Zackary Canepari the scapegoat of the New York Times

According to this article, Zackary Canepari has a problem. He is now an unwelcome photographer at the New York Times.

This is the excuse they made:
“A picture on May 5 with the continuation of a front-page article about the porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and the strategic advantages it offers to Taliban insurgents fighting American troops, showed a silhouetted Taliban logistics tactician, who was interviewed for the article, holding a rifle, creating the impression that the weapon belonged to him. The Times subsequently learned from the photographer that the rifle belonged to the owner of a home in Pakistan where the interview took place, and that the Taliban tactician had held the weapon only for the purpose of the photograph.”

“Had The Times known this information at the time of publication, it would not have used the photograph to illustrate the article.”

Let me sum this up: A photographer is asked to take a photo of a man who is being interviewed. This a called a portrait! Unless of coarse he would have taken this image as a documentary photo during the interview. But it’s very common in these situations that after the interview a picture is taken. This picture is called a portrait. In a portrait usually everything is set up. The lighting, the location and the pose. This would not be a problem for the Times. But holding a rifle, which is not his own, is too much? What else did they expect from the photographer? Is the subject allowed to hold a cup of tea or a newspaper or is he allowed to put on a hat? Would they allow this if all these props where not his own?