comments_image Comments

4 Dumbest Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories ... Involving Photoshop

The long, bizarre tradition of conservative media labeling a wide range of pictures and documents related to the president as fraudulent.

Continued from previous page


According to Zebest, since the codename for the Bin Laden mission was "Geronimo," leaving this additional detail uncovered possibly represented "another disturbing attempt to casually release confidential information to our enemies."

As we explained at the time, "NOFORN," is not actually a secret codeword: it  means the document in question is "Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals."

Six months before Zebest parsed the Situation Room photos, prominent conservative blogger Jim Hoft  posted a story at his website headlined, "Swedish Paper: Obama Photoshopped into Famous Situation Room Photo."

Citing a comment thread at Free Republic, Hoft embedded a picture from Swedish tabloid  Afton Bladet featuring a caption asking readers "Do you see what is wrong with this picture?" In Hoft's telling, the tabloid concluded that the picture "must be a fake." In reality, the video segment from the Swedish tabloid appeared to be about the  internet meme of Photoshopping various people and things into the iconic photo:

"What is wrong with this picture" is that Sad Keanu Reeves was not actually in the Situation Room during the Bin Laden raid. 

Obama Throwing A Football

Around the same time Zebest was picking apart the Situation Room photos for insidious pants-like jackets, a separate Photoshop conspiracy emerged among conservative bloggers revolving around this photo of President Obama throwing a football:

In a post  promoted by people like writer Dan Riehl, a blogger at conservative website Pundit Press explained that while they are "not one for conspiracies," they had serious doubts that the football photo was real. In the blogger's analysis, it was suspicious that Obama was "inexplicably looking upwards" in the picture. Other things held out as evidence were the mysterious "pixels that surround his head and arms." 

After the writer stumbled upon a higher quality version of the photograph, they conceded that  "the photo was probably not doctored, but simply staged (poorly)."

Ben DiMiero is a senior new media associate at Media Matters for America.
See more stories tagged with: