A tweet from Lance Armstrong yesterday :
“Just saw the cover of the new Outside mag w/ yours truly on it. Nice photoshop on a plain t-shirt guys. That’s some lame bull****. #weak” (expletive altered)
The seven-time Tour de France champion was referring to the July issue cover of Outside magazine featuring him wearing a t-shirt bearing a profane slogan.
The blue t-shirt reads “38. BFD.” The number refers to Armstrong’s age and the letters are an acronym for “big [expletive] deal”. Only problem is, Lance was wearing a plain t-shirt.
This is Armstrong’s 8th time appearing on the cover of the magazine. Why the editors would choose to alter the cover photo and upset their favorite athlete is baffling.
There’s a note on the bottom left side of the cover in small print stating that the t-shirt isn’t real. So what was the point of the profane acronym in the first place?
Sadly, this happens much more than the public realizes and it just blurs the line between what is real and what is not.
Even National Geographic magazine has been guilty of such manipulation with their cover photo. In the February 1982 issue, the Great Pyramid of Giza was digitally moved to fit the magazine’s vertical format. Tom Kennedy, who became the director of photography at National Geographic after the cover was manipulated, stated that “We no longer use that technology to manipulate elements in a photo simply to achieve a more compelling graphic effect. We regarded that afterwards as a mistake, and we wouldn’t repeat that mistake today”.
Twenty years ago, acclaimed photo critic Andy Grundberg predicted, “In the future, readers of newspapers and magazines will probably view news pictures more as illustrations than as reportage, since they will be aware that they can no longer distinguish between a genuine image and one that has been manipulated.” History has given weight to his prophecy.
“The public is losing faith in us. Without credibility, we have nothing; we cannot survive,” … John Long, chairman of the ethics and standards committee of the National Press Photographers Association.