CPAC: Black Republican Photo Mixup Posted By WaPo Reporter Is Fake

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A spokesman for the Conservative Political Action Conference said on Wednesday that an image posted to Twitter by a Washington Post reporter earlier in the day, which appeared to show the CPAC website had mixed up photos two black Republicans scheduled to speak at the event, was fake.

“It’s a photoshop,” CPAC spokesman Ross Hemminger told TPM by phone when asked about the image.

The image had been tweeted out by Washington Post reporter Ben Terris at 8:33 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Terris’ post said the CPAC “mobile app” had placed a photo of Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) alongside the biography of potential presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson.

Hemminger disputed that CPAC had made an error.

“I’ve spoken with the web people who verified that it was definitely photoshopped,” Hemminger said, promising to send evidence that the image was a fabrication.

By noon on Wednesday, Hemminger had not sent such evidence. (TPM will update if he does.)

Reached by phone, Terris told TPM that the image “definitely was not a photoshop.” He said it was a screenshot he took himself and that he did not receive it from another person.

“I just was checking to see when Ben Carson was scheduled to speak at CPAC, and I saw his bio,” he said. “That’s literally all I was thinking: ‘That’s not the right guy.'”

“I don’t know anything about Photoshop, anything about web design,” he added.

On Wednesday, CPAC also posted a link on Twitter to a Google archive of the “speakers” section of its website. The version of the page captured by Google was from Tuesday at 3:59 a.m. GMT, which would have been 10:59 p.m. EST on Monday. The Google version displayed an image of Carson next to his bio.

At about 11:30 a.m., editor Ben Howe also accused Terris of photoshopping the image:

This post has been updated.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: