Not smooth: Network ‘airbrushes’ photo of transgender swimmer

By Joe Kovacs

Swimmer Lia Thomas, whose image on the right was allegedly airbrushed by NBC. (Twitter)

As if fake news were not fake enough already, now NBC is accused of airbrushing a photograph of collegiate swimmer Lia Thomas to make the transgender athlete appear more feminine.

“I’m crying. Why did NBC Today airbrush the [bleep] out of this picture? lmaooooo,” asked one Twitter user.

“It’s pretty damn obvious,” noted a report by

“We’re so old we remember the controversy over TIME magazine darkening O.J. Simpson’s mug shot for its cover, eliciting accusations of racism. And then there’s that photo of the Capitol riot they always use that makes it look like the building’s surrounded by flames. Altering photos is pretty sketchy business.”

“Now we can’t unsee it. Why did NBC News put a soft filter on Thomas’ face?”

The report concluded: “It’s weird because NBC News seems to have used the unaltered photo as well, and the thing is, someone had to put time into this – it didn’t just happen.”

Twitter users went wild with their reactions to Thomas’ apparently altered state, including:

  • “Gotta soften that jawline. Lol.”
  • “Is this to give the ‘feminine’ glow 🙄 pathetic.”
  • “That’s like what Rolling Stone did to the Boston Bomber when he was on their front page. He looked like [a] glamor model.”
  • “Yes, and nice job too, totally looks like a woman now 🙄”
  • “To look less manly? Too bad you need more than an airbrush to conceal other stuff.”

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