Times photographer blames Bush photo flap on Selma sunlight
© Getty Images

The New York Times says it didn’t crop former President George W. Bush from a front-page photo showing President Obama leading an anniversary march Saturday in Selma, Ala.

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Many critics slammed the newspaper, claiming the photo was edited in a way that wouldn’t show the former commander in chief and his wife, Laura, participating alongside Obama and his family as well as Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) at the commemorative event.

But the Times photo editor, Michele McNally, tells the newspaper's public editor, Margaret Sullivan, that there was “no crop.”

“This was the photo as we received it,” McNally said.

According to an email Times photographer Doug Mills sent to editors at the newspaper, sunlight was to blame for Bush’s absence in the image used on the front page:

“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,” Mills wrote.

Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer was among those who criticized the Times, writing on Twitter:

Sullivan wrote that her email inbox “overflowed” following the A1 snafu, with some readers saying “they were canceling their Times subscriptions.”

The march marked the 50th anniversary of the confrontation on the Selma bridge between civil rights activists and state troopers.