In the wake of the unfortunate race-swap decapitation performed by unknown persons on an image used on Microsoft's Web site in Poland, I thought I'd wander over to the Polish press and see what it might have to say on the subject.
You see, we spoke Polish at home. And, well, I wondered whether the coverage in the country of my blood might indeed differ in any way from that in the U.S. Some Polish papers, like the rather energetic tabloid Super Express seem not have to made much of the story.
The more serious Dziennik pointed to critics who suggested that at least Microsoft "left the Poles an Asian." Dziennik also pointed to the Web site of the Medical University of Lublin which, while having two white professors on its Polish language site, introduced a black professor on its English language version.
Perhaps the most influential national daily, Gazeta Wyborcza, had its say Wednesday in an article entitled "The Black Hand of Microsoft." Gazeta Wyborcza opted for a less than sympathetic tone. "The black man's face was removed digitally," wrote the paper, "but they forgot about his hand."
While saying that Microsoft's Polish operation was not commenting at all on the issue, Gazeta Wyborcza made much of the suggestion that the laptop in the shot may actually be a barely anonymized Apple model and that the monitor on the table doesn't seem to be connected to anything. The paper even quoted Vijay, a commenter from the PhotoshopDisasters blog, who wrote: "The white head and black hand actually symbolise (sic) interracial harmony."
Judging by the lack of comments on the article, it appears that so far Poles regard this issue as not terribly significant.
And here's the one from the Polish site (click to enlarge):