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Claim: Klein Misrepresents Clinton Photo

The various allegations in Ed Klein’s nasty new book about Hillary Clinton have been making the rounds in turn–most recently Drudge and others have picked up a section that alleges the former President has been conducting illicit affairs.

To illustrate their story, Klein and others have been using a photo taken on a rope line during a John Kerry rally last fall in which Clinton and a mystery woman share what appears to be a passionate kiss (a la Monica on the rope line. Not so much.

This will probably come as a shock to everyone who has been taking the book at face value, but Klein appears to have taken the photo completely the wrong way.

The photographer, Jay L. Clendenin, who took the photo in question contacted Fishbowl this morning in an attempt to explain the photo’s context:

First thing to note here: I have NOT seen the book.

The image used on the Drudge Report (referring to the new book about Senator Clinton) is a dramatic crop of a photo I took it at a John Kerry for President rally on Oct. 25th, 2004. The “moment” in question, was the SPLIT-second, no more than 1/2 second right AFTER she kissed him on the CHEEK.

I have a three-second, motor-drive series (five frames) of him acknowledging her (frame 1)–as another supporter/fan in the crowd–her hand on his face, seeming to pull him in as he leans forward over a guard rail, kissing him on the cheek (frame 2 and 3), that split second showing the open mouth (frame 4) (still recording the same “second” on the clock as the previous kiss on the cheek— showing it happened in less than one second) and then the two moved apart and Clinton moving down the line (frame 5).

Prior to yesterday (6/21/05) I did not know of Mr. Klein’s book or of his purchasing of my photo. I am a freelance photojournalist who is represented by Polaris Images, a news picture agency in Manhattan that licenses my pictures to many outlets.

I can say I disagree with Klein’s salacious use of the image and any implications or “opinions” he labels on/near my photo in his book. For all intents and purposes, this is a news photo. I don’t KNOW for a fact that he (Clinton) knew this person any more than any of the other 10,000+ supporters at this rally and either does Mr. Klein. As an experienced journalist who has worked for some industry leaders, I would expect Mr. Klein to avoid labeling photos in such a salacious way, going down the road of the tabloids… But I guess this does help sell books.

Unfortunately, because I do feel the photo is used out of context, much like being misquoted, I have made sure my agency has the whole series of images available for outlets who are willing to run the entire series, or at least the image un-cropped and a description of the scene as a SPLIT-SECOND moment after a kiss on the cheek. I can’t repeat enough times that this “open mouth” moment is happening as they are pulling away from each other, after she kissed him on the cheek.

Full photo series after the jump.


billkissseries.jpg

Photos reproduced with permission. Reproduction prohibited.

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