PARRIS ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES
PUBLISHED MARCH 2005
PHOTO PROVIDED BY GETTY IMAGES

REPRESENTATION:
Seven active Marine recruits stand side by side against a white wall at a training site in South Carolina. The photograph was featured on the cover of Harper’s Magazine’s March 2005 issue, with the headline “AWOL in America: When Desertion Is the Only Option.” 

REALITY:
The Marines pictured on the cover were not deserters, not AWOL, and were unaware of the context in which their image would be used. As active Marines, many were deeply offended at the implication that they were deserters, a term that holds negative connotations for all service members, but more so for the fiercely proud Marines.

Additionally, Getty Images, which provided the photograph, did know it would be manipulated; Getty policy prohibits tampering with images.    

In a public statement, Harper’s Magazine said the Marines in the photo were not meant to depict people in the article. “We are decorating pages,” said Giulia Melucci, the magazine’s vice president for public relations.


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