Friday, March 7, 2008

The darker the Barry...

Aw crap. I wanted to give Team Hillary the benefit of the doubt. I really did. But it looks like they’re playing the fear-of-Negroes card in an obvious way.

The top image comes from a Clinton ad released this week titled (ironically enough) “True.” (Click here to watch it.)

The bottom image comes from the exact same moment in the Ohio debate, as broadcast on MSNBC. Notice any difference?

The Clinton campaign made Barack Obama darker. Yes. They made him darker! Or do you think I’m tripping?

They also distorted the shape of Obama’s head. (To make his nose seem broader, perhaps?)

We have seen this kind of technological trickery before, haven’t we? When was it? Oh yeah... I remember...

Damn. So this is how the game is being played now, huh?

And Hillary’s campaign manager is a black woman... Maggie Williams. She should be ashamed.

I am going to write Ms. Williams a letter. I’m going to let her know that I don’t appreciate this type of tactic.

I encourage you all to do the same.

Maggie Williams
c/o Hillary Clinton for President
4420 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203

UPDATE (03/07/08): I guess I better start paying attention to the big liberal blogs. The Daily Kos was all over this thing on Wednesday.


dj said...

I would love to be one of those benefit of the doubt people and regardless of what the truth is,here's what the excuse will be:

"In our rush to get important information out to our supporters"the truth",we assigned the graphic duties to a lower level person working on the campaign."

"The darker coloration,is due to the "auto-contrast" feature being used in Photoshop and contrary to the charges of altering his physical features,this is merely a photo that has not maintained it's proper aspect ratio."

"Unfortunately,due to the time frame,we were unable to obtain proofs of the literature before they were printed and distributed."

"The offset printing process,exaggerated this higher contrast,but is better than the Black & White pamphlet we had planned originally,but "Bam" was lookin' like Yaphet Kotto,so we went with the color."

"We are taking steps and reviewing procedures to try and ensure this does not occur in the future."

"We would like to say we are sorry,but that will make it look like we did something wrong and really,ding dang y'all it be that Photoshop!"

"Photoshop is racist!"

dj said...

Duh,video,not print.
Aspect ratio and contrast still will be the excuse though.

Reviewer X said...

Maggie Williams has no shame.

RC said...

I can't say what happened there Dave, but having been a color negative worker at Duart Color, Manhattan, for almost 4 years in the early seventies it is quite possible that someone did screw up the flesh tone "timing" of that clip, it happens all the time. You are supposed to match the "china girl" to get the true color tone scales happening. At least that was the deal 30 years ago. I would expect there is some kind of similar technique now in digital video.
On the other hand, like you say, could have been like that old accidentally on purpose routine!
As for the nose thing, that's the lens. I don't know what the photogs have been doing to cause that man's ears to be so big though. I think they are trying to make him look Republican.

dez said...

@dj, I think a low-level staffer already took the blame for this. It certainly doesn't do Hillary any favors to engage in this sort of crap, and I wish she'd stop. Stick to the facts, ma'am!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Speaking of the facts, dez, I mentioned in my live-blogging of the debate that this point on Hillary's part -- Obama's failure to address Afghanistan on his subcommittee -- was a clean shot to the jaw.

Her best punch of the night, actually.

Can you point me to who fell on their sword for this in her campaign? I haven't seen it addressed in the media.

memomachine said...


1. *shrug* the Associated Press, not a bastion of Republicans or Hillary supporters, has shown pictures of Obama much darker than that.

2. Color matching, particularly on computers and in web browsers, is pretty inexact.

We're not talking pantone strips here.

3. The top picture is also a resizing of the bottom picture. And yes resizing can change things.

4. The color change could have come from saving the image in a different format than the original.

5. Considering that Presidential candidates have a thick layer of makeup on for these things I'm really rather surprised that there are any two pictures with Obama the same shade.

6. Compared to the crap the liberal media has done to Republicans this is extremely minor.

memomachine said...



This is pretty funny:


1. It's a Rightwing site.

2. It's being done in humor about ll this wrangling about Obama's color.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ You are too easily amused.

Terrence said...

I think it is much to do about nothing, really.

If they did do it deliberately, at least they didn't make him as dark as his Kenyan grandmother.

[I've got jokes]

Undercover Black Man said...

^ You been following this campaign for the past week, Terrence? This is the season of much ado about nothing.

Dan Coyle said...

Oh dear lord, that Time cover. yes, you want to do a cover about a black celebrity being arrested for murder, and you hire Matt Mahurin, the guy who has spent the last few years making badly lit, darker than dark music videos. Perfect!

LennieG said...

I once had a tiny bit of respect for Hillary Clinton but that's all gone now. Her #1 goal is to continue running the white house. Apparently it was not good enough that she ran it for 8 years straight while her husband hobnobbed with a bevy of busty boob-heads. She wants back in. And her Universal Health Care plan is scary at best. She's obsessed with it. No, thanks. I pay for my own health plan and don't want to pay for anyone else's.

cuz said...

