NEWS
17/03/2018 19:29 GMT

Newsnight Denies Altering Jeremy Corbyn’s Hat 'To Make Him Look Russian'

'A photo was selected which was as Leninesque as possible,' Corbyn supporters say, as BBC editor responds.

BBC
The image of Corbyn wearing a hat was imposed on an illustration of Moscow's Red Square and appeared on Newsnight last week.

A Newsnight boss has dismissed claims the programme photoshopped Jeremy Corbyn’s hat to make him look more Russian.

Supporters of the Labour leader, including prominent left-wing writer Owen Jones, attacked the BBC Two programme for using an image on Thursday evening they claim had been altered.

Jones later appeared on the show to discuss Labour’s response to the Salisbury spy poisoning and claimed Corbyn had been made to look like a “Soviet stooge”.

“The media framing has been a disgrace and I have to say that includes your own programme,” he told presenter Evan Davis during an appearance on the programme on Friday.

“Yesterday the background of your programme you had Jeremy Corbyn dressed up against the Kremlin skyline, dressed up as a Soviet stooge.

“You even photoshopped his hat to look more Russian.

“People should complain to the BBC about that kind of thing.”

Corbyn was pictured during Thursday’s programme wearing a hat against an illustrated backdrop of Moscow’s Red Square.

But Newsnight acting editor Jess Brammar on Saturday denied the hat had been altered.

“Newsnight didn’t photoshop a hat,” she tweeted.

She added: “Our (excellent,hardworking) graphics team explained the image has had the contrast increased & been colour treated, usual treatment for screen graphics as they need more contrast to work through the screens.

“If you look you can see it’s same hat in silhouette.

“Apparently (forgive me for passing on tech details I don’t understand firsthand) some detail might also have been lost with it going through the screen and then being filmed back through a camera, again the standard effect on images on that big back panel.

“And finally, the Russia background was a rehash of one Newsnight used a few weeks ago, for a story about Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary.

“By all means criticise Newsnight. That’s healthy, and we will always welcome people like Owen Jones coming on the show to criticise us from our own studio. But no one photoshopped a hat.”

Jones responded to the tweets saying the programme had picked an image of Corbyn that was as “Leninesque as possible”.

“The photo of Williamson is in a suit and his photo remains clear,” he said.

“There is no shortage of photos of Corbyn in a suit. A photo was selected which was as Leninesque as possible in combination with a red Kremlin background.”