Sunday, October 14, 2012

That So-Called Racist Mitt Romney 'Dog-Whistle' T-Shirt is Almost Certainly Photoshopped

I personally don't believe that someone would wear a shirt like that to a Mitt Romney rally. I attended dozens of tea parties on 2009-2010, and I only once saw controversial posters, at the protest against Nancy Pelosi at the Orange County Airport --- and I denounced those in a series of posts identifying the San Diego organizer, Roger Ogden, who later apologized for the misunderstanding and claimed his posters were not racist.

This story was all over Memeorandum yesterday, most conspicuously at Crooks and Liars, where the hopelessly idiotic Dave Neiwert claims this one, utterly suspicious t-shirt "proves" Mitt Romney's running a "dog-whistle" campaign. But the photo, which is licensed to Getty Images, got traction at more reputable outlets, such as New York Magazine, "Check Out This Mitt Romney Supporter’s Horrendously Racist Fashion," and originally at the much-less reputable BuzzFeed, "Man At Romney Rally Wears Mindblowingly Offensive Shirt."

Well, it goes without saying that some folks aren't having it --- Robert Stacy McCain, for example, "False-Flag Troll, IRL":
I can pretty much guarantee that this man photographed at a Romney rally in Lancaster, Ohio, is not in fact a Republican, but rather is a plant sent out by the Democrats as a dirty trick.
Clue #1: Wearing a “Romney/Ryan” sticker on the back of his T-shirt. Nobody does this. Nobody.
Clue #2: It’s kind of chilly in Ohio this time of year, and the guy’s wearing only a T-shirt, while those around him are wearing coats.
My guess is that this guy also wore a coat when he entered the rally, then stationed himself toward the back of the crowd (in front of the riser where the press photographers are stationed) and then removed his coat to expose the T-shirt, with the explicit purpose of having it photographed.
. . . aaanndd, Clue #3: No name? A press photographer is going to take a picture like this and make no effort to ID the guy? Nuh-uh.
Actually, it's even less credible.

See Wordsmith's post at Flopping Aces, "Racist Romney/Ryan supporter in Lancaster, Ohio?" Click through for the analysis, but bottom line: Wordsmith's calling bullshit. And what's more, one commenter says that he went through the Getty photographer's slideshow from the Romney/Ryan rally and there are no crowd images, or any other images, with this man wearing that particular t-shirt. But most interestingly, one commenter links to a "photo forensics" site that claims to have a date-stamp for the digital file as "Profile Date Time 2012:01:25 03:41:57" (here).

If the "forensics" data is accurate, the photo's from January of this year, and thus is not only Photoshopped but is also not a picture from a recent Romney/Ryan rally in Ohio.

But again, the main reason this as a completely manufactured controversy is the past record of conservatives utterly rejecting any racist paraphernalia at campaign events and tea parties. Where there's been racism it's been completely repudiated. When the famous photo of so-called Texas tea party "leader" Dale Robertson emerged, the absolute renunciation was swift. Newsbusters has the flashback, "TPM Trumpets Racist Rebuffed by Tea Party Groups as 'Prominent' 'Leader'." And of course folks will remember that the leftist media was jonesing for racist tea-partiers so badly that it had to invent them, for example, Contessa Brewer, "Guy With AR-15 at Obama Rally Was Black Dude: MSBNC Kinda Leaves That Part Out."

The so-called racist Mitt Romney "dog-whistle" t-shirt is almost certainly a scam. It's bogus. We've seen this movie before and the ratings are in: total flop. The "race card" doesn't work anymore, if it ever really did. The left's goal is to falsely delegitimize criticism and silence dissent. This photo below, seen early in the tea party era at Gateway Pundit, captures what's really going been going on with race on the right:

I'll update if more information becomes available, but I'll tell you again, it's a scam. Just one look at that "Romney/Ryan" picture and you can see that's an obvious Photoshop.