CSotD: Phun with Photoshop

Nobody is better at making too much of something that doesn’t really matter than First Dog on the Moon, and so who better to comment on Princess Catherine’s (or, as those of us who know her personally would say, “Kate’s”) adventure in photo manipulation?

Not only is First Dog good at hyping the overhyped, but, as an Australian, he enjoys the advantage of having Royals on his money for no good reason except that periodically someone asks if maybe it’s time to move on and his fellow Aussies agree that no, it isn’t.

And just to make sure there’s no cheating, a Royal will show up down there once in awhile to double check the money. Which could be Photoshopped, which is why the Royals are all schooled in the technique.

Anyway, I like his rules for Photoshopping and plan to bring them up at my next department head meeting. Pretty sure my dog will agree about the corgis.

In the meantime, Clay Jones found a way to combine Photoshopkategate with Dear Leader’s use of AI to make himself look popular with the colored folks, which reminds me of a case several decades ago in which some college was caught adding Black students to their viewbook to make the place look more inclusive. This was before Photoshop and certainly before AI, so they had to do it the old fashioned way.

Well, the real old fashioned way would be to surround yourself with actual Black people, but let’s not go crazy. Call it the “middle fashioned” way.

I’m all in favor of this stuff and would be willing, for a reasonable fee, to help illustrate the Washington Post’s articles.

Which by the way is not only a reminder that the people who write the headlines rarely read beyond the first paragraph of a news story, but, tangentially, a segue to comment on the editor quoted in DD Degg’s piece about reader feedback.

The editor’s commentary, which DD linked to, is thoughtful, but contains a crucial and potentially misleading comment:

That’s a “yes-but-no” statement. It’s either in advance or not. However, there are chains — the Oregonian is owned by Advance — in which comic pages are laid out at one paper or overseas, and arrive complete.

Elsewhere, the page is laid out in the backshop, often in a process so automated that even the person doing the task may not see individual comics: They have a template and the individual strips are pulled down and installed with a code.

If the editor has a good relationship with the backshop — which is somewhat rare — a sharp paginator may spot and point out a questionable strip.

But here’s the reality: The editor is responsible for what goes into the paper, and with X-number of pages to check before the presses roll, the comics page rarely gets a glance. So, while the syndicates have a responsibility to flag dubious content — and sometimes send out a caution and an offer of alternative strips — there are a couple of places where the local paper could catch things they don’t want to publish.

Syndicated content, however, is dropped on the page largely unexamined. It’s not just the comics: If the crossword puzzle contains an F-bomb or Ann Landers suggests someone drop acid and run through the streets naked, that would probably also wind up on your table at breakfast.

(I know Ann Landers died over 20 years ago, but zombie features are part of the offerings.)

Speaking of things that refuse to die, the Katie Britt cartoons continue to come in, and while I’m done with the topic, Kevin Necessary’s contribution made me chuckle. It’s a little late, but that gave him time to react not only to the speech itself but to her attempts to justify it.

Note that, as Mike Luckovich points out, Lara Trump feels no compulsion to justify either her nepo-baby hiring as head of the Republican National Committee nor the way she is redirecting GOP fundraising to benefit her father-in-law.

And it’s true: Donors are welcome to contribute to the Donald Fund in several ways, or, like Ken Buck and Mitch McConnell, they can drop out and go away.

While still on the topic of things people put out there without reading them, Daniel Hur’s appearance before Congress yesterday inspired Dave Whamond to point out the number of places that bit of minstrelsy went off the rails.

As he suggests, nobody is backing down from their original claims, despite how completely Hur’s comments about Biden’s memory were demolished by Democrats who committed the blasphemy of reading the transcript of his interviews with Biden.

When I say “nobody,” I include the media that reported the original “bad memory” remarks and have responded with some on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other coverage.

Fortunately, I’m too big a man to point out that I suggested at the time that they weren’t reading Hur’s report accurately.

However, they could have done worse, as seen in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

Chip Bok — Creators

Bob Gorrell — Creators

I don’t mind a good dust-up with someone whose political views differ from my own, but I do object to people who express opinions without having glanced at the evidence.

I also understand that anyone who gets their information entirely from Rupert Murdoch or the other hard-right sources can be misled, but that ought to define the difference between someone blowing off steam at the local bar and someone who is paid to comment on politics professionally.

Gorrell seems of the opinion that 77 is a lovely age but 81 is too old. I’d like to hear his reasoning, or at least I’d like to know what he was doing yesterday while other political commentators were watching the Congressional hearing.

Bok, by contrast, makes an accusation that was absolutely contradicted by testimony in that hearing.

That means he well remembers things about the house, and the garage which is part of it.

Homework is part of the job. Do your job.

One more photographic reference, this from Cathy Wilcox, commenting on the increasing bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. I don’t know why the Aussies seem so much more concerned about climate change than the rest of us, but I suppose someone has to give a damn.

And, no, you can’t fix it in Photoshop.

9 thoughts on “CSotD: Phun with Photoshop

  1. We all make typos, but I see them more frequently in political cartoons from one particular syndicate, which means they’re not editing the cartoons at all. Then, I’ll see those same cartoons in The Week, which means they’re not reading the cartoons before they publish, don’t care, or can’t catch typos.

  2. “Well, the real old fashioned way would be to surround yourself with actual Black people, but let’s not go crazy. Call it the “middle fashioned” way.”
    I think doctored photos qualify as old-fashioned. The Exaggeration or Tall-Tale postcard goes back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

  3. I’m still amused by the rightwing struggling to maintain their “Biden is a feeble old man” narrative with “Biden had too much energy during SOTU address” complaints.

    1. Surprised Fox hasn’t run with “BIDEN CLEARLY FOUND TRUMP’S STASH IN THE RESOLUTE DESK” yet

  4. Bok and Varvel straight-up lying to make a the same lame right-wing talking point? I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!

    I don’t know anything about Bok’s religious proclivities but Varvel certainly likes to tout his. You’d think such a person would place more value on honesty all the time, not just when it suits him.

  5. Cartoonists, illiterate, write for free help! I saw that somewhere, but I don’t remember where. Watch the main stream news and you too can be ill-informed by the grandiose panem et circenses. (main stream, yes, but, a stream of what?!?!)

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