Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

Will They Photoshop The Ballots In The New Orleans Mayoral Election Too?

from the fun-with-photoshop dept

Last week, there was some amusing buzz on various blogs about one of the many candidates for mayor of New Orleans. Beyond some questions concerning "conflict of interest" over the fact that her day job involves supervising a fair election, Kimberly Williamson Butler became something of an online laughingstock when someone noticed that the header photo on her election website was of her standing in front of Disney's fake New Orleans, rather than the actual New Orleans. The key giveaway, it seems, was the Disney garbage can that could be clearly seen in the photo. You would think that, given that she lives and works in the real New Orleans, that she or her staff would quickly run out and get a photo of the actual New Orleans. Nope. Instead, it would appear that her staff left up the photo, but simply edited out the garbage can. Boing Boing claims this was in response to a threat from Disney, but doesn't (at this moment) make clear how they know such a threat was made -- or what the basis of such a threat would be. As far as we know, posting a photo of your trip to Disney World online is perfectly legal (even if it includes Disney-specific garbage cans). However, if that photo is supposed to represent your love for the home town you wish to lead... perhaps it's better to find one that's actually local. What's amazing, though, is that she or her staff somehow thought that editing out the incriminating garbage can makes this okay. It does make you question the judgment of the candidate and her staff. Update: According to the Associated Press, it appears that the photo background is owned by Disney and the campaign's use is unauthorized. That would explain the complaint. However, it seems highly unlikely that Disney will be satisfied with photoshopping out the garbage can.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    anonymous, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 8:23pm


    jsu thad t osay it

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    nt hammer, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 9:29pm


    the guy above me--your an idiot, so wut if ur the first to read..or maybe just comment on thisone..its nothing usefull or interesting to see or read (its pretty much makes u seem illiterate too)


    im not surprised that she wouldnt want to be in a pic of the "real" new orleans..but to edit the already fake photo was def a really stupid tihng to do...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Devin, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 9:46pm

    Why Disney would Threaten

    The part about Disney threatening doens't really make any sense. The full article seems to insinuate that the picture wasn't even taken of her in that section of Disney but rather her photoshopped into the picture later. In which case if that picture was taken by Disney then they do indeed have grounds to be upset. (Silly copyright stuff)

    But what makes no sense is if they're going to use that argument then photoshoping the garbage can out isn't going to help them with the threats any. I don't think Disney is going to say... 'oh well our garbage can is their so they obviously must have exactly recreated the scene except for they left our trademarked garbage cans out'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Brian, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 10:04pm

    Hire a better Web Designer

    As Devin noted, it appears that she's been photoshopped into the picture. Chances are she just handed her pic over, and whoever designed her site just did a Google search for "New Orleans street" or whatever. Pretty amusing.

    The site has other flaws as well, like a contact form that claims you haven't entered any information (when you have), and an E-mail link that shows as an AOL address, but links to a completely different BellSouth address.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    John, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:30pm

    Read the comments

    Read the comments at jimhillmedia and it tells the story of how she got that picture and also talks about a guy who called up Disney to complain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    ?, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:40pm


    If they are so right for the job, why can't they find the tallent needed to at least do a good job of lying for them?

    That is an aweful photoshop job. Makes me want to make mean jokes about Afirmative Action.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    blah, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 12:21am


    she looks photoshopped INTO the picture, anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Bum, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 4:59am

    Digital Divide

    Thank God her constituents probably don't have internet access; so nobody got hurt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Chris H, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 5:09am

    That's pretty funny. They've completly changed the picture now to her in front of a ballot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Nick Burns (profile), Apr 19th, 2006 @ 5:53am

    Mayor Update

    She's finally changed the banner on her website:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Ted WBAY, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 6:23am

    Disney Copyright

    Chances are Disney wasn't concerned about the posting of a Disney backdrop or photograph by itself, but wanted to avoid any risk of suggesting Disney endorsed (or had anything to do with) the political candidate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 7:53am

    Here is there professional host...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    robert, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 8:46am

    What a great mayor.. I want to move there i know she cares

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    John in NOLA, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 8:57am

    Please don't judge us by her. She won her current office because she played a convincing victim to a certain segment of the voters. She will be out of elected office soon and no longer a problem. Hopefully she will move back to Michigan where she is from.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Dave, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 11:30am


    The part I liked was that she had previously gone on the lam and then was arrested, essentially by her own department. Eminently qualified for mayoral duties!

    But wait, given the rampant corruption that has always been part of New Orleans' charm, it's possible that she may have broken fewer laws than the other candidates. So I'll suspend my judgmental comments until I see the rap sheets of the other candidates.

    She is pretty decent looking - with so many candidates, that might be enough to implant her in voter's memories and give her an advantage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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