Fake photo nailed! Carney puff piece gives the finger to journalistic integrity

That Washingtonian MOM puff piece about life in the household of White House spokesman Jay Carney and his wife, Claire Shipman, has some credibility problems.

Besides the Soviet-nostalgia propaganda, eagle eyes in the Twitterverse have caught on to some bad, sloppy photoshop work apparently intended to make the Carney-Shipmans look a little more literate than they really are.OK, we get that they don’t really hold play-news conferences with the kids, as this photo shows, but does the background have to be so fake, too?

For a good laugh, check out these Twitter posts, via Twitchy. It’s as fake as an Obamacare update.

See how the “books” have been duplicated to make the shelf in the background looked stuffed with weighty learning?

But there are even more.

And it’s not just the books. Look closely, and there seems to be an errant finger floating loose.

Some Twitter users noted (sarcastically) there really might be an innocent explanation.

Now here’s the thing about this.

No one’s ever going to confuse Washingtonian with Life in its heyday — it’s basically Cosmo for the Beltway set and the piece shows it. And the Carney-Shipmans can’t really be held responsible for what happens in newsrooms or offices outside their own.

But this kind of thing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. With a combination of propaganda and hackery such a big part of this administration — and more or less the definition of Carney’s day job — Washingtonian’s photo staff probably thought nothing of the deliberate distortion they committed here; that they were just reflecting reality as well as anyone else in the Washington of the Obama Age.

They were right.

No problem at all.

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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