Editing The Photo

Media Decoder has an interesting side-by-side comparison of one photo -- the original as shot by photographer Larry Downing, and the, errr, enhanced version as used on the cover of The Economist.

The Economist, to their credit, explains the reasoning quite well:
We removed [Charlotte Randolph, the woman next to the President in the original image] not to make a political point, but because the presence of an unknown woman would have been puzzling to readers.
While that is all well and good, I think that the editing of the photo could, at the very least, be misconstrued as a political maneuver.

I mean, when you couple that cropped image with the headline, "The Damage Beyond The Spill", you cannot help but think of the political undertones.

What do you think?

Photo: composite, Media Decoder blog || original, Larry Downing/Reuters