His name is William Thomas. He is a man, no matter what swimsuit he wears, and he still has all the features of a man. NBC tried some sleight of hand to make his image appear to the contrary.
The Today Show came under stark criticism for using photos that were noticeably softened or “airbrushed” during its March 17 report on the trans swimmer as Thomas was competing at the NCAA championships in Georgia.
Watch how giddy NBC's 'Today' show is about Lia Thomas crushing the competition at the NCAA D1 women's swimming and diving championships.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 17, 2022
Now, a photojournalist who took some of the photos is decrying NBC for altering her photos.
“I pride myself on providing authentic images as a photojournalist,” Erica Denhoff told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday.
Denhoff, a student-athlete and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, said that she agrees with critics who say NBC altered the photos and added, “It’s really important as photojournalists that we transmit authentic photos that have not been altered.”
When I first noticed the airbrushing on the segment referenced, I thought something was honestly wrong with the video. But then, I watched it again and thought, “Wait a minute, this appears to be intentional. Lia’s features are softened,” Denhoff exclaimed.
Denhoff said once she learned of the criticism, she compared her actual photos to the shots used by NBC and saw a noticeable difference. Her images were softened and blurred by the TV network.
“To me, it definitely seems like something was going on with the airbrushing/noise reduction of all of Lia’s photos in this segment,” Denhoff said of NBC’s March 17 report.
Denhoff confirmed that some of the photos used in the segment were her photos and added, “I’m surprised and disappointed that Today altered my image of Lia for this particular news segment.”
Shameful. But, then, the news these days all seems to be fake. At least the student who took the photos has the integrity to point out when a major outlet is lying about something even if it is a man’s facial features.
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