It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Airbrushing History

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 11:29 AM
It seems that censorship is alive and well, and in the unlikeliest of places, London's Britain at War Museum.

An unknown censor airbrushed a cigar from an iconic photo of Churchill that adorns the entrance to London’s Britain at War Museum.

In the well-known original image, Churchill makes a "V" shaped symbol with his fingers – while gripping a cigar in the corner of his mouth. But in a reproduction of the picture, hanging over the main entrance to a London museum celebrating the wartime leader, he has been made into a non-smoker through the use of image-altering techniques. It is unclear who is responsible for doctoring the photograph, with the museum – The Winston Churchill's Britain at War Experience – claiming not to have noticed the cigar was missing. John Welsh, manager of the museum, admitted he was shocked to learn of the alteration, but declined to reveal who was responsible for the display and for enlarging the image.

This is not the first time that a famous smoker to have his nicotine fix retrospectively nixed. Here’s a pack of puffers whose acts of inhaling have also been consigned to the ashtray of history

Paul McCartney
Peer closely at the original artwork of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” LP and you might just notice that a barefoot Macca is clutching a cigarette in his right hand. That tiny smoke was too much for U.S. print giant Allposters, who in 2003 demanded that the butt be digitally removed. Beatles publisher Apple Records later protested, telling the BBC, “We have never agreed to anything like this.”

Bette Davis
In 2008, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in honor of the sultry starlet, based on a still from 1950′s “All About Eve.” But the hand-painted portrait left out an important detail featured in the original image: a tobacco stick the actress had been elegantly holding in her hand.

And if there was anything Davis was known for in Hollywood — OK, apart from that — it was her incessant smoking. “I’ve been close to Bette Davis for 38 years,” quipped Henry Fonda at a 1979 roast of the actress, “and I have the cigarette burns to prove it.”

Jean-Paul Sartre
Once asked by a Newsweek journalist to list the important things in his life, the grumpy French philosopher replied, “I don’t know. Everything. Living. Smoking.” But a 2005 celebration of the existentialist’s life at Paris’ National Library couldn’t show the philosopher indulging in his favorite activity, in case it broke tough tobacco advertising laws.

As there are few photos of Sartre not smoking — he polished off two packs of cigarettes and two tobacco-stuffed pipes a day — the library was forced to edit out the philosopher’s Gauloise in a 1946 shot.

Clement Hurd
A portrait of the famed illustrator clutching a cigarette appeared in the back of the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon” for some 20 years. But in 1995, Kate Jackson — then editor-in-chief of publisher HarperCollins — spotted the cancer causer and had it smudged out. “It is potentially a harmful message to very young kids,” Jackson told The New York Times, “and it doesn’t need to be there.”

That act of censorship outraged some long-standing “Goodnight” fans, who demanded the photo be restored to its smoky glory. Hurd’s son, though, said the illustrator — who died in 1988 — wouldn’t have been too bothered, as he’d kicked the habit in the 1950s and “really disliked smoking later in life.”

This is not 'new' news however, it does serve to remind people that history is being re-written everyday.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 12:42 AM
Here is another example of airbrushing, this time Google and aerial satellite map imagery of pre-Katrina.

A congressional subcommittee accused Google on Friday of “airbrushing history” by replacing post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery on its popular map portal with images of the region taken before the storm’s devastation. Citing an Associated Press report from Thursday, the House Committee on Science and Technology’s subcommittee on investigations and oversight asked Google Inc. Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt to explain why his company is using the outdated imagery. “Google’s use of old imagery appears to be doing the victims of Hurricane Katrina a great injustice by airbrushing history,” subcommittee chairman Brad Miller, D-N.C., wrote Friday in a letter to Schmidt. Swapping the post-Katrina images and the ruin they revealed for others showing an idyllic city dumbfounded many locals and even sparked suspicions that the company and civic leaders were conspiring to portray the area’s recovery progressing better than it is.

Miller asked Google to brief his staff by April 6 on who made the decision to replace the imagery with pre-Katrina images, and to disclose if Google was contacted by the city, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey or any other government entity about changing the imagery. “To use older, pre-Katrina imagery when more recent images are available without some explanation as to why appears to be fundamentally dishonest,” Miller said. Edith Holleman, staff counsel for the House subcommittee, said it would be useful to understand how Google acquires and manages its imagery because “people see Google and other Internet engines and it’s almost like the official word.”

Why would they do this? I don't understand the motive.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 12:50 AM
reply to post by deessell

Lots of reasons for "airbrushing". Politics, hoaxing, something as simple as aesthetics. A good thing about the internet is that the true original images are often sitting on a server somewhere.


log in