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Elizabeth Vargas Breast Feeding– Photo is a Fake

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Here is the latest from the Drudge Report:
Marie Claire magazine has published a fake photo of ABC News’ “20/20″ anchor Elizabeth Vargas breast feeding. I have to go pick up the December issue of the magazine to see for myself. But here’s what Drudge has to say:
A source close to the anchor says Vargas’ is disappointed but has a sense of humor about the whole thing.
“Elizabeth was more than happy to sit for the interview but was disturbed that the magazine would set aside basic journalistic standards to photoshop her head onto a fake image. Vargas did joke that her real baby is cuter, that she is proud to breastfeed her newborn but wouldn’t do it at the anchor desk and that she wouldn’t be caught dead in that ugly gold blouse!”
A MARIE CLAIRE spokesperson counters: “There isn’t a working mother who can’t relate to this image and immediately identify with the very real dilemma Elizabeth Vargas wrestled with. We do not believe anyone seriously thought she would nurse and report the news the same time! This is an image illustration and is stated so with the byline of this story. We only want to make the point that women choosing between their career and being a parent is a tough decision that we are very sensitive to. We at MARIE CLAIRE think that Vargas is a great journalist and we look forward to watching her on 20/20. We are also grateful for her interview, which we hope reaches the many women who can relate to this serious topic.”

Here are my thoughts:
First, I really like Elizabeth Vargas. I like her reporting style. And on the superficial side, she always has great clothes and hair! Plus, I used to be a former television reporter, so I can relate to the challenges she must face as a working mom. Television news, like many professions, is incredibly demanding on your time. It can be unpredictable. You can be called off to work at the drop of a hat. It’s not easy then to find a balance between work and family. So hats of to Vargas for pulling it off. I’m looking forward to seeing what she says in the interview.
Second, as a former reporter, I simply don’t understand why Marie Claire would feel the need to fake a photograph. It’s wrong journalistically. They didn’t need to do an “image illustration” — or whatever that is, as they call it– in order to make the point that being a working mom is tough. We know that. No news there. Besides which, the photo doesn’t exactly support that point. Where’s the burp cloth? Everything looks just a little too perfect. No one is that poised when breast feeding.
So, it will be interesting to see how this story develops. As they say, stay tuned…

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