The bald fact of the matter is that he lied at least twice, once by commission and once by omission.
First he specifically stated the the person in the photo was a marine sniper with his rifle. Not true
Second he implied that this person was part of the Crescent area story he was covering, and that was not true. Though he did not say so, he certainly implied it.
Now, based on how fast people are leaping to the defense of Mr. Pelligrin, this lying in the name of documentary photography is obviously acceptable, and by implication happens all the time and is done by everyone in the trade. So, why get all excited over it? Obviously the only thing wrong here was that he was caught at it by this terrible news column.
This is what I think. The concern over Mr. Pelligrin's lack of ethics and integrity is more important than the sad state of affairs in the Crescent area of Rochester. The uproar is not about them, it is about him.
Ahh well, poor people. Obviously Mr. Pelligrin's problem is far more important than their situation.
Where there is smoke there is almost always fire. I have to believe at this point that this lying has probably gone on far longer than anyone is willing to admit...or investigate. Mr. Pelligrin failed in his duty to report the situation honestly. He needs to step up to the plate, apologize to the people of Rochester, and do what he can to make their problem more visible than him.