Claim:   Photograph shows John McCain making a funny face after a presidential debate.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, October 2008]

Is the photo below real? it is said to have been taken at the end of the 3rd debate.

Origins:   It’s

sometimes the case — for better or worse — that

a still image can call attention to something that occurred so fleetingly as to pass unnoticed in a moving image. Such was the case with the picture of John McCain displayed above, which circulated widely in the immediate aftermath of the 3rd Presidential Debate of 2008 between presidential nominees Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain on 15 October 2008 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

At the end of the debate, as Senator McCain attempted to shake hands with moderator Bob Schieffer, McCain started to move to one side of the stage and Schieffer walked in the opposite direction. Realizing the misstep, McCain displayed a bit of humor in making an exaggerated “I’m mixed-up” gesture and sticking out his tongue before reversing direction to approach Schieffer. (The moment can be seen at the 1:29:57 mark of this video clip.) The widely-circulated image shown here captured Senator McCain at just the right instant of that brief moment to produce an amusingly goofy result.

Last updated:   17 October 2008


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