On Wednesday, a story featured on the Washington Times website about murdered Chicago schoolchildren was inexplicably paired with a photo of President Obama's daughters. The two girls are not mentioned in the story, and aside from having at one point been schoolchildren in Chicago have no connection to it.
As Media Matters' Eric Boehlert points out:
The Obama children, of course, are not actually mentioned in the news story. But somebody at the WashTimes thought it made perfect sense to insert the image of the underage White House occupants into a story about murdered kids in Chicago.
And no, this was not an example of an unfortunate juxtaposition, where the the Obama girls photo was actually part of another, more innocuous story and because of a layout quirk simply appeared near the murdered-kids story. Instead, the Obama girls photo was specifically selected to accompany the article.
The photo was later taken down.
Editor John Solomon told Greg Sargent technology, not a person, was to blame.
"The theme engine, through automation, grabbed a photo it thought was relevant, and attached it to the story," Solomon said, acknowledging that the photo had gone up without a person seeing it. "There was no editorial decision to run it. As soon as it was brought to our attention, we pulled it down."