I wasn’t planning to blog the story otherwise, but honestly, the more I look at that blur the more it looks like a Photoshop filter. (“Denial!” snarks Deceiver.) I’ve used the paint and blur P-shop filters myself on occasion when working on a satirical image that I couldn’t get to look quite right; the filters help soften and obscure the hard lines that indicate where the “stitching” is. Same here, maybe? Not good enough? All right, let’s try another angle. The encounter in the hotel allegedly took place on July 21. Here’s an AP photo of Edwards taken earlier that same day in Los Angeles. Compare the sideburns and the distance between his hair and his right temple. Hmmm. Still not good enough? Well, the original Enquirer story claims he was wearing a “blue dress shirt” when he entered the building. There’s no collar on the shirt in the new Enquirer photo (in fact, in the smaller photo — which clearly is Edwards — it looks a bit like a hospital gown), although I guess he could have changed for whatever inexplicable reason when he got to the room. Still not good enough? Okay, then — how’d they get a camera into the room in the first place? The photo with the baby couldn’t have been shot from outside through the window; not only are the curtains closed, but they’re behind him. The original story did say that the Enquirer had “learned ahead of time” about the meeting and suggested that they might even have known the room numbers in advance, but there’s conspicuously no mention of hidden cameras even though that would have been a blockbuster detail.
On the other hand, would the Enquirer really try to pass off a Photoshop on a story as hot as this knowing that it’ll get massive scrutiny and Adobe geeks will be looking to debunk it? Seems too clever by half. Exit question: Fauxtography?
Update: To be clear, there’s little doubt that Edwards was at the hotel. The question is, is the photo real or did they cook it to corroborate the story?