Fauxtography: The incredible disappearing Katie (Update: Innocent explanation?) (Bumped)

posted at 11:57 am on August 29, 2006 by Allahpundit

She’s on the Adnan Hajj diet. Try it and watch the pounds melt away from your waist and neck.

Unfortunate side effect of the Adnan Hajj diet: your chin is sharpened to the point where it can cut glass.

Update: Just got an e-mail from someone who claims to be in the publishing industry:

Be careful shouting “Wolf!” because Katie Couric’s true picture is likely the thin one — the fattening on the other is likely an anamorphic (uniform single direction) expansion ordinary page layout programs do to fill the picture frame on a page. It’s the sign of an amateur, not evil.

Any professional photo editors willing to weigh in on this one? I find it hard to believe that the space between her arms and waist could change that radically without the rest of the image changing too. Check out the CBS graphic behind her; it does appear to be ever so slightly wider in the photo of fat Katie, but, er, not as wide as she is.

katie1.jpg

Update: A reader e-mails:

The spaces between her arms and waist do in fact change — but in the wrong direction — that is to say, the amount of space would remain proportional whichever shot was the original. If the slimmer shot was modified to make her appear wider, then the gap between her arm and waist would also widen, but the image shows less space. The reverse is also true — if the image were compressed to make her appear slimmer, then the gaps showing the backdrop would become narrower — but the exact opposite is what we see. As a reference point I offer the wrinkles in the bottom of the blue portion of the backdrop.

Further, the lapels of her outer garment remain the same distance apart below the neckline of her scoopneck, but are closer together above that point. Also noteworthy is the distance between the pinstripes, which doesn’t change, one image to the next.

Update: Another reader:

I’m a CG artist who uses Photoshop daily. At first glance it’s not obvious if the thin or fat Katie is the original version, but it can be stated definitively that, whichever one is distorted, it was done so deliberately, not via any sort of automated stretching or contracting as suggested by your other e-mailer. Specifically, the hands and envelope in both photos are identical. They can be overlaid atop oen another in Photoshop perfectly. If the entire image had been scaled in any way, this would not be possible, as the hands would have distorted along with the rest of the image. The only way to achieve the observed effect would be to deliberately cut-and-paste the hands from the original image into the modified one. This is indisputable evidence of intentional photo manipulation…

As for which image is the original, it is most likely the “fat” version. Notice how much more detail is apparent in the pinstripes of the suit? Much of this detail is missing in the “thin” version, which is much darker throughout much of the suit, particularly around the belly, which has been pushed to black. This means that, while it is possible to adjust the pinstriped “fat” belly to produce the darker, higher contrast “thin” one, it would not be possible to easily adjust the blacked-out belly of the “thin” version to produce the less punchy but more detailed “fat” one, because the data is no longer present. To produce the “fat” version from the “thin” one would involve painstakingly hand-redrawing the pinstripes, doing it quite well, and having no discernible reason to do so.

Update: I’d have done this myself, but I don’t have access to Photoshop at the moment. Reader Patty Ann overlaid fat on top of skinny to see what shook out. Here’s what she found:

In the attached image, the example on the left is where I took the *fat* katie image, converted it to grayscale, changed the opacity to 69%, then copied it on top of the *skinny* katie image. Then I moved the sides of the grayscale image in (ignoring the aspect ratio) until the bottoms of her elbows and her eyes and chin matched their positions in the color image. I then highlighted the *ghosting* (overlap still showing from the grayscale image) and painted the overlap red. The ghosting shows on the left image, the right image just makes it pop out so you can see it easier.

So, the answer is if anamorphic (uniform single direction) expansion did occur (I would say yes) the ghosting still needs to be explained.

I would never claim to be a professional expert, but this image has had a few pounds removed in the upper arms, waist and hips (gee, just where I’d like mine removed).

overlay.jpg

Update: Here’s another overlay by reader Niko. Fat is at 50% opacity.

overlay2.jpg

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WOW!! I wonder if that diet would help my beer gut?

V5 on August 29, 2006 at 9:52 AM

Why do they keep thinking they’ll get away with this stuff?

RightWinged on August 29, 2006 at 9:57 AM

The camera adds 10 pounds but Photoshop takes off 20.

Pablo on August 29, 2006 at 9:58 AM

20!! 20!!!!! Pablo you are such a Don Juan!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on August 29, 2006 at 10:04 AM

I’ve got to say, that’s some darned good photoshopping.

