The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974
Rachael Ray cooks her family and her dog
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
The Olympic Underwear Relay, 1956
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Whatever It Takes
Toward the end of the 2004 presidential campaign, the Bush campaign released a television ad titled "Whatever It Takes." The ad included a photo (top) of a crowd of soldiers listening to a speech with a child in the foreground waving an American flag.

A poster on the liberal Daily Kos weblog soon noticed that the image had evidently been faked since the same faces appeared in different places throughout the crowd. Initially it was suspected that faces had been cloned in order to make the crowd appear larger than it actually was. But the Bush campaign quickly responded to the growing controversy, revealing that the original version of the photo (middle) had shown Bush standing at a podium. A video editor had been asked to edit the image in order to focus on the boy in the foreground waving the flag. Instead of cropping the image, the editor had removed the podium by copying portions of the crowd over it.

The Kerry campaign released a statement saying, "Now we know why this ad is named 'Whatever It Takes.' This administration has always had a problem telling the truth from Iraq to jobs to health care." The Bush campaign replaced the ad with a new version that did not include the doctored photo.

In the bottom photo the cloned faces in the crowd have been circled (image from Daily Kos).

Links and References
"A final volley of commercials." (Oct 29, 2004). Washington Post.
• "Bush Campaign Replaces Ad That Had Doctored Images." (Oct 29, 2004). New York Times.
"The fake troops in Bush's new ad," Daily Kos.


All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.