Maddow accuses NOM of ‘uncredited, anti-gay Photoshopping’
UPDATED Oct. 27, 2:40 p.m. EST: Amended with a correction* and update
UPDATE: The National Organization for Marriage has since removed from its website the image that is the subject of this article.
A photo doctored by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) in a new campaign to overturn marriage equality in New Hampshire suggests a lack of public support for the repeal, said political commentator Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show Tuesday.
On Monday, the LGBT news blog Good As You discovered NOM used Photoshop to alter a photo taken from a 2008 rally in Columbus, Ohio.
The Obama rally photo, which, according to Good As You originated from a Nov. 3, 2008, article posted by the political action committee Upper Arlington Progressive Action*, currently exists on the homepage of NOM’s New Hampshire for Marriage website, but was manipulated to look like NOM President Brian Brown was presiding over the reportedly 60,000 people who gathered in support of Obama three years ago. Good As You also revealed another photo, taken by a Reuters photographer, which NOM altered and put on its New Hampshire website. The photo has since been removed.
On Tuesday, the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee approved a GOP-backed bill that would repeal same-sex marriage in the state. In reporting the story on her show, Maddow said Good As You’s findings prove that NOM and Republican legislators are faking support for a repeal in light of recent polling data and reports that suggest most New Hampshire citizens do not want to repeal marriage equality.
“The people who want to repeal same-sex marriage in New Hampshire are clearly out-numbered here, but not if they fake some more supporters,” Maddow said.
She then compared the doctored photo to its original, all the while narrating what the hypothetical crowd in NOM’s photo might have been saying:
“‘Who are you calling outnumbered 2 to 1? New Hampshire’s got thousands of people rallying for their lawmakers to take away existing rights.’
Unless those people are not actually there in New Hampshire cheering to take away gay people’s rights. Unless that fire-up crowd is actually at a different place, like say at a speech for then-candidate Barack Obama, in downtown Columbus, Ohio, before the 2008 election.
The people watching him that day in Columbus had no idea through the magic of uncredited, anti-gay Photoshopping, they would become part of a campaign against gay rights in a state 600 miles away in 2011. … The National Organization for Marriage is just making it up. They in the Republicans in the New Hampshire Legislature do not actually have popular support to take a nice picture of for taking away marriage rights currently enjoyed in New Hampshire.
So because they don’t have it, they are faking it instead. Caught you.”
Watch the video:
The National Organization for Marriage was not immediately available for comment and has not made any mention of the doctored photo on its constantly updated blog. The subject of NOM’s latest blogpost is about how New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch “lied to the people.”
Correction: TAI previously reported (and attributed to Talking Points Memo) that the Obama rally photo featured on Maddow’s show was taken by Reuters. In fact, a different photo of another Obama rally, in St. Louis, produced by Reuters, was also modified and used by NOM for the same website. Both photos have since been removed from the New Hampshire for Marriage website.