Slublog on August 29, 2006 at 10:05 AM

It’s better than the Cindy Sheehan diet! :)

vcferlita on August 29, 2006 at 10:05 AM

I hope Katie files a complaint. That fat probably cost some big bucks to pack on at those pricey NYC restaurants. She is being denied the simple joy of flaunting it.

entagor on August 29, 2006 at 10:15 AM

Phony news. Phony journalist. Why not a phony photo?

roninacreage on August 29, 2006 at 10:28 AM

I think the picture is in need of some Color Correction Brazil-Style.

There. WASP Queen hiding.

Niko on August 29, 2006 at 10:29 AM

Do I see her underwear thru that skirt? Maybe a slip would
have been a good idea.

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on August 29, 2006 at 10:45 AM

Isn’t Katie on the Barbaro diet?

fogw on August 29, 2006 at 10:48 AM

I’ve got to say, that’s some darned good photoshopping.

Good point… That is an excellent job. Look at every little section like in the arm pit area, shopping the background, etc. Hajj should be taking notes.

RightWinged on August 29, 2006 at 10:55 AM

I wonder if they will be able to do that in live action? Beeter yet, they should make glasses that do that, the world would be a better and thinner place.The Obesity problem would disappear!!!!!!!!

dallas94 on August 29, 2006 at 11:02 AM

Too bad they can’t photoshop the heavy bias out of Katie.

pjcomix on August 29, 2006 at 11:31 AM

She’s still a huge ass.

bbz123 on August 29, 2006 at 11:37 AM

In regards to the update, it does look like the main difference between the two images is a simple scaling of the image in one axis. Note the blue lights and their relationship to the elbows. That section has not changed.

But as you note, the space between the arms and the torso should shrink in the “skinny Katie”– not grow. Back to the drawing board, publishing guy.

a4g on August 29, 2006 at 12:08 PM

Nah. If they’d just widened the picture, the spaces between her arms and her waist would have gotten bigger, not smaller.

Tanya on August 29, 2006 at 12:10 PM

I find it hard to believe this could be done with Photoshopping in the way I’ve come to think of it–scrubbing individual areas and duplicating background and yada yada yada. Could anybody really do that to her *face* and not have it be screamingly, smoke-cloned obvious?

That said, I have no idea what the real explanation could be.

Anwyn on August 29, 2006 at 12:15 PM

Yes, a slip would have been appropriate. I guess the slip is now outerwear so why wear it as underwear? In full disclosure, I am not a big Katie fan at all!

Catie96706 on August 29, 2006 at 12:26 PM

Do I see her underwear thru that skirt?

If you’re seeing what I think you’re seeing it’s not black bikini brief but the shadow of the envelope she’s holding. The envelope most likely contains a letter from Dan Rather strongly urging her to continue with the Memogate story. I bet it’s signed, “Courage!”

Bellicose Muse on August 29, 2006 at 12:33 PM

There is definitely a difference in the ripple in the backdrop off the left elbow, no? With an anamorphic correction shouldn’t that ripple get thinner, not thicker?

shirgall on August 29, 2006 at 12:41 PM

Here’s a thought. What if the “fat” picture is the fake?

shirgall on August 29, 2006 at 12:42 PM

I’m a complete novice at ditital pictures, and I will admit that my screensaver (a picture of me and my daughters at the beach) was curiously sized to fit so that I look my best.

Melba Toast on August 29, 2006 at 12:43 PM

I mean “digital”

Melba Toast on August 29, 2006 at 12:45 PM

Not only does the skinny Katie’s chin look irregular, but her inner left arm is straighter, and the bottom of the jacket has been smoothed away, along with her hips. Of course the entire skinny image is darker, so the lines on the suit do not show up as well on my monitor, making it harder to count pinstripes.

I must be pretty bored to be this petty and nitpicky!

BlueStateBlues on August 29, 2006 at 12:47 PM

I’ve got to say, that’s some darned good photoshopping.

It’s good, but not great. For great they would have had to have been a little more subtle. They overdid it. They made such a large change that it was obvious to viewers. The whole point of making this sort of touch-up is to make it believable. They missed.

High Desert Wanderer on August 29, 2006 at 12:55 PM

Here’s something not yet discussed but important none the less. Katie and her handlers are always trying to get women to be authentic and resist the male-dominated culture, which allegedly judges women only by their looks. And yet, here we have Katie polishing up her image to conform to the expectations of the slavemasters. Shocked, I am, just shocked at this! moosefeathers.typepad.com

AskMom on August 29, 2006 at 12:59 PM

Absolutely a photoshop:
1) Note the bumps in the suit at the top of both shoulder seams in the fat photo…nowhere to be seen in the skinny shot.
2) In the fat photo, the outfit appears to be a two-piece; but, the skinny photo looks more like a one-piece (the little bump near her left hip where the top piece ends is gone in the skinny pic.)
3) The ripples of fabric on her right sleeve that are apparent in the fat photo do not exist in the skinny one. (Does Photoshop come with an ironing board?)

