The image (above, left) showing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin posing in an American flag bikini while holding a gun started to circulate online soon after she was chosen as John McCain's Vice-Presidential candidate.
The image was created by an unknown hoaxer who removed Palin's head from a photo (above, middle) showing Palin marching in the Chugiak July 4 Parade. The hoaxer then pasted Palin's head onto the body of a bikini-wearing model (above, right). Both of the source images had originally been posted on Flickr.com.
Although the image was quickly debunked, an entertainment reporter for CNN's American Morning
appeared to believe it was authentic, telling Howard Kurtz, host of Reliable Sources
, that the McCain campaign needed to beware of people thinking that Palin "looks good in a bikini clutching an AK-47, but is she equipped to run the country?"
A second fake image (right, top) that also circulated online showed Governor Palin posing in a miniskirt. It seemed plausible that at some point in her life she may have been photographed wearing such a skirt. But it turned out that her head had been pasted onto the body of another (unknown) woman.
The original image of Palin (right, bottom), from which her head had been taken, had been posted to Flickr in February 2007. It showed her wearing an evening gown.
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