The Associated Press has been roundly criticized by supporters of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and others for publishing an unflattering picture of the former Massachusetts governor at a campaign event in Fairfield, Va. on Monday.
The picture showed Romney making an awkward face and bending over in front of a young girl who has a look of shock on her face. However, very little context was given in the photo’s caption. Here’s the photo as it first appeared:
The wire service released a statement on Tuesday and updated its caption to the following: “Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney poses for photographs with students of Fairfield Elementary School, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, in Fairfield, Va. A student, right, reacts as she realizes Romney will crouch down directly in front of her and her classmates for the group photo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)” However, the AP did not address why the outlet published the photo in the first place or whether a mistake was made in the vague captioning.
Since then, TheBlaze has been trying to get a statement from the AP about why they decided to publish the picture at all.
While the Associated Press has yet to respond to TheBlaze directly, AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll in a statement on Wednesday said the photo “fell short of our own standards” by not explaining exactly what was happening in the photo:
“The original caption on the photo of Gov. Romney taken Monday at a Virginia school was literally correct — it said the governor was posing for photos with schoolchildren. But it was too generic and missed the boat by not explaining exactly what was happening. The student with the surprised expression had just realized that the governor was going to crouch down in front of her for the group photo.
“We amended the caption on Tuesday with that explanation, but by then many people had seen the photo and were confused by or angry about it. Those generic captions help us process a large number of photos on a busy campaign day, but some photos demand more explanation and we fell short of our own standards by not providing it in this case.”