Not to be frozen out: Pelosi explains 'Photoshopped' photo
January 4th, 2013
01:51 PM ET
9 years ago

Not to be frozen out: Pelosi explains 'Photoshopped' photo

(CNN) - It's a historical photo which shows the 61 Democratic Congresswomen who were sworn in on Thursday.

Except it never (fully) happened.

Pelosi explained why the photo her office released and posted online shows four more faces - all members of Congress - than does one taken by other photographers at the photo opportunity.

"Is that what they did?" she asked when a reporter questioned her about the apparent technical addition - "Photoshopping" - of (left to right) Reps. Yvette Clarke, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Shelia Jackson Lee, and Corrine Brown to the official photo.

Pressed further as to whether the photo she distributed was an accurate historical record, she said, "Yeah, but [it's a] historical record of who the Democratic women of Congress are.

"And also is an accurate record that it was freezing cold, and our members had been waiting a long time for everyone to arrive, and that I had to get back into the building to greet constituents, family members to get ready to the - go to the floor," she said a press conference. "It wasn't like we had the rest of the day to stand there."

Instead of holding the entire group for the absent four members, Reps. Clarke, Wasserman Schultz, Lee, and Brown posed for a separate photo together, which was apparently added to the official photo.

From the Facebook page of Rep. Yvette Clarke

Pelosi said the photo "was an accurate reflection of who the 61 members - the Democratic women members of Congress are."

"And not only were they women, but they reflected the beautiful diversity of our - our country. Women who are - from every community, as well as every religious faith. So we were pretty excited about it," she said.

The newly inaugurated Congress includes 78 women voting members. Nineteen of the congresswomen are freshmen. Pelosi's count included three non-voting delegates to Congress.

- CNN's Gregory Wallace, Kevin Liptak, and Robert Yoon contributed to this report

Filed under: Congress • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Oh emm gee!!! Someone impeach and prosecute them all right now!!!! Ths is the most important evidence of Dem corruption evah!!!! Herpa derp derp deeeerrrrrrrrpppp!!!!!

    January 4, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Why not start by cutting billions of dollars of funding for defense projects that the Joint Chiefs have said, explicitly, that they neither want nor need?"

    A very good and reasonable question, and one that true journalists (if any still existed) would start constructing an answer to with a very simple exercise:

    Make a list of said projects/expenditures, where they are located and whose constituents are receiving the wasted money.

    January 4, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Ermahgerd...kerrerrpshun!!!! Ermpeachmernt ermpeachmernt!!!!!!

    January 4, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Sniffcoke

    It's a ridiculous photoshop job. She made the four missing reps look like they were about seven feet tall.

    January 4, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. SandraL

    Oh, for crying out loud. Not all photoshopping is meant to be deceitful. We do this for group photos where I work all the time.

    Are journalists really that clueless?

    January 4, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Name lynn

    whats wrong with the big pic she can take pictures with whom she wants whats the problem people what are you people saying

    January 4, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. olu

    in my life time i hope to see a woman being the president that will help put permanent stop to unnecessary bickering and an end to killi.g of innocent souls around the world.

    January 4, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    I would be willing to see the Defense Budget not get cut over the next decade if it meant adding 100,000, 200,000, or more beds in VA hospitals and extended long term care facilities for that same decade and beyond. They have residence hall facilities for injured veterans that are similar to those community living centers for seniors.

    January 4, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |

    This whole administration is photoshopped.

    January 4, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. MSNelson

    There goes the country...

    January 4, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Joey Tolliver

    Oh my Lord! They let Black women in now?? :O

    January 4, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    As in there goes the neighborhood???

    You do know, its a free country and you can leave at anytime......

    January 4, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Babyboomer

    Oh Lord. It's a national disgrace... NOT....

    January 4, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Diane Myers

    This isn't news or controversy. Slow news day folks? CNN can and should do better than this.

    January 4, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. n, tx

    Republican watch out Democrats are here to stay next election Democrats will be majority, work with the president And Democrats.

    January 4, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. weepingjebus

    So Pelosi's excuse was that everyone got tired of waiting for Democrat reps to show up? Sounds about right.

    January 4, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Mike

    "And also is an accurate record that it was freezing cold, and our members had been waiting a long time for everyone to arrive..." Poor babies...can't handle standing in the cold a few more minutes. With all the hot air produced by Congress, you'd think they would have been warm enough to stand there until Spring.

    January 4, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. jfairweather

    Not a very good job of it, either. A serious professional wold have separated the four, got their relative size proportions right, staggered them vertically to make it appear that they were on the step at the correct height.

    Other than technical concerns, who cares if the four were present for the first shot. I am surprised that the photographer would have been so bad at the composition.

    January 4, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. Larry in Houston

    LOL – To be perfectly honest, I don't know how Sheila Jackson Lee does it – She's got more guts than I could ever have, that's for sure. lol – I mean, she's got to fight those obstructionists day in & day out, down here, for something or another, it's constant. The people in her district keeps her IN, because for right now, there's nobody that does what she does, for the people. Last one was Governor Ann Richards, she's probably rolling in her grave, with the way Perry is doing down here. amazing –

    January 4, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Lindalou

    I know people who do this on Christmas cards to get a family picture with all smiling that deceitful..NO! It's a sign of the times..get over it!

    January 4, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. A. E. Newman

    I keep trying to Photshop Pelosi out of the House but she keeps showing back up the next day.

    January 4, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Searcher

    Hey, the put the "new women" in the back of the group. If they put them up front, that would be different....

    January 4, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. ncgh

    If a news photographer did that,they would (and have been) fired. You don't tinker with news photos to get the result you want even if the result is 'more accurate'. (Actually it WASN'T more accurate because those Reps were NOT there for the photo.

    This issue has nothing to do with the party or the gender of the people involved, it's about an ethical breach in recording history.

    January 4, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. Lighten up People

    Come on everyone, get a grip. It was easily explained, they were added because they were late. If they would have waited, everyone would have complained that they were standing around wasting time/money. People need to not be so reactive to the littlest of things. AND all the trolls need to step away from their computers. A silly story about photoshopping shouldn't be used by mean-spirited people as an angle to troll in and rant about other topics. Trolls = Fail.

    January 4, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    And the lead story on FOX is......

    January 4, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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