Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Hasidic Newspaper Removes H. Clinton from Historical Photo for Being Too Sexually Suggestive

Man, guys…you’ve obviously been Photoshopping ladies out of your publications for far too long.

You remember those panels in newspapers where you were supposed to figure out what was different between two pictures?  Well, here you go – the top is a printed version of the picture below, showing key White House players and others waiting for the news about the SEAL operation to kill Osama Bin Laden.  What’s missing?

Hillary ‘hottie with a naughty body’ Clinton!

Evidently Ms. Clinton is such a sexy minx, the editors over at Der Tzitung decided they had better ‘shop the lady out, lest they cause a sexually charged uproar amongst their readership.

Ok, let me re-phrase that with a bit more truthiness.

She (and another woman who is seen looking on from the door in the original pic) was edited out of the photo because that’s evidently a common practice for this paper.  Hasidic Jews are a very traditional, modest group, and evidently Der Tzitung believes that even printing a photo of a woman – even Hillary Clinton for FSM’s sake – is simply too sexually suggestive.

The response from the Jewish community seems to be varying degrees of “awww man, come on you guys…” and “like we don’t get made fun of enough!” with a touch of anger for what one man rightfully sees as a re-writing of history.

Der Tzitung edited Hillary Clinton out of the photo, thereby changing history. To my mind, this act of censorship is actually a violation of the Jewish legal principle of g’neivat da’at (deceit). I wrote about this subject a year ago following the Flotilla debacle in Israeli waters outside Gaza when the Reuters news agency doctored photos that it published by removing weapons from individuals aboard the Mavi Marmara. The doctoring of photographs like this is referred to as “Fauxtograpphing.” I’m curious to hear how Der Tzitung responds to its attempt to remove Hillary Clinton from this iconic photo and thereby from this historic event.

And evidently, what they did may not only have been in poor taste, but it also seems to willfully ignore specific directions given by the White House which accompanied the release of the photo the paper used:

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

All jokes aside, this is a clear case of history being explicitly altered solely in the name of religion.  The importance of maintaining history as it happened can’t be overstated.  We never know what the future may bring and we can never tell what bits of our current culture will end up being studied in the future as representations of who we were and what we accomplished.  Though this single, somewhat unknown paper making such an alteration may seem unimportant, consider the implications of even the most trivial bits of historical information that we’ve used to better understand our own past.

Then we have the whole sexism issue and this seems to provide yet another example of the strange love-you-like-a-possession-or-pet/ hate relationship religions often seem to have with women.  If you can’t control yourself when you see a picture of a woman, it’s not the woman’s fault.  No one should be permitted to erase women out of an important part of history – visual history – because seeing a woman wrapped in tweed with her hand over her mouth may make some dude’s pee pee twitch.

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Sam Mulvey

I have to admit, my biggest problem about this is the implication that if this paper included a picture of Hillary Clinton, I would be tempted to hump the newspaper.

Cognizant Impiety

Their excuse is a desire to not cause impure thoughts.

Their real reason to keep females out of the picture is their desire to diminish women.

Judaism pushed out the female, earth-oriented natural religions thousands of years ago. They do not want a return of gentler, female based religion…not enough war.

Mike Gillis


I should mention that there is just as little evidence for “gentler, female based religion” as there is for the angry, Abrahamic desert religions.


I would like to know the name of the other woman, too.

Mike Gillis

The other woman is Audrey Tomason, Director for Counterterrorism.


This debacle is grounded in practice that is equally denigrating and damaging to both men and women that perpetuates a status quo of separate but equal. Traditional Judaism is obsessed with separation, categorization, and distinctions. Men can’t possibly be expected to control their animalistic urges to boink, and thinking about that will turn their passion for their spouse and God into something defiant and immodest (e.g. they’ll start humping newspapers). The marginalization of women is warped into some strange feeling of honor and high status, i.e.: the magnetic power of ladies is such that our mere visual presence, or singing… Read more »


If this was just about not showing a woman’s image, why not just censor it? Why edit the photo to make it look like they were never there!?
I’d be interested to hear whether the paper even acknowledged that the women were in the room.
Sadly, probably not.
Funny, but if a woman ever becomes president, these guys would probably be telling people that the U.S. is run by an empty office…

Henry (from San Jose)

Did you see the other Photoshopped version of the photo with all of the men taken out?

[…] when Beth wrote about the Hasidic newspaper that edited Secretary of State Hillary Clinton out of a photograph and then played the victim when people called them on it, I’m calling foul on this […]

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