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The difference between AP Romney photo and TIME Ryan Photos


On the front page there's a story about TIME magazine publishing photos of Paul Ryan that don't show the V.P. candidate in the best light. He actually looks fairly stupid and the photos were put out just ahead of tonight's debate.

Yesterday the AP caused some controversy over publishing an awkward photo of Mitt Romney bending over in front of an elementary school girl.

As I wrote yesterday, there's nothing wrong with the AP photo, though others disagree (including my editor Jon Seidl). But there is something wrong with the photos of Ryan in TIME. Here's the difference between the two:

1. Timeliness. The AP photo was of an event that happened Monday. Romney's campaign bus made an impromptu stop at a school to greet some children. AP snapped a mix of photos and ran them as soon as they could. TIME, however, is releasing photos taken almost a year ago, merely hours before Ryan debates in front of a national audience.

2. Authenticity. The AP photo is of a campaign event that actually happened, as it happened and at the direction of Romney and his team. The photographer was simply capturing the moment. In the case of TIME's photos, they were taken during a photo shoot; meaning they were staged and then sifted through for the ones that turned out okay. Captions on the TIME photos even indicate that each one is an "outtake." They weren't originally meant for publication.

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