Yesterday, the front page of the Houston Chronicle included this article and photo:
Amazing, isn’t it, that evangelist Reinhard Bonnke is speaking to a crowd of over a million people… and they’re not even looking at him?
That’s because the photo isn’t real.
The Chronicle released this correction later:
A photograph appearing with a story on page A1 about Reinhard Bonnke on Monday was digitally manipulated by the evangelist’s organization to superimpose the preacher’s image on a crowd of about 1.6 million gathered for a 2000 crusade in Lagos, Nigeria. Mary-Kathryn Manuel, U.S. director for Bonnke’s Christ for All Nations, said the photo was a combined shot of the crowd during daylight hours and Bonnke preaching after nightfall. The photo, provided to the newspaper by Bonnke’s crusade, was not represented to the newspaper as a digitally altered image. The Houston Chronicle apologizes for this error.
I’m shocked — shocked — that a Christian organization would manipulate the truth in order to better serve their mission…
To be fair, that huge crowd is very real and they are indeed there for a Christian rally, but that’s not an excuse for the deception. It’s also disappointing that the newspaper just accepted the organization’s image with doing due diligence in publishing an accurate representation of reality. (When a religious group hands over information, I guess they’re just used to people accepting it without question.)
For shame, all around.