Commenter Hermitian has made various and conflicting claims about the photo taken by AP photographer J. Scott Applewhite on the morning of April 27, 2011 just after President Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney handed out copies of the newly obtained Obama Hawaiian long form birth certificate. The copy was part of a packet that also contained a copy of the short form previously released, the request letter sent by President Obama’s attorney, and the response letter from the Hawaii Department of Health.
Hermitian denied that the photo was of the press handout and denied it could have been taken with a handheld camera.
In this side splittingly funny comment Hermitian said:
RC can keep spreading mustard on his bolony (bologna) but I don’t buy any of his blather. As for his latest lunacy we can obliterate his claim in a flash.
We know that the two certified copies were purported to be dry copies of the original long-form birth certificate made on basket-weave safety paper. by the HDOH.
From other information, we know that this paper would have been Simpson 24 lb stock. The Simpson paper has the basket-weave pattern on both sides of the sheet. So there is no way that the copy of the Obama short-form certificate would be visible through this heavyweight basket-weave paper. Consequently, we know that the top sheet of the reporter’s handout stack was itself a copy.
Secondly, because he is a professional, there is no way that Applewhite would agree to photograph a copy when the original was in the room. And we can be positive that he would not have agreed to photograph a copy while a reporter photographed the original in B&W with her cell phone. He would only do so if ordered to by his management at the AP. Even then a professional would probably have refused and then called his union steward to get his job back.
John Woodman was one of the first Birther debunkers to realize how problematic the AP photo was to the group of bumbling Birthers pretending to be image and computer experts and doing amateur hour analyses of the LFBC PDF file posted later the same day of the release of the LFBC on the White House web site. Woodman saw that the PDF could not be the source of the AP image? Why? Because the AP image contains details not visible on the PDF. One excellent example of the difference in the images is to look at the portion of the Registrar’s stamp where the Birther “experts” claimed that the world “THE” is misspelled and is “TXE” Here we see the difference:
WH LFBC: (Images courtesy of Obama Conspiracy Theories blog from the article “TXE”: it bears repeating)
The AP image is just even more conclusive proof that the LFBC PDF is not an original “forgery”. If you believe that then you must believe that the AP JPG was also forged independently. The idea that someone unnamed generated multiple independent forgeries is of course insane. Only someone with no grip on reality would make such a moronic claim. The alternative theory would be that the AP document was forged and it was the source of the LFBC PDF scanned file. That of course would make all the analysis of the PDF “layers” null and void. And then there is the Savannah Guthrie photo of course …
So what did Scott Applewhite photograph on that morning almost three years ago? What kind of camera did he use? What about that bluish tint to the image?
I decided that the way to obtain answers to those questions was obvious. Why not ask Mr. Applewhite?
I just made contact with Mr. Applewhite who still works for AP but now covers Congress instead of the White House. He remembered that morning very well. He graciously answered my questions:
You ask about the president’s birth certificate photo. I went to the White House regularly for many years but now concentrate on Congress. I certainly remember that day when the White House press office was handing out copies of the President Obama’s birth record in order to dispel the controversy and argument about his true nationality. Since I don’t have a macro setup or lens, I’m sure I just copied the sheet of paper handed out by the White House by using my Canon EOS 1D Mark IV at the time, either using a 24-70 zoom or a 50mm lens. And yes, handheld.
This wasn’t art. It was early in the day and I was simply making a quick copy of the document to transmit to the AP’s Washington Bureau — it would have been their job then for the reporters to use their resources to validate or question the information. My cameras are pretty high resolution — generally about 40 to 50mb every time I push the button. This time however I was just a human xerox machine. As for the bluish tint, not sure, since I was simply relaying the information on the document, I may not have done the usual color correction which is normal to adjust proper skin tones, etc.
As I recall, it wasn’t too long after copying the document that President Obama actually appeared in the Press Room to personally address the issue.
It is easy to look up the specs for the camera Mr. Applewhite used. It is a 16 Megapixel model. And honestly, I didn’t solicit his reference to being a “human xerox”. That was his own wording.
So there you have it. Just as we have tried to tell Hermtian for days Scott Applewhite snapped a handheld photo of the copy of the LFBC from the handout at the press briefing. Mystery solved. Hermitian is wrong once again and the sun will set in the west soon after I write these words.