Earlier this week, the Canadian Green Party was caught in a Photoshop gaff that toes the line between silly and troubling. As reported by the National Post it seems a photograph of the party’s leader, Elizabeth May, was Photoshopped to add a green party logo and a reusable straw, putting it more in line with the party’s environmental policies.
Nobody seems to know when, how, or why this edit was made, but a party spokesperson did admit that Photoshop was used on the image, which appears on the party’s homepage. The spokesperson told the National Post that “Photoshop was used to add in a different cup that displayed the Green Party logo” and when you compare older, cropped copies of the same image that are in circulation, the addition of the straw is obvious:
The edit has people shaking their heads because of what it implies: that the absence of a reusable straw (or maybe the presence of a plastic one?) could possibly be egregious enough to justify outright photo manipulation, and risk getting caught.
Obviously, in this case the manipulation is comical—the story more of a late-night punch line than a serious political misstep or case of “fake news”—but in a world where the veracity of photography and photojournalism is constantly called into question, these kinds of silly missteps only serve to further erode the public trust.