February 27, 2008

Source of Obama photo from Kenya

The Obama photo from Kenya (in Somali-elder garb) was posted on the Free Republic site on February 23, 2008 and is apparently scanned from a periodical titled "Examiner," dated February 4, 2008.   This posting was made to the highly traffic'd, conservative Republican forum two days before Drudge ran the photo on Monday, February 25, and claimed he'd "obtained" it from a Clinton staffer email.

EXIF data shows the scanned photo was created February 23, 2008
using Microsoft Windows Photo Gallery and is stored at the Fotki site. The context is from a very misleading article.

The scan of that photo from the "Examiner" was first posted, in a cropped version on the day of the scanning, February 23, by "bannie".    "cmsgop" re-posted the full photo to other forum threads the next day (24th). This photo will have been much emailed during those two days.

The photo furor buried tv exposure of Clinton's main event that week - the foreign policy speech that same day at George Washington University, with endorsements by various generals, so was no favor to her camp.

Another copy of that photo has apparently, for some time, been part of a website story about his trip to Kenya in 2006 on the Hans-Geeska Afrika Online site, and Obama authorized a  video documentaryof that trip.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this research.
This and Dave Johnson's Seeing the Forest should put the controversy to rest.


4:12 PM  
Blogger Andrys said...

On several commenter areas all over the Net, Obama supporters actually LIKE to blame Clinton for this (as Obama immediately did, relying on Drudge as emininently trustworthy source, and unifying his supporters if not the party), but when I bring up the facts involved here, there is zero interest in them by those people. Surprise?

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you saying the Drudge photo and Freeper pic share the same exif data?

9:47 PM  
Blogger Andrys said...

To anonymous #2, (though jawbone did sign his and I've seen him on a forum) -- no, I just drew attention to Freepers forum being the source of the Kenya photo that was newly scanned on Feb. 23 by a member and posted there that night, was much discussed and re-loaded there for the two days (and obviously much emailed around) before Drudge reported it on the 25th as coming from the Clinton campaign.

In fact, the only other source we've seen in all this time is the the one which has been on the web for possibly a year. Until this campaign, the image itself hadn't been problematic.

To me, finding out that this copy of the photo was scanned by a Freeper on the 23rd, posted and then discussed and circulated, and Drudge (with friends there) got it on the 25th makes it almost certain (we can't know) that this is the one Drudge was told about or shown.

Drudge said he "obtained" a copy of the email (the original email wasn't sent to him as some have reported). He hasn't agreed to provide that email to anyone so we can't know who it was from or get a copy of the photo in that email.

But the only other photo in circulation is the one published on the African website some time ago.

Timing of the circulation and Drudge's blaring headline was a factor.

10:19 PM  

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