Is Someone Lying? Or Do I Need Glasses?

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Giant Supposedly Liberal blog Daily Kos has leveled a pretty serious charge at the Clinton campaign staff – that they made Obama look “blacker” in a commercial, which features a clip from one of the debates. The Kos post is here. The Clinton people denied doing this, but Kos says they are lying, and features two stills that are quite disparate. Kos claims they took the darker image directly from the commercial at the Clinton website. I followed the Kos link to the Clinton website, watched the ad, and the Obama visage in the Clinton ad doesn’t look like either photo to me. Is it my eyes? Is it my computer monitor?

I got to see Obama in person, close up, several times while he was campaigning in South Carolina and I don’t remember him looking like either of the Kos pictures either, exactly. I have no idea what the truth of the situation is. I’m inclined to think Kos is the liar at the moment, but maybe that is because I believe my lying eyes.

–Ann Bartow

Update: Some visuals. Here is what Kos says he took from the Clinton commercial (but it doesn’t look like that to me at the Clinton site, so I have to wonder if Kos is actually doing the nefarious photoshopping…), and then what he says the actual debate footage looked like:

Here is a photo from the “Obama Youth” site:

Here is a photo run at Blackprof:

And an official Obama campaign video is here. Please note this post is not intended to be anti-Obama nor pro-Clinton, nor visa, nor versa. It’s an indictment of Kos alone.

Udpate 2: Photo from today’s NYT:

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0 Responses to Is Someone Lying? Or Do I Need Glasses?

  1. Eric says:

    Regardless of whether anyone is lying about the pictures, this much is clear: the Clinton ad distorts the truth about the substantive issue. Obama chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, which (contrary to the assertion in the Clinton ad) is not “charged with the force of fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan”. Meanwhile, Clinton sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which held two hearings on Afghanistan just last month; Clinton missed both of them while she was on the campaign trail.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Eric, you are a loyal and valued commenter here, but please please please keep the focus of commentary for this post on the merits or lack thereof of the Kos allegations. The post attempts to be candidate neutral and you are not helping! Any place but this post, it’s fine to honestly challenge the merits of the ad, I’d never question that.

  3. nmuirhead says:

    I opened the official Hillary Clinton YouTube version of the ad and ran it beside Kos’s screenshot. I thought Obama looked slightly lighter in the YouTube version than in Kos’s image. That said, he was noticeably darker, and distorted, in the Clinton ad compared to the YouTube of the MSNBC feed.

    I thought it was especially obvious the entire image in the Clinton ad had been darkened when I compared the colour of Obama’s suit and tie on MSNBC and in Clinton’s ad. On MSNBC it’s a charcoal suit, and in the Clinton ad it’s completely black. It’s so dark you can’t even make out his lapels, which are clearly visible on MSNBC.

    Here’s a screenshot of what the images looked like side by side on my computer, is that what they’re like on yours?

    I guess my eyes are in between. I agree with you that the Kos image is slightly different from actually viewing the Clinton ad, but I find the difference between the Clinton ad and the MSNBC video to be far more noticeable.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    Thanks for that. The Kos version skin tone had a lot of purple in it, or something. The screen grab you took has browner tones, at least as my eyes and brain process it. But the MSNBC feed is much paler than I remember Obama in real life! And much paler than the other photos of him I posted, don’t you think? Again, I don’t know what happened, but unless Obama himself makes the charge, I’m not buying it. I don’t trust Kos at all.

    And I have a (completely facetious) question: Do you think someone “blackened” Obama in his own authorized campaign video, here?

    Because he looks a lot different there than in the MSNBC clip, at least to me. I keep qualifying everything with “at least to me” because I know that people process colors and images differently.

  5. Eric says:

    Sorry, Ann, didn’t mean to hijack the post. And I ought to have said at the outset that I’m not an Obama partisan. Anyway, on the specific issue at hand, I really can’t see any obvious alteration of the pictures — certainly not enough to support the accusation in the Kos post. Then again, I frequently wear one blue sock and one black sock, so my color perception is not the best benchmark.

  6. Ann Bartow says:

    No worries. Your point about the socks is exactly my point here. Unless the evidence is pretty strong, making that kind of allegation is nasty and wrong. And it doesn’t look too convincing to me.

  7. wasabi says: debunked what Kos wrote.

  8. Pingback: FactCheck.Org: Hillary’s Camp Did NOT Darken Obama’s Photo | Womenhealth