(JTA) — A Chasidic paper in Brooklyn apologized to the White House and State Department for altering a White House photo to remove U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Yiddish-language Der Zeitung manipulated the photo of political leaders in the White House “situation room ”watching the deadly raid May 1 on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan. The two women in the room — Clinton and Audrey Tomason, director for counterterrorism who works with the Security Council — were digitally removed.
Media outlets noted that the White House released the photograph with a disclaimer stating that it “may not be manipulated in any way.”
In an e-mail statement published on the website of The Washington Post, Der Zeitung said that its photo editor had not noticed the stipulation. Along with its apology, the newspaper said it explained its policy of not printing images of women.
“Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive,” the newspaper said in its statement, which also noted the support that Clinton enjoyed in New York’s Orthodox communities when she was elected and re-elected to the U.S. Senate.
The original photograph shows Clinton sitting at the table with the president, covering her mouth with her hand and wearing a shocked expression. Tomason is in the back, leaning forward, presumably for a better view.