Politics

After GOP Congresswoman Posts A Filtered Photo Of Nancy Pelosi, WaPo Accuses Her Of Altering It

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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The national media’s obsession with the spread of doctored photos of Democratic politicians reached a fever pitch Thursday, when The Washington Post published a story accusing GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik of posting an “altered” image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Twitter.

The photo in question was indeed altered, but not in a way that made Pelosi look particularly bad. Instead, Stefanik — or one of her assistants — posted a filtered photo of Pelosi along with a petition to “pressure” her to send articles of impeachment to the Senate.

The use of filtered photos is common in the graphics design business. Pelosi’s own political team has used the technique in social media posts about President Donald Trump.

Media outlets have breathlessly covered the increased use of altered and photoshopped photos and images in the political realm. In May 2019, news outlets, including WaPo, vigorously covered a viral video of Pelosi that was slowed down to make the Democrat appear drunk.

WaPo’s story compared Stefanik’s post to a photoshopped image that Republican Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar posted Monday of former President Barack Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The original image was of Obama shaking hands with India’s prime minister at the time, Manmohan Singh. (RELATED: Senate Democrats Want Pelosi To End Stalemate Over Impeachment Articles)

WaPo’s description of Stefanik’s image shows it was far different than what Gosar posted.

“The tweet shows a close-up, red-tinted photo of Pelosi, with the lines in the House speaker’s face exaggerated due to the image’s unnaturally high contrast,” wrote WaPo reporter Felicia Sonmez.

Pelosi’s own social media team has used the same technique in the past on posts about President Donald Trump.

Stefanik responded by thanking WaPo for “promoting & advertising” her campaign donation page.

Stefanik has become a major target of Democrats ever since she squared off against California Rep. Adam Schiff during hearings for the Trump impeachment inquiry in 2019.

Stefanik announced a massive campaign fundraising haul Wednesday. She said her campaign raised $3.2 million in the final quarter of 2019, which is more than she raised in all of 2017 and 2018.

The WaPo story was widely ridiculed on Twitter.

WaPo did not respond to a request for comment.

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