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September 29, 2006

Hivemind: Real or Photoshopped?

spring break, originally uploaded by yeowoman1970.

Michelle Malkin says this picture is a composite.

What do you think?

Update: It's officially a fake. Check it out and see if you were right about what was convincing or unconvincing in the picture.

A lot of people said the head was too small to be real, but the real woman's head isn't any bigger than the Michelle head appears to be in the picture.

Julia now my Photoshop sensei. She nailed what was wrong with the picture in the first five minutes: Gaussian noise added but not faded back and inconsistent compression artifacts in the face vs. body.


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» A personal aside from Michelle Malkin
Every weekday morning, after I get my kids dressed and fed and off and running for the day, I sit down in my home office to blog, write columns, manage Hot Air, and juggle duties as a Fox News contributor.... [Read More]


'There's nothing wrong with the subject matter of the photo'?

Why, it's clear 'evidence' of brazenly licentious behavior - lewd laundry room lollygaggery, perhaps alcohol-inspired in origin...And her response? A hussy having a hissy?

A coverup may be needed, but she's left a flank exposed


I don't really get what the big deal is. If it IS her, so what? She wore a bikini once. Big deal.
And if it's not her, it just proves that some people have way too much time on their hands. Something I think we all knew already.

Well, I definitely have too much time on my hands. Here's my shot of Lindsay in her wilder days, with that tatoo we all suspect she has...

Honestly, I don't think it works. I think I lost the facial features. Then again, I'm nowhere near a photoshop expert.

(too much?)

Let's see, who else...

Is this part of some sort of photoshop fake detection class using bit map values I missed in college?

On a side notes, is that the girl on capitol hill that was sexing up all the old congressman, et al., for monetary favors? I've never seen a picture of her before, so have no idea what she looks like.

Windy, that's too hot to be photoshopped! LOL!

Well Karl does have man boobs!

In those days, it was an A cup...


She's freaking out because, well, that's her job. But ostensibly it's because it would make her look hypocritical in addition to being a humorless prude.

How would she look hypocritical? Is she anti-swimsuit?

Looking at it, it seems consistent. The problem is that, absent a lot of practice and a better copy of the image, it's not that easy to test. Jpgs lose a lot of info.

Looking at the rest of the set, it's internally consistent. The real question (and it ought not be too hard to track down) is what the other people in those photos recall.

But the light is consistent, the skin tones are consistent and (this is where most fakes fail) the direction of light on her face/hair matches the direction of light in the rest of the picture.

On the other hand, back in 92, film was it. I don't know (because I wasn't shooting with that end of the spectrum) how common date stamps were (it was antother couple of hundred bucks to get a databack, and ruining the image didn't seem worth it, since the only reason would be to stamp one, and then use it to assert the rest of the roll was the same age, but I digress).

But a data back is possible, and so it's not out of the question.

So, if I had to lay odds, I'd say it's more likely than not, that this is the real thing.

I'll take a slice of schadenfruede pie please.


Michelle, hon, the photo is flattering. What isn't flattering is that you flatter yourself by taking it too seriously. See how that works darling?

Is she anti-swimsuit?

Her persona is. This whole thing started over her post about slutty spring breakers in itsy bitsy bikinis...part of her ongoing "skank" series.

Why is this an issue at all? Yes, Malkin has bats in her belfry; but why does anyone in their right mind think that it's hypocritical for a woman who cavorted for a camera during college spring break to complain about the sexualization of pre-teens? College woman = adult. Pre-teen = child. What's the connection?

It looks suspiciously like Malkin's critics are attacking her for being female.

The fact that her response to her critics is a 7.0 on the Nutbar Scale doesn't alter the fact that the critics themselves are behaving contemptibly.

So are some of the commenters here. "No way her ass is that small." What does it mean, again, when, in a political argument, people start talking about your ass?

What the fuck, Beyerstein? This is contemptible.

Also, what Alan just said.


Windy, it's true! How did you know? Michelle and I got matching johnny Cash tattoos and matching bikinis on spring break of '92. I was 14, so she had to vouch for me.

Likely Photoshop.
Small head lets you hide the cut/paste with dark hair.
Chin/neck also seems off.
But its a crappy snapshot....
Who cares. Not me.

Michelle wrote a column about how Charlotte Church, the 20-year-old UK pop singer is a skank and a slut and a general disgrace for giving up her devotional singing career to be, you know, a 20-year-old party girl.

So, Eric Mueller the UC law prof/"Is That Legal" blogger wrote a post, including the (putative) photograph of Michelle. In that post he argued that Michelle was a hypocrite because (he thought) he had photographic evidence that she was posing for the camera when she was that age. Perfectly unobjectionable stuff, but that was his point. He thought that Michelle Malkin was running down other women for stuff she did, too.

I'm absolutely certain that Eric commented in good faith. There's absolutely no reason to believe that he recognized the photo as a fake--if indeed it is.

Anyway, Michelle freaked out, published Eric's work address, and urged her readers to write to Eric's boss to complain--in a post that alleged that the photo had been fabricated.

She didn't argue that the picture was commentary on her body or her attractiveness. In fact, she wrote "if only I looked that good in a bikini." Nor did she note that the picture was perfectly banal.

I don't like people snitching to bloggers' bosses, as I emphasized in the comments of my recent Ann Althouse posts. I don't even approve when I think the blogger has acted badly.

In this case, I don't think Eric did anything wrong. He just pointed out that (he thought) he had evidence that Michelle did the same normal, age appropriate, non-controversial stuff when she was a young lady. Which, if true, would make her a nasty hypocrite for berating other young women for primping for a camera in their bikinis.

Doesn't her right hand (see top left) seem transparent? I don't have a very big monitor, but it looks like you can see the corner of the wall right through it. Is that evidence of too many layers merged in photoshop?

Is this the one you mean?

IF what Malkin says here is true...

Its not exactly "non-controversial stuff" to call the Pope a nazi.

I don't think a bikini snapshot, even assuming its her, makes her a hypocrite. If she used the photo to advance her career or something...maybe... but her criticisms of Church aren't so simple as that.

I'm not saying her criticism or reaction to the photo are justified, but the photo was a cheap shot, period.

Of course Eric Mueller did something wrong, he linked to a purported embarassing picture of a political opponent without having any reason to believe it was real. Since by my estimate at least 90% of embarassing photos of prominent people anonymously placed on the internet are forged this was a stupid thing to do. The result when the photo turned out to be a crude fake was that Mueller made himself (and those who followed his lead) look bad, like partisans blinded by hatred, and Malkin look like a victim. Probably not what he wanted to accomplish.

A photo of a print? I don't know what that's all about.

Probably a scan. Very few digital cameras back in 1992, though a lot of them did have date stamps.

Sven @ 7:49

So are some of the commenters here. "No way her ass is that small." What does it mean, again, when, in a political argument, people start talking about your ass?

That's nice, dear...But we're not having a political argument, we're discussing the provenance of the above photo and whether it has been altered.

Which is relevant to...?

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