When leaders smoke, apparently there is certain curiosity about it among public. A photograph of Jawaharlal Nehru smoking a cigarette is also among photos that rouse such curiosity. Recently, a photograph of the US President Barack Obama smoking a cigarette has been widely circulated on Internet.
Obama had himself admitted to be a smoker but before he launched his presidential election campaign; he resolved to quit smoking. He made an announcement to this effect. Later he also admitted to have had a few lapses. His wife Michelle Obama gave a statement that her husband has not smoked in last couple of years. But when this photo showing him smoking came into light –several people called him a liar and also the promoter of a bad habit. People said that the President of America should have an idealistic public life.
However, soon it became clear that the photograph in question was a fake photograph. It was digitally altered. Someone took a photograph of Obama; flipped it and stick a light up cigarette on his lips. The original photo was taken by Kwame Ross on 3rd August 2004 when the then State Senator Obama met with constituents at the University of Illinois while campaigning to become a U.S. Senator.
Due to flipping, in the fake photo, the buttons on shirt of Obama are appearing on the wrong side. Also, Obama’s lips are tightly closed —which is not how smokers’ lips look when they hold a cigarette. Here is the real photograph:
I have written about another famous (but real!) photograph of Barack Obama. It was taken in the Situation Room of the White House.
Whenever I present a viral but fake photograph, I always remind my readers to be careful in believing what they see online. Altering digital material (like photos and videos) is very easy. Thanks to social media websites, all the fake material spreads like wildfire. If you’re sharing a photograph on your social media account, please try to do a bit of research through Google and see what you find. Try not to be part of propagating falsified stuff. In the times of information avalanche, we, the general public, can not be sure if we are sharing correct information. Just a bit effort to verify facts is also we can do. And this helps!
So, what do you think of this photograph and the story behind it? Please comment and give your feedback as it helps me in writing better content for my readers. Thank you for reading and stay connected with my website as I will continue to bring stories on more iconic photographs for you.