UK Daily Mail Confronts AP for Feeding Bogus ‘Racist & Proud’ Zimmerman Protest Photo
Guest Post By Kristinn Taylor
(Follow-up on story broken at the Gateway Pundit CONFIRMED: Left Wing Plant at Houston Pro-Zimmerman Rally Is Far Left Activist)
A spokeswoman for the UK Daily Mail today blamed the Associated Press for the Mail’s publishing an article online that lead with a headline and photo of an alleged “Racist & Proud” supporter of George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of murdering Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The article has since been pulled as the hateful racist sign was found out to be a leftist trick. In British understatement, the spokeswoman said the Mail has already “passed the information on to the agency so they are aware of our concerns.”
The photo was of leftist activist Renee Vaughan from Austin, Texas, who posed holding a large sign that carried the message, “We’re racist & proud”, at the site of dueling demonstrations over Zimmerman’s acquittal held in Houston on Sunday, July 21, 2013. The photo was taken by Houston Chronicle photographer James Nielsen and transmitted by the Associated Press.
Vaughan told Breitbart’s Brandon Darby on video that she was being “sarcastic” with that message, but she apparently did not tell that to the Chronicle’s photographer when she posed for the photo with Zimmerman supporters standing in the background. That indicates malicious intent on the part of Vaughan to falsely smear Zimmerman supporters as racist. Nowhere on the sign is any indication Vaughan’s message was “sarcastic.”
The photo, which was captioned to read that Vaughan was a supporter of Zimmerman, was published around the U.S. and the world creating an image that supporters of Zimmerman were racist. Trayvon Martin was black, George Zimmerman is Hispanic but was presented to the world by Martin family attorneys and the media as white and then later a “white Hispanic”, creating a racial aspect to the case.
In an email sent Friday replying to a query from this author dated July 24, Rhiannon Macdonald, Managing Editor of the Mail Online said:
“Thank you for your email.
“It may be helpful for you to know that the image and the description of the woman were supplied to us, in good faith, by the Associated Press. The images were widely distributed to other media outlets at the time the story was published.
“I appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention. We have also passed the information on to the agency so they are aware of our concerns.
Brandon Darby reported Thursday that the Mail had taken down their article featuring the photo after several emails from him. Darby was unaware that this author had also sent several emails to the Mail seeking a correction.
The New York Daily News also took down the photo from their article on the protests and added a correction:
CORRECTION An earlier version story contained an error that said that a pro-Zimmerman protester held a sign saying, “We’re racist & proud” and shouted that slogan at pro-Trayvon Martin protesters. The woman displayed the sign in front of the pro-Zimmerman group, in an apparent attempt to mock them. It is unclear whether the woman, identified by the Houston Chronicle as Renee Vaughan, was involved with either group.
The photo of Renee Vaughan holding the “We’re racist & proud” sign is still posted at several news sites with captions that make clear that it was sent to the news outlets by the AP stating Vaughan was a supporter of Zimmerman. It is likely that the AP caption was initially written by the photographer from the Chronicle.
Vaughan and her employer, the Texas Campaign for the Environment, issued separate apologies for her displaying the “racist & proud” sign.
A woman in the Associated Press’s media relations office said in a phone conversation late Friday afternoon about the erroneously captioned Renee Vaughan photo that a correction request should be sent via email to a general information inbox at the AP.