Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Comment: Photoshopping Primary Source Documents

[The family photograph tree. Published by Currier & Ives, c1871. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.]

Following up on the controversy caused by Ben Affleck's expressed (but not originally publicized) wish to have Henry Louis Gates, Jr. overlook part of his family tree on Finding Your Roots last fall, Andy Hall over at Dead Confederates brings up a few more instances where that program has altered things for our viewing pleasure, including (but not limited to) manipulating an original source document.
"This makes for great viewing, but it’s a dishonest depiction of the actual (and critical) document, and that’s a problem. Although in this case Gates is not misrepresenting the information, he’s absolutely misrepresenting the original document. Doing that calls into question anything he and his producers do with primary source materials, and reflects very poorly on his commitment to accuracy. 
Makes you wonder what else he’s shown on that series that’s not entirely real."
It does indeed.

By the way, if you have any interest in the American Civil War, you're missing out if you don't visit Dead Confederates regularly.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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