IrishEi on August 29, 2006 at 1:02 PM

One of the benefits of afternoon shift work is that I haven’t seen the ‘evening news’ in years. I don’t miss it a bit, though I do appreciate KCouric not stinking up the Today program anymore. Meredith Viera? She’s okay, but the opportunity to bring in a new face, a new person that could bring some vitality and youthfulness to the show was missed.
Viera replacing Couric is like William Demarest taking over for William Frawley on “My Three Sons”. (I just wanted to hear a collective “Huh?” from those younger than 40.)

Doug on August 29, 2006 at 1:03 PM

The envelope most likely contains a letter from Dan Rather strongly urging her to continue with the Memogate story.

That reminds me, did anyone catch the SNL episode where “Dan Rather” showed up at Weekend Update to wish Katie good luck?

(paraphrasing, off the top of my head…. and picture in an excellent Dan Rather voice)

When the producers told me that Katie Couric was going to take my place, I laughed for 5 minutes. Then he said, I’m serious. And I laughed for another 5 minutes. But when he finally convinced me that he was serious, I…. (can’t remember what he says here, some sort of expression of approval, including “she’s tough as nails”).

Then he mocks a lot of her previous work, while acting as if it’s hard hitting stuff… things like

‘I hope she can bring to CBS Evening News, the hard hitting journalistic skills she showed in her recent expose ‘How to party down at your prom for pennies’

a few other similar jokes then ending with something like:

‘I hope she has Rascal Flatts on for the 60 Minutes Summer Concert Series’…

I wish I could find that video, but doesn’t look like it’s out there anywhere… classic stuff though

RightWinged on August 29, 2006 at 1:03 PM

Maybe Katie is dating

someone who claims to be in the publishing industry.

IrishEi on August 29, 2006 at 1:04 PM

1) Note the bumps in the suit at the top of both shoulder seams in the fat photo…nowhere to be seen in the skinny shot.
2) In the fat photo, the outfit appears to be a two-piece; but, the skinny photo looks more like a one-piece (the little bump near her left hip where the top piece ends is gone in the skinny pic.)
3) The ripples of fabric on her right sleeve that are apparent in the fat photo do not exist in the skinny one. (Does Photoshop come with an ironing board?)

You nailed it… By the way, has anyone else saved and zoomed on the image? Do so while looking for the line where the jacket meets the skirt. Zoom it in, and you can clearly see the line on the fat Katie, but it’s CLEARLY been shopped away in the skinny Katie… there is nothing left of it

RightWinged on August 29, 2006 at 1:10 PM

oh by the way, if no one has pointed this out yet… the chin issue is caused by a shadow on her neck, blending in to her chin when skinny Katie was created… it’s not part of her chin, but the shopping screwed up and makes it blend together. save and zoom, and look at fat Katie and see.

RightWinged on August 29, 2006 at 1:13 PM

MSM-Trim! The new wonder diet! Apply directly to the truth! Apply directly to the truth! Watch those troublesome facts melt away! Also available in a halah version for those with Religion of Peace sensitivities.

mkstach on August 29, 2006 at 1:16 PM

RightWinged,
The chin settles it too. By the way, I loved your photoshop of the Lebanese real estate mogul. You need a spew warning though…nearly doused my notebook with tea. (I know, I know, but it’s only Tuesday afternoon…2 for 1 Guinness on Wednesday nights at Kelly’s)

IrishEi on August 29, 2006 at 1:24 PM

Glad you liked her… was totally inspired by Allah’s “Hajj Diet” comment… “Wailing Woman” as I call her, is obviously his leading lady, and I just couldn’t resist…

RightWinged on August 29, 2006 at 1:27 PM

I find it hard to believe this could be done with Photoshopping in the way I’ve come to think of it–scrubbing individual areas and duplicating background and yada yada yada.

Holy damn. I’m now a believer.

Anwyn on August 29, 2006 at 2:20 PM

I’ve seen people on TV take a picture of a model laying down and extend her legs to make them longer (cause we know guys love that!), skimming off “fat” from her legs and arms, etc. It’s actually amazing what they can do with a computer, I just wish it was that easy in real life.

