Above: Just a couple of the fake photos of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin that are currently making the rounds of the internet. [Source: News of the World]
I blogged earlier about the fake Barack Obama photo that made the rounds of the internet earlier this year, and now it appears to be the GOP’s turn to defend themselves against the fakers. On Friday, Republican Party Presidential hopeful John McCain announced Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin as his VP pick. I could tell that Palin – a former beauty queen who has been dubbed “America’s Hottest Governor” – would very soon have to deal with her first fake photo scandal (with probably many more to come). There is even a Photoshop contest encouraging people to send in naked fakes of her, so expect this story to grow as the election progresses. The News of the World was the first to out the fake photos, and if you go to the NOTW or the contest sites you can even see the fake naked Palin pics as well. (Obviously NSFW!)
Such slanderous fakery reminds me of the fake photo that was published during the 2004 Presidential campaign that showed John Kerry and Jane Fonda at an anti-Vietnam War rally. It was obviously created to bring about doubts of Kerry’s patriotism and to tarnish his war record…
This was a bit more of a scandal at the time, as it was credited as an AP photo and it was no such thing. ( AP threatened to take legal action, but it was too difficult to find who created the faked image.) It was actually a composite of 2 images taken from the historical archives of Corbis…
Left: original photo of John Kerry taken on June 13, 1971 at an anti-war rally in Mineola, NY. [source] Right: original image of Jane Fonda taken in August, 1972 speaking at a rally in Miami Beach, FL. [source]
I don’t care which side of the political coin you are on – fakes to this extent are just wrong. They amount to nothing more than slanderous cheap shots by people who don’t have the intelligence to debate the legitimate issues at hand. Just as candidates for public office should be questioned about their stances on the issues, so should imagery of them that gets passed around the internet. It is up to the public and news organizations to do the questioning on all fronts.
UPDATE: It appears the fake naked image of Sarah Palin is starting to get around to international print media. Here is the front page of a Chinese newspaper. I can not confirm what the article says as I can’t read Chinese, but I am trusting my source that the paper – “The Apple Daily” – states the photo is real. Of course, McCain’s camp denies this and I believe them. IMO, the woman in the photo does not even look like all the other confirmed images of a young Palin – just because a person has brown hair and eyes does not mean it is Sarah Palin.
The above Chinese newspaper published the fake naked photo of Sarah Palin [click to see enlarged version]. Thanks to an anonymous submitter!
UPDATE, Part 2: After much googling, I finally found the original image via a site called The Fake Detective. This Shop was created sometime back in the mid-late 90s as a fake naked photo of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. (It seems not only does Palin look like Tina Fey, but I guess now she also looks like JLD?) To see the original image please click here (warning: nude photos – NSFW).