By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Michael Graham’s anti-Obama fakery

I suppose this is like pointing out that the sun rises in the east. But WTKK Radio (96.9 FM) talk-show host Michael Graham is running a fake photo on his blog showing Barack Obama speaking in front of a poster of the Latin American terrorist/’60s icon Che Guevara.

The photo of Obama was taken during his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. It’s been superimposed on a background of Guevara. You may recall that there was a brief controversy some months ago when an Obama volunteer put up a Che poster at the campaign’s Houston headquarters. The campaign, not surprisingly, responded by denouncing Che.

Graham’s deceptive hackery isn’t even original — it was posted here back in February. No doubt Graham will tell us that anyone would know the Obama-Che photo is a fake. But if you listen to his callers, I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a stretch.

The second-best part is that Graham calls his blog “The Natural Truth.” The best part is that Graham is on a crusade to convince people that McCain-Palin supporters aren’t really hate-mongering against Obama. I guess he’ll have to exclude himself.

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  1. Robin Edgar

    In light of the fact that the opening sentence of that ‘The Natural Truth’ blog post says -For months I’ve been *mocking* Sen. Obama’s claim that he’s going to “cut taxes for 95% of American families.”I think that Michael Graham actually has some “reasonable grounds” to assert that the photo is satirical and that anyone with any brains “would know the Obama-Che photo is a fake.” How much in the way of brains his readership may have is another matter. . . OTOH I have seen plenty of photos of President George W. Bush and Republican candidate John McCain waving, but presented in a way that makes it appear that they are giving a Nazi salute or at least alludes to the Nazi salute, coming from the left. . . I just ran a Google Images search on – John McCain Nazi – looking for such photos to prove my point but found this image. which closely parallels the manipulated photo of Barack Obama that you are complaining about here Dan. What’s the big diff?

  2. Dan Kennedy

    I would point out two differences:1. No one — no one — would think the McCain Nazi picture is real, whereas the Obama/Che picture taps into something some people already think they know about him.2. Where is the McCain Nazi picture from? Some anonymous nut? Or a guy who has a talk show on a major radio station? It does make a difference, you know.

  3. goodwolve

    So, I left a comment on the site asking that they “as respected journalists” remove the photo. That it detracted from whatever they were writing about and caused a false impression.Well, they deleted it. It was there for about 1 minute and then they deleted my comment. Love the media.

  4. Ani

    I’m trying to figure out how we can take the King of Denmark approach (having everyone, not just Jews, wear gold stars during WWII) to this and dilute the message of these attempts to portray Obama as radical other. I probably can’t set an appropriate example, though, since I worked with Kathleen Cleaver for a time in the mid 1980’s on a bibliography project for the law librarian at Yale.

  5. Robin Edgar

    “1. No one — no one — would think the McCain Nazi picture is real, whereas the Obama/Che picture taps into something some people already think they know about him.”*Some people* already think they know that Senator John McCain is a Nazi or the next best thing to one Dan. . . Ditto for President George W. Bush and former President George H. W. Bush. Who knows? Maybe they’re right. . . Only a complete moron would believe that the Barack Obama photo is real, especially in this era of Photoshop. Are there complete morons aka “wingnuts” on the Republican side that might actually believe that the manipulated photo of Senator Barack Obama is real? Of course. But there are probably just as many complete morons aka “moonbats” on the Democrat side that might actually believe that the manipulated photo of Senator John McCain is real or at least represents reality. . . “2. Where is the McCain Nazi picture from? Some anonymous nut? Or a guy who has a talk show on a major radio station? It does make a difference, you know.”I know that all too well Dan. . . I found that particular picture on this website but it just might have originated as a background “visual” for a certain Material Girl who just had a major rock concert tour. . . N’est-ce pas Dan?

  6. Tom the Barber

    I almost fell out of my Barcalounger when I saw him on Beat The Press recently. How could Emily Rooney invite this neo-con knuckledragger to the WGBH studios, infesting the program with his vile, moronic observations. I have to give you credit, Dan, when you acknowledge something he spewed, I mean, said. I would have given him The McCain Treatment, don’t look at him.

  7. Dan Kennedy

    Tom the Barber! I think I know you 😉 I need a haircut, but I’m having a hard time finding a moment to come in. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Dunwich Nice NY times piece on the crackpot Hannity chose to grace the Fox airwaves with.

  9. Michael Pahre

    The color stretch of the original also appears to have been modified in order to make the browns appear darker — including the color of Obama’s skin. I’m just sayin’ is all… I’m sure he wouldn’t have done that intentionally.

  10. Janny

    Boy, you guys go ballistic when anyone does anything that pokes fun at your messiah. Michael Graham’s blog is not news, it’s commentary with a lot of humor and satire thrown in. His listeners and readers realize that. You should be outraged at the actual news organizations like Reuters and others that have repeatedly doctored pictures and presented them as news.Don’t worry Dan and the rest of you haters of dissent. The Fairness Doctrine is coming soon and you’ll all be able to celebrate the elimination of those pesky knuckledragging right-wing voices.

  11. Dan Kennedy

    Janny: I have written against the Fairness Doctrine on several occasions, but that doesn’t stop you from barging in and making unfounded allegations, does it?Or is your comment intended as “satire”?

  12. Janny

    Dan, My comment was not satire and I stand by it.Your condemnation of the Fairness Doctrine is tepid at best. Your most forceful statement is “We don’t need the Fairness Doctrine” but then you follow it up with your desire to control ownership to “improve what we see and hear”. Who decides if what we see and hear is appropriate? You? How about just letting the free market and listeners decide what they want to listen to.The fact is that the Fairness Doctrine is a top-drawer proposal for Pelosi, Reid and others. They want to silence conservative voices. Obama himself speaks with open disdain for talk radio and FNC. It isn’t too much of a leap to believe that he would also like to shut down those entities if he had the chance.The silencing of Conservative voices is the most frightening thing to me about a Democrat monopoly. It has already happened on our college campuses and you have to admit that many Liberals would celebrate if talk radio were shut down.You probably disagree but watch what happens if Obama is elected. I hope you’ll speak out loudly against it when it is introduced.

  13. Dan Kennedy

    Janny: You forgot to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I didn’t realize you oppose the Fairness Doctrine.” But I know you really meant to.It is precisely because I support the free market that I believe broadcast ownership limitations need to be revived. You cannot have a free market if you let corporations buy as many stations as they like, given that there are only a limited number of broadcast frequencies available.

  14. mike_b1

    “The silencing of Conservative voices?” On campuses? College campuses are the one place where all sides still have a voice. All you need is a megaphone. The media are dominated by GOP-supporting owners whose views are reflected in their shows, editorials and coverage. And you’re worried about the right to speech? Recall that it’s Democrats like Obama and Clinton who went to the best law schools in the world and passed the bar. You’d have to go back to Nixon to find a Republican president with a law degree, and a lot farther than that to find one who respected the Constitution. No matter what a president Obama would do, the Constitution would be in better hands — at least he knows what it is.

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