Knee Jerk: WaPo Assumed Romney Camp Photoshopped Obama Misspelling 'Ohio'

Knee Jerk: WaPo Assumed Romney Camp Photoshopped Obama Misspelling 'Ohio'

Tuesday afternoon, Obama’s Twitter feed sent out a photo of the President and three young men spelling O-H-I-O using their arms to make the letters.

A member of Mitt Romney’s Ohio staff, however, sent a version he snapped of Obama’s first attempt and, as you can see, they spelled it backwards O-I-H-O. From Chris Maloney’s Twitter feed:

Let’s just take it for granted that if Mitt Romney or anyone connected to him had done this it would be news. Case in point. But over at the Washington Post, the immediate decision was made that the image sent out by the Romney camp must be a fake created with Photoshop.

Here’s the post by Rachael Weiner (now revised). The original title, still visible in the URL, was “Yes, Obama can spell Ohio.” Weiner compared the two photos and then suggested (in language now scrubbed) that the photo by Maloney might be Photoshopped. Eventually, cooler heads prevailed, and Weiner added this correction which is now appended to the bottom of the post:

Correction: There are different photographs of Obama’s attempt tospell Ohio from a similar angle. We incorrectly stated the first oneappeared photoshopped.

Actually, that’s not true either. The angles weren’t remotely similar. One photo is from the right of center, the other from the left. In the first one, the four men are partially blocked by people in the foreground; in the second they aren’t. Having personally done Photoshop work myself since 1996, I can tell you there is no way anyone could Photoshop the second image from the source material provided in the first one.

The point is, you had to really want to make this particular leap to get to the idea that the Romney team was, effectively, lying. Obviously, the Post was pretty eager to make that leap. Why is that?