Fishing Trip

Photographs show President Bush engaged in various recreational activities in flooded New Orleans?

Claim:   Photographs show President Bush engaged in various recreational activities in areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Status:   False.

Examples:   [Collected on the Internet, 2005]

I got this in an email with the title “This says it all!” It’s obviously fake. Look at Bush and his Dad wearing coats where the temperature is about 90 degrees.



Origins:   One modern form for expressing dissatisfaction with politics and politicians is the creation of humorously manipulated photographs. Unlike political cartoons, however, the results are not always obvious to everyone as humor, leading to confusion about whether the images were intended as satire or actually depict real-life scenes.

A couple of examples of satirists using manipulated photographs to express dissatisfaction with the perceived callousness of the federal government (particularly the President) towards the victims of Hurricane Katrina are displayed above. Both employ the motif of placing President Bush engaging in recreational activities amidst the wreckage of post-Katrina New Orleans: one shows President Bush strumming a guitar in front of a grieving mother outside the convention center, and the other depicts President Bush and his father (former president George H.W. Bush) happily fishing in the flooded city streets.

Although we’ve received many “Is this real?” inquiries about these images, they are both fabrications. The former, for instance, used a photograph of President Bush taken from his appearance at Naval Base Coronado on 30 August 2005 to deliver remarks on V-J Commemoration Day, where he was presented with a guitar by Country Singer Mark Wills:

Likewise, the second image used an earlier photograph of father-and-son presidents displaying the results of their angling efforts:

Last updated:   9 September 2005