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Iran Doctors Photo To Cover Michelle Obama's Shoulders

Digitally doctoring photos, it appears, is a practice that bridges some very deep religious and political divides.

Back in 2011, it was the Hasidic newspaperDer Tzifung that digitally removed then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama administration counterterrorism aide Audrey Tomason from the iconic "situation room" photo taken the night Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden. The newspaper had a long-standing policy of not publishing photos of women, "because of laws of modesty."

Now it's Iran's semi-official Fars news agency that has altered reality. It digitally tinkered with a photo taken of first lady Michelle Obama as she announced Argo's best picture win during Sunday night's Oscars telecast. Fars covered her shoulders and move up her dress's neckline.

There's much angst among Iran's leadership about Argo, director Ben Affleck's account of how the CIA managed to get six Americans out of Iran during the 1979-80 hostage crisis. Fars calls it an "anti-Iranian film."

This is by no means the first time Iran's news agencies have been caught tinkering with photos.

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/ Kevin Winter
Kevin Winter
What the first lady really looked like on Oscars night.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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