A semi-official Iranian news agency called Fars altered an image of Michelle Obama at the Academy Awards to appeal to their more conservative readers.
An image was Photoshopped to show Mrs. Obama with covered shoulders and chest– a stark contrast from the sleeveless silver gown that she was wearing by designer Naeem Khan on Sunday night.
Although modest by American standards, the designer gown, which exposed the shoulders and partial chest of the first lady, violated the codes of modesty enforced in many Muslim countries.
Patrick Ventrell, deputy State Department spokesperson, wouldn’t comment on Michelle Obama’s manipulated photo but he did say that the State Department has seen images and statements manipulated in the past by the Iranian government.
“We’ve persistently seen Iranian news agencies, whether they’re partially or fully state-run, use fabrication and use other means to distort images.”
Ventrell continues, “It’s something that we’ve seen in the past here in this department. We’ve seen photos manipulated. We’ve seen official statements manipulated. So there would be nothing new. It wouldn’t surprise me.”