StephC on August 29, 2006 at 2:37 PM

Did you see the movie “Rising Sun” Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes. The cover up and extortion revolved around “photoshopping” video.

Life does imitate art….

dallas94 on August 29, 2006 at 2:57 PM

You know, it occurs to me that there are two explanations for this photo:

1. Katie thinks she’s fat and asked CBS to do this for her.

2. CBS thinks Katie is too fat and did this for her.

If its the latter, Katie needs to take note that her new employer thinks she’s fat. And perhaps she needs to go on the Nicole Richie Diet.

BelchSpeak on August 29, 2006 at 3:33 PM

The fat one is the original.

Look at the wrinkles at the waste/hip line. Hard to fake those panty lines.

Look at the wrinkles on the fat one and then on the skinny one. Hard to fake wrinkles, and the wrinkles are all on the fat one.

Look at the nice crisp edges of the arms and waiste.

I could be wrong, however:
Because stretching a picture would make the wrinkles more pronounced.

Lawrence on August 29, 2006 at 5:54 PM

This is symbolic of what we will get with Katie Curic as anchor of CBS News – lies, depecptions and extreme partisanship! To prove that point even more, Walter Cronkite will introduce her to the CBS audience, and he is an extreme left wing liberal of the first degree.

On 9/11, within 45 minutes of the attacks, Katie was on the Today Show blaming Bush’s Israeli policies for the attacks; and we can expect her to keep up the partisan attacks until the cows come home and this country implodes from destructive, anti-American liberal filth!

Umnumzana on August 29, 2006 at 8:17 PM

Who cares about this incident of fauxtography? I don’t. The photo alteration deals with the woman’s weight and not her weightiness or lack thereof. This whole thread is shallower than Couric herself.

chsw, who couldn’t care if a news anchor looks like Irving R. Levine, so long as he/she/it delivered actual news in an impartial manner.

chsw on August 29, 2006 at 10:09 PM

chsw, the promotion of this woman is disgusting and why not point out just how dishonest the whole process is. This woman will only further the leftward bias of CBS and it is unfortunate that CBS didn’t learn from the lesson of Dan Rather and try to find someone with a lot less liberal baggage and a lot more respect for the truth.

Rose on August 29, 2006 at 11:46 PM

chsw, who couldn’t care if a news anchor looks like Irving R. Levine, so long as he/she/it delivered actual news in an impartial manner.

You’re missing the point chsw.. Who here said they care about what she looks like either? The point is that they’re going out of their way to make photoshop her to make her look skinny. We aren’t here saying “gotcha fatty”, we’re saying “gotcha lying media!”… Get it?

RightWinged on August 29, 2006 at 11:50 PM

Photo editors have been doing this kind of stuff ever since they started using photos in publicity stunts. Nothing new here except that it’s easier to spot these days. I think that’s probably because they are using lower standards to hire their graphics artists these days.
Some good will come from this though: The news organizations will now have to start hiring true Photoshop professionals to work for them. Good employment opportunities. (smile)

firegeezer on August 30, 2006 at 8:29 AM

CBS responds today to photos.

Sticky Notes on August 30, 2006 at 8:32 AM

chsw, love the point. This chain is bizarre, beyond the valid and timely point (RW) about more media image manipulation.

She’s a nitwit and a leftist, utterly unqualified to render opinion on anything beyond how to make lunches for the kids when you have to be up for work at 3am, and maybe “what not to wear.” Believe it or not, she will actually move CBS further to the left. I know!
Having said that, clearly that is not undergarment showing through, it is shadow from overhead lighting, rookies.

Jaibones on August 30, 2006 at 10:00 AM

The NY Post has a story about the photos.

1. The picture on the right was edited. The tool used was not identified.

2. It was done without Couric’s knowledge by CBS for WATCH!, a CBS quartly internal magazine.

3.

“Besides Photoshop, the only other way to lose 20 pounds in a matter of seconds would be to hack off a limb,” joked Samantha Heller, the senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center.

4. An liberal idiot in a slimer suit is still an idiot.

georgej on August 30, 2006 at 12:31 PM

Who cares about this incident of fauxtography

chsw on August 29, 2006 at 10:09 PM

Good question.

With regard to Couric personally? I agree. Who cares.

With regard to CBS admitting the did it on purpose, and the do stuff like this all the time, and make no effort to portray this as wrong, means we should care A LOT.

Lawrence on August 30, 2006 at 5:17 PM