Someone mentioned in the comments that the Atlantic had altered pictures of McCain. I had no idea what they were talking about and basically ignored it. A few days ago, I finally got caught up on the whole affair:

When The Atlantic called Jill Greenberg, a committed Democrat, to shoot a portrait of John McCain for its October cover, she rubbed her hands with glee.

She delivered the image the magazine asked for--a shot that makes the Republican presidential nominee look heroic. Greenberg is well known for her highly retouched images of bears and crying babies. But she didn't bother to do much retouching on her McCain images. "I left his eyes red and his skin looking bad," she says.

After getting that shot, Greenberg asked McCain to "please come over here" for one more set-up before the 15-minute shoot was over. There, she had a beauty dish with a modeling light set up. "That's what he thought he was being lit by," Greenberg says. "But that wasn't firing."

What was firing was a strobe positioned below him, which cast the horror movie shadows across his face and on the wall right behind him. "He had no idea he was being lit from below," Greenberg says. And his handlers didn't seem to notice it either. "I guess they're not very sophisticated," she adds.

Greenberg has subsequently been let go by her photo agency. Now listen, I can indugle in all manner of McCain-haterade, but even I don't get this one. The moral problems are obvious. But even from the perspective of craven cowardice, this just seems stupid. Was it really worth losing money? Just to photoshop a pic of McCain? Maybe she has money to burn. You know, being a liberal elitist and all.

UPDATE: Deborah makes a good point below. Like the Move-On ads (" Gen. Betray-Us," "John McCain you can't have my baby" etc.) I struggle to see how any of this helps get the people these guys hate out of power. Who is honestly swayed by those ads? Who sees a photoshopped pic of McCain with monkey-crap on his head and thinks, "Yeah, I really do hate McCain!" I guess you could see them as "firing up the base," but actually, no. First, this isn't a year when the base doesn't feel like voting. Second, if you're the type to get fired up by a pic of McCain with blood drooling down his grill, uhm, you probably were already pretty fired up to begin with. It just seems like a temper-tantrum more than anything.

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