Published August 18, 2009
A 20-year-old college history major of Palestinian descent who supported Rep. Dennis Kucinich's presidential candidacy is the anonymous artist who turned a Time magazine cover photo of Barack Obama into the nefarious Joker of the Batman series, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Firas Alkhateeb was home in Chicago on his winter break from the University of Illinois when he toyed around with Photoshop to come up with the image. He posted it to the picture site Flickr for friends to see his artwork, the paper reported.
Months later, the doctored picture appeared on posters around the country with the word "Socialism" added to it. Alkhateeb, who dabbles in graphic arts, told the newspaper he worried about copyright infringement and so kept a low profile. He also feared a backlash for appearing to be against the president in his hometown of Chicago.
Alkhateeb said he doesn't support Obama, though he likes him better than President Bush. And he doesn't think he's a socialist.
"In terms of domestic policy, I don't think he's really doing much good for the country right now," he told the Times. "We don't have to 'hero worship' the guy."