John McCain's turn as cover model for this month's issue of the Atlantic has raised hackles, eyebrows, and now the necessity for apology from the editor of the magazine, which ran the pic. The editor says he's sending an apology to the Senator after outtake pictures by the photographer Jill Greenberg wound up on her personal website, edited for horrific effect. As of this writing, Greenberg was still featuring the doctored photos on her blog, including one backlit image showing a sinister McCain with the words, "I'll have my girl kill Roe v. Wade" printed atop.
The Atlantic editor's apology for the subsequent fallout says:
When we contract with photographers for portraits, we don't vet them for their politics—instead, we assess their professional track records. We had never worked with Jill Greenberg before (and, obviously, we will not work with her again). Based on the portraits she had done of politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger and her work for publications like Time, Wired, and Portfolio, we expected her, like the other photographers we work with, to behave professionally. Jill Greenberg has obviously not done that. She has, in fact, disgraced herself, and we are appalled by the manipulated images she has created for her Web site of John McCain.
The Atlantic might go further than the strongly worded indictment of the photographer, and sue. Is that the appropriate response?