Compared to the intentional, crude, and pervasive altering of the Soviet record, the lying currently prevalent in American politics is amateur hour, if not exactly child’s play. President Donald Trump’s routine alterations of the historical narrative, which seem to stem in equal measure from ignorance and ill intent, are ridiculed by the media even as the media reproduces them. Photographs often serve as the corrective to his distortions—as, for example, with his insistence that he had the biggest Inauguration crowd in history. Still, there can be no doubt that Trump is waging an all-out war on the media, the historical record, and the truth in general.
Sometimes we don’t know who is missing from a photo or why—only that someone has been elided. We are lucky even to know that there is something we don’t know.