This is on the bottom of my pile of dirty tricks from the Clinton campaign. Distributing the photo in Kenya to me was a lower and more diabolical move to build their xenophobic base. And it was reported that the two volunteers who released the photo "resigned." How can you "resign" as a volunteer unless you were asked to come on board to do a job. Watch out for more low-level loose cannons in their campaign strategy.

memomachine said...



1. "^ You are too easily amused."

Dude! You wound me. It's not mocking Obama. It's mocking all of this "skin darker!" accusations.

Which have been pretty much debunked on the Right.


"Did Clinton Darken Obama's Skin?
March 5, 2008
Updated: March 6, 2008
Some Obama backers cry "racism." We find the accusation to be unsubstantiated."

*shrug* you pays your money, you takes your chances.

3. Anybody into Skratch or dubbing? I'm kinda curious about it. Any info would be vastly appreciated. Thanks!

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave without reading some of the, I'm sure, insightful comments, I wanna thank you for this public service.

No bullshit.

Des said...

....the Blacker The Juice.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Slick, Des! Mighty damn slick! Well done... lol...

Undercover Black Man said...

DeAng: A tactical response is in order if Team Hillary keeps poppin' this shit. You agree?

elle said...

speaking of that UBM, do you remember that rumor that Hillary has a lesbian lover? Think its time that Obama slings some mud of his own.

memomachine said...


You guys really buy into this don't you?

Frankly there are plenty of reasons to hit Hillary. Only the latest is her and Bill's unwillingness to release the shameful records about those last minute pardons.

But I think you're going way overboard with this.

*shrug* your choice of course.

Des said...

Dang, how much mimeograph solution did you sniff?....shld have stuck to the carbona like the rest of the fellas...You'd still be just as stupid....but lacking that dull blue glow that highlights all the wide open spaces where your mouth and brain have apparently disconnected ....and are presumed dead.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Let's refrain from personal attacks, please. I want everybody to feel welcome here.

Des said...

understandable.... apology offered.

I will refrain from responding to what I perceive as ridiculous with ridicule.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Thanks.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave re: tactical response.

Loading up for the first post-Wire column.

Via reading Carville's book "Had Enough?" I think I understand what they're doing.

Actually, not to hard to understand. Just read Machivelli.

But why'd you shut down des' attack on mimograph? This is the House of Love, ain't it? Or maybe that shit is reserved the ugly Stakes Be High battles. If so, I ain't mad at ya. I ain't mad at you anyway except for these fucking letters I gotta type in to post.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I forgot to explain, DeAngelo... I was being attacked by spam robots, so I had to add that verification step. I'm surprised I went this long without having to. Most bloggers do it like that.

I wasn't trying to shut Des down, or protect memomachine's feelings. And lord knows I love ridicule as a weapon. But to just come right out and call somebody "stupid"... that's a half-step over the line, and I just don't want to let things go too far down that road.

Des has shown in this thread that he's got enough wit to do damage without having to be straight rude.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Gotcha Dave. You're right there's gotta be some cleverness. You were being kind in calling a half step over.

memomachine said...


Ahhhh. Mimeograph is me?

Ok then. Why don't you go ahead and show us all *your* particular expertise on photoshop, computer imaging, image transformations, image compression and, hell of all hells, color matching on a web browser.

Ever had to work with Marketing on website design? Ever had to deal with Pantone sticks?

But hey. If this silly issue is something you want to blow up. Then go for it. But I have to tell you the folks on the Right are laughing their asses off right now at the KosKiddies because of the massive ignorance they're showing about image manipulation and compression.

*shrug* entirely up to you guys. You might be able to gin this up into a real scandal. But that's unlikely. The reality is that Obama has a glass jaw and depends heavily on being treated like Buddha by the press and his opponents. The fact is that he's not shown the capacity to be a tough political fighter and this sort of thing won't help him as many Americans will instead wonder why he's being such a wussy about a darker shade.

His election to Illinois Senate was remarkable because his supporters forced his 5 opponents off the ballot by questioning each and every signature that put them on the ballot until all were off. So he ran unopposed.

His election to the US Senate was against Keyes, which is to say he ran almost completely unopposed there as well.

But hey. It's your vote, your politics and your life. I'm not telling you what to do. But I will ask for something a lot more creative than "mimeograph".

Really. You guys can do better than that.

dez said...

Can you point me to who fell on their sword for this in her campaign? I haven't seen it addressed in the media.

I'll poke around for it, but it was something I heard in passing on an early morning radio show news brief, so it may take me some time. They may also have been wrong in their reporting.

I do remember you mentioning the clean shot Hillary took at Obama. You've been more than fair with your posts about her, IMHO (well, maybe not so much with the bitch joke, but no matter, hee hee) :-)