Saturday, August 05, 2006

Photoshop Phollies

Bloggers are learning the hard way that Photoshop hyperbole can have unintended consequences. A recent New York Times article about campaign bloggers embroiled in the Lamont/Lieberman race, "In Race, Bloggers Throw Curves and Spitballs," reports that Firedoglake blogger Jane Hamsher got into trouble for depicting Lieberman in blackface on the Huffington Post. After asking Hamsher to remove the offensive minstrel show image, the Lamont campaign has distanced itself from Hamsher, although she was once hailed for exposing Lieberman's Halliburton holdings.

Certainly, Hamsher isn't the only blogger to publish a Photoshop image in bad taste. For example, check out how Urkel was added to the security photo of the London bombers. I've even photoshopped my colleagues for humorous effect, although I've also posted more serious meditations on the subject of digital manipulation. This week, there was an interesting SIGGRAPH panel on the ethics of such image alteration in journalism, as you can see from my round-up review of their annual convention.

Of course, bloggers also expose how campaigns use Photoshop to add soldiers to a Bush rally, borrow Howard Dean's happy crowds for a backdrop to a Republican candidate, or substitute New Orleans Square in Disneyland for a mayorial candidate's actual city.



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