Obamideal: Magazine Photoshops Prez Image for Cover, Is It Ethical?

A few days ago Noel Sheppard brought to us the story of yet another example of how the star struck media is fawning over President Obama. But, when the story first broke of the photo of that lean, swimsuit wearing Obama gracing the cover of the next issue of Washingtonian Magazine, it wasn't immediately realized that the photo itself was a photoshoppped image of the president and not in its original form.

But not soon after the image of the cover was released folks began to realize what had happened. It turns out that Washingtonian Magazine made several photoshop alterations to the Obama image to enhance it to make it more pleasing to look upon. So, the main question centers on whether it's ethical to photoshop the image of the president for a news story?

I suppose, though, if you want your Obammessiah to look his best, why not use all the tools at your disposal... even if they are a tad unethical.

The original photo of Obama that Washington Magazine altered for its cover shows Obama at the beach in Hawaii. Obama was wearing black swim trunks and his skin tones were decidedly different than what appears on the new cover image. Yet, as is obvious with a glance at the cover of Washingtonian Magazine, Obama's swimwear is suddenly red and his skin tones are exhibit a more pleasing golden sheen than exist in the original photo.

Since the debut of the cover image, though, a debate over the propriety of the image has erupted.

As the AP reports:

"There needs to be integrity to a photo," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. "Otherwise, what are your boundaries? Where do you stop?"

Media critic Howard Kurtz, who hosts CNN's "Reliable Sources" and writes for The Washington Post, agreed.

"Journalistic organizations shouldn't doctor photos of the president of the United States," he said in an e-mail message. And besides, he asked: "What, the black swim trunks weren't alluring enough for Washingtonian?"

For its part, Washingtonian Magazine is unapologetic.

Williams, though, was adamant in her defense of the cover, saying in an e-mail to staffers: "I strongly believe that people, and especially our readers, are able to distinguish the difference" between a traditional news photo and a creative magazine cover.

So, what say you NewsBusters? Is this just another example of the Obamagobsmacked media doing their level best to idealize The One? Or is it an innocent alteration that was merely made for aesthetic purposes?