French Politician Accused Of Staging Glacier Photo
Eric Woerth, a senior conservative MP, has just experienced the wrath of social media first hand and it was brutal.
The pollie tweeted a photo of what appears to be him tackling a near-vertical summit in the Alps.
At first glance, the climb looked very impressive.
Bent forward on all fours, the 63-year-old uses ropes and an ice axe to grip the slippery surface of the Aiguille d'Argentiere mountain, while looking directly at the camera.
But a closer look reveals a different reality.
Social media users have found all sorts of oddities in the picture.
Two people were spotted in the background appearing to walk down the 'steep slope' with ease, while the zip on Woerth's jacket looked to be hanging at a strange angle.
"The zip on you zipper that ignores gravity and hangs towards the mountain," one user wrote in French. "Your two friends in the background also ignore the gravity and walk down the mountain that you [are climbing]. It's suspicious."
A third glaring issue was that the ropes Woerth was using weren't hanging down the mountain as expected, instead, they sat coiled several metres away from him.
Cue close to 4,000 comments, memes and gifs mocking his efforts.
This isn't Woerth's first taste of scandal. He held two ministerial posts when Nicolas Sarkozy was the president and was forced to stand down as labour minister n 2010 after being involved in a campaign finance scandal.
Now, he's the head of the finance committee of the lower house of the French parliament.
Woerth took to twitter overnight, defending the photo and insisting it is real.
"Comments caused by the publication of a photo of [this mountain climb] forces me to say, at the risk of disappointing, that this image is true and without retouching, the meaning of the photo is good," he wrote.
Woerth's guide, Jean Franck-Charlet, even took to his own private Facebook page to explain to his 500 friends that the photo was indeed genuine.
"This picture is real, even if the 45 degrees slope appears a little more steep than it actually is," he wrote in French. "I am very amazed that this simple picture has generated so many critical and ironic comments from internet users and climbers."
"Mr Eric Woeth is an excellent mountaineer who has made many great climbs."
So there you guys, apparently the picture is legit with the angle only slightly dramatised.