ODNI Botches Diversity Report With Clearly Shopped Shutterstock Image

If there’s one thing that the government loves to beat people over the head with, it the virtues of diversity. They never really explain what the benefits are and also happen to fund learning programs like critical-race curriculum to tear people apart based on their genetics, but you’d better like it. It seems, however, that the government itself isn’t too terribly troubled about practicing what it preaches – like we didn’t know that already.

The forged cover, not even well-edited, was used as the cover photo for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s yearly demographics report for the 2020 fiscal year. The doctored image, apparently a publicly available stock photograph for Shutterstock entitled “Portrait Of Multi-Cultural Office Staff Standing In Lobby”, was first called out by Republican political consultant Luke Thompson.

The image, already ethnically divergent, featured the addition of a paraplegic woman and a blind man with a guide dog – because people that look different and that are differently able than one another are foundational to the proper functioning of government intelligence and effectiveness. Or something like that.

Not only the image, but the immediacy of which it was found to be falsified, has drawn widespread mockery and other critical remarks to the ODNI. Social media now questioning the intelligence of the intelligence agencies.

This report is the result of a directive in Public Law 116-92 which requires all segments of the intelligence community to perform such work as reporting the employment of minorities, women, the disabled, and to ensure that they are employed in direct proportion to the wider population. While such reports have been made available since 2016, reports detailing the effectiveness of these practices at the highest levels of government have not.

Apparently, making government agencies into painter’s pallets matters more than merit – but if this fake photo is any indication, they can’t do that right either.