"Twitter was ablaze with criticism of The Times, many conservative news organizations wrote critical articles — and my email inbox overflowed. Some readers said they were canceling their Times subscriptions. Others were simply disappointed.
Keith Merwin wrote: 'As a southerner and a voter, I was deeply hurt that the New York Times would create a front page where they edited a photo such as they did for their Selma anniversary article. Cropping the picture to remove President Bush was wrong!' And he added that he wanted editors to apologize and 'retract' the photo treatment.
...I asked The Times’s ranking photo editor, Michele McNally, about the photo this morning.
'There was no crop,' she said. 'This was the photo as we received it.'
She sent me an email from the photographer, Doug Mills, who has been shooting White House and presidential photographs for many years.
Mr. Mills wrote to photo editors on Sunday to describe his process after The Times received an inquiry from Politico. Mr. Mills wrote that he never sent the photo desk a photograph he took that included the Bushes, and his reasons were technical ones. He wrote:
'Just so you know … at the time the photo was taken, I was using a 70-200 long zoom lens. I also had a remote camera with a wide-angle lens attached to the side of the truck that took a photo at the just about the exact moment as the tighter one. As you can see, Bush was in the bright sunlight. I did not even send this frame because it’s very wide and super busy and Bush is super-overexposed because he was in the sun and Obama and the others are in the shade.' "