I Would Like to Introduce Our Federal Government to Photoshop

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

By now, the profound idiocy of the White House Military Office’s decision to stage a terrifying photo op for an Air Force One jet over New York City on Monday has been widely, and rightly, condemned. However, I haven’t heard anyone offer any proactive, money-saving solutions… until now! Esteemed employees of our federal government, please allow me, your comically named Mother Jones contributor, to acquaint you with a magical, spell-casting piece of computer wizardry called Photoshop. With Photoshop, anything can be anywhere, at any time! Skeptical? Well, just take a look at some examples after the jump!

Eager to show our government supports noodly indie electro-rock and the hipsters who flock to it? Let’s have Air Force One do a quick fly-by of the Coachella festival! But wait a minute! Unfortunately, while the jet engine noise would have flowed perfectly into My Bloody Valentine’s set, the wake turbulence could cause untold hairstyle damage. Therefore, an actual flyover just isn’t possible. So what do we do? Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Photoshop!

On a more serious note, say that perhaps you’re engaged in a delicate standoff with a ruthless, unhinged dictator. You’d love to swing by and give him the bird out the window, but that seems kind of dangerous. However, with the magic of Photoshop, Air Force One can be in Pyongyang in a flash, and what’s more, poor Kim Jong-il will totally believe it really happened!

Perhaps most intriguingly, the magical powers of Photoshop mean that Air Force One can fly to places both real and imaginary. For instance, ever wondered what would have happened if our government intervened in the Imperial stormtrooper attack on Luke Skywalker’s aunt and uncle’s farm on Tatooine? We could have avoided all that Ewok crap!

For your convenience, I now present a cost-benefit analysis.

  Federal Government’s Air Force One
Manhattan Photo Shoot
Party Ben’s Photoshop Wizardry
Cost $328,000, panic $10/hour, mild anxiety
Benefit “real” “awesome”


White House, please feel free to get in touch via Mother Jones.

[Update: Dammit, the New York Daily News beat me to this by like 30 minutes. ]


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend