Monday evening, Redstate published an article titled "Palin’s Third-Party Solution is Part of The Problem." The point of the article was to show why they think she was wrong to suggest dumping the GOP if republicans help pass the amnesty bill in Congress. The author repeats the same line we’ve been told for years about why you can’t leave the GOP because it wouldn’t "do anything more than ensure a permanent majority on the Left." What the author fails to see (and what any Conservative Californian can tell you) is that if the amnesty bill passes, the GOP will be a permanent minority anyway, so whatever(!) with the content of the article.
The main problem with the piece however, is the choice of the image Redstate uses (as the top featured post on the front pages, by the way) to go along with the article.
Take a look:
I suppose that’s a funny picture… If you have the mentality of an emotionally underdeveloped frat boy, but to most adults, it isn’t. In fact, considering the attire and position of the person who owns the body that they Photoshopped Governor Palin’s head on to, it’s obvious that this was posted to demean her. The author did refer to her as merely a "celebrity" after all, and there certainly is no respect for her at Erickson’s house. Never mind the fact that she was the first female vice presidential candidate in your party’s history, guys.
So, where did Redstate pick this photo up from? The left-wing publication, The Fiscal Times:
The Fiscal Times were the people who originally Photoshopped the picture. They did it to go along with a series of parody articles about famous political types writing to Santa Claus. The person who Photoshopped the picture, used this photo of Governor Palin, taken at a Grand Rapids book signing in 2009:
What did Erick Erickson have to say when people confronted him about this on Twitter? He denied it:
Yes it is!
As a professional graphic artist, and someone who uses Photoshop on a daily basis, I can tell you exactly what the person for The Fiscal Times did. They took the original picture (seen above), selected Governor Palin’s head and some (not all) of her hair. They then copied and pasted that image onto the photo with the lady and Santa Claus. They rotated the image to match where the lady’s head would be situated, and then added some red tones and adjusted the light levels to match the scenery better. Note the blue hue on the altered image is still there even after the color correction. That’s because in the real image, Governor Palin had a blue curtain behind her, and the Fiscal Times artist doesn’t know the proper use of overlays. Or feathering for that matter, but I digress.
Here are the images side by side. I tilted the original so that they are aligned. Since I’m not on the clock, I didn’t attempt to recreate the color alterations:
I didn’t need to however. It’s blatantly obvious that this is the same image. I placed one image over the other while adjusting the transparency, just to make double sure. Yep, everything matches. The hair (minus the parts excluded by Fiscal Times artist), the earrings, eyes, etc.
Before Erickson denied that this was a fake photo, Michelle asked Ben Howe to remove the picture. Howe also denied it was a Photoshop but first stated:
She never posed for that picture and instead of taking that into consideration, the boys at Redstate dig in. They demean Governor Palin and everybody who defends her, but I guess that’s nothing new.
The folks at ShePAC also weighed in on Facebook, writing:
"LIKE" IF YOU AGREE: @EWErickson @BenHowe – we all disagree at times, but lets be respectful. The left demeans conservative women enough – conservatives don’t need to follow their lead. Please change the demeaning photo-shopped image currently on RedState’s homepage. Let’s lead by example fellas.
As of now, the image is still posted at Redstate. ShePAC was ignored by Erickson and Co.
Update by Doug: Dan Riehl at Riehl World View gets to the heart of Erickson’s issue:
I swear, RedState should do a fund raiser to get Erick Erickson a penile implant in hopes that he’ll one day get over his fear and loathing of strong women. Were he a serious editor he never would have allowed the post in question to go up, let alone have defended it. And it isn’t just the photoshop that’s the problem, although the moron evidently can’t even spot one of those.
The other problem with the Redstate piece, as Riehl goes on to explain, is that Governor Palin never called for the establishment of a third party, which is the basic premise of Erickson and company’s article. I’ve watched with amusement these past several days as many on the Left have twisted Governor Palin’s innocuous response to a Twitter question on FNC as a call to found a new "Freedom Party". I watched the interview and that never happened (though I wouldn’t necessarily mind if it had). She simply pointed out the obvious: That if the GOP continues to abandon their principles, stiff-arm their base, and accept political advice from Chuck Schumer, they’ll go the way of the Whigs as conservatives will eventually be forced to abandon them. The kiddies at Redstate are as unfamiliar with the English language as they are with the concept of photo shopping. Read Dan Riehl’s entire piece here.
Update II by Stacy: After overwhelming evidence, Erick Erickson deleted his tweet denying the picture his site used was a Photoshop job. That’s okay because we made sure to get a screenshot of it last night. I have replaced the tweet embed with a copy of that screenshot above.
Update III by Doug: (h/t Michelle McCormick) Jen Kuznicki has written an excellent article on this. Here are a couple excerpts:
Anger erupted on twitter after RedState’s Peter List posted a photoshopped cleavage picture of Sarah Palin on his Diary, but the content of his post misstated her position, and shows how little he knows about the current fight going on in the GOP.
For all its buzz, RedState is a fairly static presence on the web. For instance, you can miss reading it for about 2 years, and then jump back in, and they are saying the same thing, with the same people, pointing out the same circumstance, and frankly, being really nasty and angry in the comment section.
List says that Palin’s third party solution is part of the problem. He knows she didn’t come up with a third party plan, and if he knows anything about boots-on-the-ground grassroots work, he would know that the third party idea is prevalent in the GOP rank and file. In his misleading post, List points to another RedState writer and how he has laid out the way to take over the GOP.
Is List ‘taking over’ the GOP? It seems to me that if you are going to preach it, you ought to do it. If he is in the fight, good, but I do not see the insight in his post that would prove such. For him, and his clique at RedState, I’ll lend a hand to show what has happened to warrant what many see as a possible alternative. And I’d like to stress the fact that Palin didn’t say she’s going third, she said, ‘if’ the current GOP establishment keeps on doing what they are doing, it certainly is a factor.
UPDATE: List responded to an email, saying that he honestly thought the picture of Palin was a flattering, real picture of her, and ran out of time to replace the pic before the whole thing blew up. I’m not sure I buy that. To have a pic of Santa in July is odd.
Odd to say the least. Be sure to read Kuznicki’s entire piece. It’s insightful and well worth your time.
Update IV by Doug: This is hilarious. More brilliance from this misogynist moron who, presumably, has the prestigious Erick Erickson seal of approval:
Translation: I acknowledge that I’m demonstrably full of sh*t, but those evil conservatives who noticed are "cultists" for pointing it out.
And we’re supposed to take this cretin or Erick Erickson, who approves of his BS, seriously? I think not.