We'd like to think the world is getting better at spotting Photoshop hoaxes -- even a well-constructed cut-and-paste job usually gets called out within a couple of days. You'd think that this would make dishonest folks think twice before, say, trying to pull off a hilariously bad Photoshop fake. But you'd be wrong, particularly if said folks are politicians.
Let us hope that they learn from our merciless mockery. Or, even better, let's hope they don't. That way, we'll continue to get shit like this ...
#4. Chinese Officials Photoshop Themselves Over Old Lady
How long did you stare at the above pic before moving your eyes down to read this sentence? Not long enough! Look at it again! Bathe in its majesty. Look at the tiny old woman! WE SAID LOOK AT HER. That photo was, incredibly, passed off as an actual photo of actual Chinese politicians visiting an elderly constituent.
In October, Chinese officials of the Anhui province visited several centenarians -- typical photo op stuff. But apparently the actual pics of the event were not deemed terrifying enough, necessitating a Photoshop job that would turn the old woman into a wrinkly elf with the power to dissolve men's legs.
Ningguo Civil Affairs Department
That or Chinese Marty McFly really needs to get his shit together.
Internet users all over China mocked the officials for their obviously Photoshopped picture, and the authorities released apologies for portraying the kindly old lady as a tiny, mischievous visitor from another dimension.
#3. Kenyan Senator Photoshops Himself With Mandela
When freedom fighter Nelson Mandela passed away last December, the whole world fell into mourning -- nearly every politician on the planet stopped to at least say some kind words. And one senator from Kenya, Mike Sonko, took the opportunity to remind everyone how close he was to Mandela, releasing this totally-real-you-guys photo of the two embracing:
"How tragic," you're probably saying. "Mandela had become such a blurry man near the end." Fortunately, JPEG artifacting was not in fact a symptom of Mandela's sickness, and neither was "large head" a symptom of Mike Sonko's insanity. All of that was a result of a five-minute crop-and-paste job of Sonko's head onto Muhammad Ali:
His team quietly took down the photo of Sonko knocking out Sonny Liston.
And if you think it doesn't get any sadder than doing a head swap in a cheap attempt to impress voters, well ...
#2. Congressman Photoshops Rival Politician Shaking Hands With Obama
Last week, Texas congressman Steve Stockman -- who's currently locked in a political campaign against fellow Republican senator John Cornyn -- released a photo of Cornyn happily standing beside President Barack Obama. In Stockman's world, this is the equivalent of getting caught at a neo-Nazi rally:
Cornyn Loves Obamacare
"How could you vote for someone who SMILED at Obama?"
Now, this is actually masterful Photoshop work compared to the other crazy bastards on this list, but look close and you'll see another head-paste job on the guy on the right. The original picture isn't Obama with Cornyn, but Florida governor Charlie Crist:
The image was quickly removed after Stockman was called out on it (although no apology has been offered), but the implications of this affair are mind-boggling:
A) Cornyn, a prominent U.S. senator for the last 12 years, has apparently never been photographed with his president. Otherwise there'd be no reason to fake it.
B) Never being photographed with the leader of the country in which you serve as a senator is apparently considered a point of pride in this race.
C) You can apparently rise to the level of United States congressman in 2014 without knowing that reverse Google Image Search is a thing.
But honestly, when it comes to smearing your opponent with baffling fake head swaps, no one will ever top the unknown genius behind this next one ...
#1. Chinese Official Suspended After Obviously Photoshopped Pictures Show Him Having Sex With Mistress
Last week, allegations were raised against Chinese official Du Weijun, claiming that the director of the Zhaoging City Cultural Bureau had been embezzling state funds to help finance his gambling habit and pay for his lover. And we know it's true, because photographic evidence of him boning said lover was leaked to the press:
Presenting the most obscure Rule 34 example ever.
Maybe it's the lighting, maybe that's just how the guy looks, but it didn't take long for Chinese publications to notice that this dude's head looks cropped on. Badly:
Note the crude brushwork that gives his neck a two-tone paint job.
The incriminating evidence was supposedly released by the woman in the photo (whom we've tastefully cropped mostly out of the above pic -- feel free to Google around if you want to see full penetration), which also includes pics that seem to show the remnants of the real head behind Du's:
Also his third different hair style.
So, knowing how dirty Photoshop tricks work in the world of politics (thanks to this article), one would assume that these are crude fakes slapped together by a political rival, or the woman, or Du himself (we assume somewhere there's a frame that depicts Du with an enormous, crudely Photoshopped dong), listed in descending order of likelihood. But if it's a political smear, it totally worked: Du Weijun was suspended from office based on the photos, pending a full investigation. And if it turns out this is him, well, we're happy that his weird-looking neck hasn't impeded his sex life.