kobeisi/Reuters)

UPDATE III: Okay, this is just ridiculous. Here are a series of Hajj and Kobeisi/Kobeisy photos lined up in a row. Drinking from Home notes that they are all photos from two Reuters photographers. Just scroll down and note who took each photo.

UPDATE IV: Another interesting thing. While I found a fairly large Google trace of Adnan Hajj when I first began to investigate him, there is no Google trace of Issam Kobeisi/Kobeisy before mid July of this year. The date of the first Hajj photoshop? July 26.

In addition to being a stringer for Reuters, Hajj is also an editor at as Safir. Why is that important?

We know that as Safir is an openly anti-Israel Arabic news outlet in Lebanon. Right Winged has this excellent expose of them here.

The entire website is very similar to the dozens of Islamist websites that I visit. The main theme of these websites is almost always that Muslims are victims of some outside force. They use images of dead women and children to reinforce this, always blaming the outsider for their predicament. This "news" website is no different.

On a hunch, I found this story, which is the top story of the day. The photo caption says it is of a "Civil Defense worker taking the body of a dead child out of the collapsed al Shia building."


The photo is attributed to Reuters. No journalist is attributed.

But look at this photo of the same "civil defense worker" and this one.

Photographer: Issam Kobeisy

A photograph by "Issam Kobeisy" being published by a news agency where Adnan Hajj happens to be an editor. Coincidence?

But if that wasn't bad enough, check out the time stamp on the two Reuters photos attributed to Kobeisy. The same guy pulling out the same body.

First photo: Aug 08 6:37 AM
Second photo: Aug 08 6:55 AM

18 minutes. With the same body. On top of the same pile of rubble. Think about it.

More on the related and sitll developing scandals here.

Another update: And speaking of parading the bodies of dead children around.

More wailing women photos linked to "Kobeisy/Kobeisi" here and here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:45 PM | Comments |