A Republican senator has deleted an ad that made his Jewish opponent’s nose bigger. Georgia
Sen. David Perdue’s campaign is insisting it was just an error by a graphic artist and explanation that many aren’t buying.
The ad called for donations to Perdue, a Republican, by claiming that “Democrats are trying to buy Georgia.” It uses black-and-white photos of Ossoff and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish, that have been Photoshopped to appear as if they were pulled from an old television set with poor reception.
But the Ossoff image, which was adapted from a 2017 Reuters photo of him, was also changed by having his nose lengthened and widened, even as other parts of his face stayed the same size and proportions, three graphic design experts told the Forward.
Ossoff’s nose is “the primary difference where the altered version is larger than the original,” said Maurice Meilleur, an assistant professor of graphic design at Iowa State University. Two professional graphic designers consulted by the Forward concurred with this assessment.
…Depictions of Jews with large noses have been staples of anti-Semitic propaganda since the mid-19th century. In the past two years, political ads attacking Jewish candidates in Connecticut and California have Photoshopped them to make them appear to be holding money, another antisemitic trope.
Meilleur, who also has a PhD in political theory, noted that Ossoff’s nose enlargement is not as pronounced as in classic images of Jew-hatred. But he argued that it could still be seen as an antisemitic dogwhistle given its juxtaposition with an image of the Jewish Schumer and the claim that the party he helps lead is trying to “buy” the election.
The Forward also ran a graphic overlaying the black and white photo of the ad on top of the original 2017 Reuters photo. It clearly showed the nose was bigger on the ad photo.
The Senator’s campaign said it was an error due to a filter by an “outside vendor” when resizing took place that distorted the image and an accident due to photo resizing. They they deleted the ad (after a mini-firestorm on social media) and charged that anyone who suggests it wasn’t an error “is intentionally misrepresenting Senator Perdue’s strong and consistent record of standing firmly against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate.”
Far be it for me to imply in any way that it was intentional that the Senator’s opponent who just happens to be Jewish wound up with a bigger nose which accidentally happened in photo resizing.
I’ve done The Moderate Voice blog since 2004 and have resized literally thousands of photos and not once did someone’s nose turn out different than on the original photo.
I’ve also resized many photos of people who are Jewish and their noses didn’t turn out bigger.
I’ve resized photos of people and their noses didn’t turn out smaller, their ears didn’t turn out looking like Dumbo’s and the resizing didn’t make them bald or have mohawks.
I wouldn’t for a minute not accept the campaign’s explanation.
For two minutes, five minutes or an hour, well…yes.
Hopefully, another error won’t occur by accidentally adding this music Purdue ad going after Ossoff.
It couldn't be clearer that the made Ossoff's nose longer.
Disgusting anti-Semitism by Purdue. pic.twitter.com/ddxgTL6KwF
— afferent_input (@afferent_input) July 28, 2020
Earlier, in Photoshop, I copied the white background of the Perdue ad, then placed it over the original. Then desaturated. You can see that had it been simply a bad job of removing the background, there would be some dark background surrounding the nose. The nose was stretched. pic.twitter.com/zNtxHGNLOo
— Mid-Century Moldy ?????????? (@MidCenturyMoldy) July 28, 2020
The anti-Semitic ad by Georgia Sen David Purdue- his campaign digitally enlarged @Ossoff’s nose. The ad includes Sen Schumer (also Jewish) & said they were trying to “buy” the state- another anti-Semetic trope. Join me & make a $20 donation to @Ossoff ??
— Tarik S. Khan (@InclusionPhilly) July 28, 2020
So Lindsey Graham put out an ad with Jaime Harrison‘s complexion darkened. David Purdue put out an ad with John Ossoff’s nose enlarged.
Do they think we won’t notice these slimy, hoary tricks? Or is it that their base doesn’t care so they don’t care if we notice?
— Amadi is Tired (@amaditalks) July 28, 2020
Anybody buying Purdue’s claim that a “filter” during editing erroneously extended the nose of his Jewish political opponent? I’m no computer expert, but I’ve edited enough photos to know it doesn’t work that way. Purdue is a bigot & antiSemite. https://t.co/oCTf5vuJ3O
— Jeanne Mann (@Jeanne_Mann) July 28, 2020
I'm Jewish and I can tell you unequivocally that Purdue's manipulation of any Jew's nose is deplorable and reprehensible.
That said, not that we need the alterations, but neither I or Jon Ossoff would disapprove of pictures of us that are altered to make our crotches look bigger
— PreachersAreEvilPredators (@ArePreachers) July 28, 2020
Democrat Jon Ossoff denounces "anti-Semitic" ad by Sen. David Perdue that made his nose look larger https://t.co/Y6CS4iXztA
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 28, 2020
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.