Nick Coleman’s moving finger

A footnote to Nick Coleman’s Minneapolis Star Tribune column discussed below. Coleman’s response to a reader who wrote him was to send him a photo “for his office” of President Bush with his middle finger raised. Classy.
The photo Coleman sent the reader was a fake. It had been photoshopped, as a number of observant readers noted. Reader Eric Brandel found the original photo (click here) and writes: “Coleman’s version has just been transposed and then doctored.”
UPDATE: Greg Richards writes: “FWIW, it is the doctored photo – the one with Bush giving the bird – that has the correct orientation. Note that he always wears the flag on his left lapel and he combs his hair with the part on the left side.”
JOHN adds: I’ve reoriented the above photo so that it is correct. You can see that it is the source from which Coleman’s photoshopped version came. Here is what is interesting to me: Do you think Coleman knows that the photo he sent to a reader was a fake?
Many mainstream journalists really do believe that the internet is an unreliable source of information. It occurs to me that this may be, at least in part, because they are unusually unskillful and unskeptical users of the medium. Here is an analogy: we once pointed out that the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which editorialized in favor of the filibuster when it was being used by Democrats, had bitterly denounced the tactic when it was used in the early 1990s by Republicans. To prove our point, we posted PDF versions of the Strib’s 1993 and 1994 anti-filibuster editorials. Deputy Editor Jim Boyd bitterly objected to our statement that his paper had flip-flopped. When we pointed out to him that we had posted the Strib’s editorials on our site, he responded that the versions we posted were too small for him to read. He apparently had never heard of “click to enlarge.” Likewise, maybe Coleman has never heard of Photoshop.
Of course, it’s also true that the lefty sites that people like Coleman probably frequent are, indeed, highly unreliable. In any event, my own guess is that Coleman had no idea that the photo he sent his reader was a fake, and that he thought it lent additional support to his column’s erroneous claim that President Bush had given the bird to the White House press corps. I would surmise that he saw the photo on a left-wing hate site and took it at face value. Maybe he’ll write to let us know whether that guess is correct.


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