This photo, at left, was the top front-page image (by the great Tyler Hicks) in The New York Times in print today: Young kids returning to their school in Gaza, which is out of the frame. Disgraceful Times caption: “Girls at a Gaza school were stunned to find it closed. An emboldened Hamas may lead Israel to harden its stance.”

Why was the school closed?  You had to go to other photos over at the NYT site to find that the school was completely destroyed by one of those precision Israeli missile strikes.

The “emboldened Hamas” part of the caption seems to betray another conscious effort to undercut the photographic image.   One could even read the caption as suggesting that Hamas shut down a lightly damaged school, for some reason.   While putting the photo in a prominent position might draw criticism from Israelis, the caption appears aimed at softening it. 

The same caption–dare we call it Orwellian?–appeared online and has not been changed as this is written.