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Good question: Did NBC News alter this photograph of trans swimmer Lia Thomas?

We’re so old we remember the controversy over TIME magazine darkening O.J. Simpson’s mug shot for its cover, eliciting accusations of racism. And then there’s that photo of the Capitol riot they always use that makes it look like the building’s surrounded by flames. Altering photos is pretty sketchy business.


We did a post the other day about the TODAY Show’s piece on transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, but we’d missed this among all of the enthusiasm the reporter seemed to show for Thomas’ chances. Somebody noticed it, though, and now we can’t unsee it. Why did NBC News put a soft filter on Thomas’ face?

It’s pretty damn obvious. Here’s the video direct from TODAY’s Twitter feed, in case you thought someone had messed with it:


Those old movies are fun when it’s really obvious; watch as the camera cuts from the female actor to the male actor — suddenly everything’s in focus.


It’s weird because NBC News seems to have used the unaltered photo as well, and the thing is, someone had to put time into this — it didn’t just happen.


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