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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Obama's Skin Turns Darker In Hillary's Attack Ad: Was Cleveland Debate Clip Doctored?

CLEVELAND (TDB) -- A conspiracy theory beginning to billow involves suspicion that Hillary's campaign altered a photo clip of Barack Obama to make his skin pigmentation appear more black than reality. John Aravosis at AmericaBlog created the photo montage above. It comes from Clinton's new national security ad (top picture) and MSNBC video of the debate last week at Cleveland State University. Aravosis said he made the photo montage to see if it would demonstrate any covert move to use race against Obama. And it does appear that Obama's face has changed -- like a coat of makeup has been added. Aravosis writes of his detective work:

"I did this so as to take into account any editing, or quality issues that might have accounted for Obama having darker skin in any particular video. None of the three video sources I found showed Obama nearly as black as the Hillary ad does. . . Look at his lips. Look at his eyebrows. Look at how the red MSNBC background has turned more purple. Clearly the image was darkened. The question is 'why.'

It just keeps happening again and again and again. The Clintons keep doing things, saying things, that sound awfully racist."

[UPDATE: 5:54 pm -- Buckeye State Blog, too, noticed the sleuthing by Aravosis. At BSB, the verdict is guilty of racist tactics.]


  1. ~

    He looks dark-ie in all the shots !


  2. can we say this is just grasping at straws???

  3. Wired went a step further and posted youtube videos of both. There is a noticeable difference, but the whole commercial is shot very dark so it was probably just done for affect. I doubt it has anything to do with racism.

  4. ~

    Quite frankly, if the same video was played on two different plasma TV's then you would get the same effect:

    Panasonic has what they call a true-black system. Their black is black while the competition looks washed out !

    That is because Panasonic has a filter that cuts the back light that washes out the black in most competitors product.

    Go to any best buy, circuit city, and watch the sets when there is no image except the blank black screen.

    Panasonic will be black and the competition will be washed out black. Just like a black T-shirt over time.

    Second, the same would hold true on printers.

    Epson has a true-black ink system which is one reason why they are the preferred brand among professional photographers !

    Same situation with their competitors !

    A good printer utilizes a true-black system.(pantone)

    Where is the argument that possibly the Clinton ad was accurate and life-like while the other representations have lightened him ?

    After all: Look at the suit. The suit is darker, as well !

  5. has looked at the ad and finds the racism charge unsubstantiated. Will you be updating this story to reflect that?

  6. Still no update to reflect the findings of
    You updated that someone else found it suspicious.
    But not that an objective arbiter found it be routine.
    What does that say?