Earlier today we posted a little item about how CPAC had apparently used a picture of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) on the bio page of Dr. Ben Carson. Both men are African-American. Not a huge thing, not a huge story – but a bit awkward and worth noting. But then things got a little weird.
We found out about this when a Washington Post reporter, Ben Terris, screen capped the page and posted it to Twitter. We reported the story, based on the Post reporter’s account. But then CPAC, who we’d originally not heard back from in response to our inquiries, contacted us to say that the image was a photoshop fake. These things pop up of course. But this was all very specific. Ferris clearly said that this was not an image he found of uncertain provenance. He screen captured it himself from the CPAC app. And the image appears to clearly show the time and other details that look real.
At a technical level it’s certain possible to photoshop something like this. But that would mean that Terris was clearly lying about what happened and now doubling down on that lie.
I would not be terribly surprised to hear that a Post reporter or a reporter for any similar outlook had tweeted a photo he or she found not knowing its provenance. I find it very difficult to believe that such a reporter would specifically insist that they had captured the image themselves if they had photoshopped it – both because I just don’t think that would happen and also because of what I imagine would be the dire professional consequences.
That said, we are not taking anything for granted.
CPAC insists it as a fake and they will prove this with documents or emails from their tech team which as of this moment we have yet to receive. They have now posted this earlier web-cached version which they say proves their point.
We’ll keep you posted on what we find out.