Governor Corzine’s Chief of Staff, Bradley Abelow, sent a scathing letter to the Asbury Park Press today over a manipulated image of Corzine hocking highways as if they were stolen goods.
An edited photograph on the front page of Sunday’s edition of the paper shows Corzine opening his jacket to reveal cars and trucks dangling on key chains below emblems of the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway. The picture accompanied a series of articles about the potential impact of Corzine’s asset monetization plan.
“I feel that many readers of the Asbury Park Press share my view that you did the readers – and your own reporters – a tremendous disservice with the accompanying fictionalized image in Sunday’s story, ‘Hocking the Highways.’ While working with photo editing software may be a useful tool for assembling gag photos or correcting minor imperfections, using it to manipulate the Governor – any governor – into a sinister character is not what we would expect from a responsible media organization,” wrote Abelow.
Abelow went on to accuse the paper of mixing up its editorial sentiments with objective reporting.
“Images that are nothing more than editorial cartoons morphed into photographs are fine – for the editorial page. But placement of such images on the front page of the Sunday edition demonstrates a blatant disregard for objective reporting,” wrote Abelow. “For that, I believe you owe your readers an apology and a renewed commitment to presenting the facts in an unbiased, straightforward manner rather than telling them what they should think.”