The Washington Post claims a much blogged-about photo caption blooper was a "hoax." But the guy who sent the screencap to us stands by it: "I don't even have Photoshop on my computer! Also two co-workers saw my screen."

We're as wary of screengrab hoaxes as the next guy. But hear the embattled tipster out:

from: [redacted]
date: Thu, May 6, 2010 at 3:26 PM
subject: Obama/Malcolm

Please don't use my name, but wanted to assure you that I didn't Photoshop or alter the screengrab I sent over. I don't even have Photoshop on my computer! Also, two co-workers saw my screen before I sent it.

I guess it could have been a glitch in IE or on the WaPo. I wanted to write though because I don't want you to lose credibility with your readers who think that you got duped. The WaPo is either covering their ass or it was an innocent glitch.

He used his real (company) email address with his real name, which diminishes the likelihood of a hoax. We're willing to buy almost any version of the events, including our tipster's version, that a browser glitch or the Post's photo-caption-flipping system broke for mere moments and it wasn't the paper's fault. In fact, we sort of never said it was. (Except in the headline. But that was ironic.) Just that it was funny and not what the Post intended.

It is of note, though, that the Post's main argument for it being a hoax was "no one could recall being the one to correct it," which essentially equates to, "no one admitted to it." But if that's the narrative WaPo needs to run with so it doesn't have to fire someone, I recommend they keep it. As one who once held a job that revolved around the act of shuffling captions and images in slideshows, I can attest that sometimes in the muscle-memory grind of copying, pasting, reordering, and re-reordering, shit happens. [WaPo]

Previously: The Washington Post Cannot Tell Obama from Malcolm X