An alert reader sent me this link to a Craigslist post featuring what looks like a semi-nude (one boob) shot of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in her beauty queen days, complete with huge 1980s hair.

The nude picture was found in company with this pageant bikini-contest shot:

bikini shot of Sarah Palin?

Is this Palin? I dunno. It could be a random brunette with “Alaska” photoshopped onto the banner. It could be her. I just dunno.

Moving along to the nude picture you’ve all been waiting for:

nude glamour shot of Sarah Palin? No.

Now, understand, I’m terrible with faces. My face recognizer is so bad that I don’t recognize my friends at the grocery store, half the time. And to me, this grainy black-and-white face doesn’t jump out as “obviously” Sarah Palin — either the current mother of five or the pageant beauty we saw yesterday. It’s just some random brunette showing a breast.

But if we believe the bikini shot…

It’s a clever sort of misdirection. Similar backgrounds, same white drape, similar hair. But to my eye, the face is much more bland. I can’t say it’s the same girl; I don’t think it’s the same girl. But, you know, it maybe could be, if a guy wanted to believe badly enough.

While still trying to decide whether I had a picture worth showing you, I moved my attention to the awesome hot leather miniskirt photo in the same Craigslist post. I was suspicious of that one; Palin is not that tall and her legs aren’t quite that thunderous. Final nail in the coffin: The Museum of Hoaxes has the source photo that Palin’s headshot was chopped from.

From there, I followed links through a ValleyWag story to this photoshop contest page, where, hey guess what? They have the nude picture already! It turns out to be an old internet photo widely circulated as being a nude photo of some celebrity I’ve never heard of, one Julia Louis Dreyfus. And even then, the majority of the sites showing it advertise it as a fake — so it may not even be Ms. Dreyfus.

I deem it unlikely that a nude photograph of Sarah Palin has been circulating for years on the internet, being deliberately mis-labeled as a Julia Louis Dreyfus nude. I guess it’s a theoretical possibility, but if I were you I’d be more worried about flying monkeys shooting out of John McCain’s ass.

Bottom line, folks: You can’t believe just anything you see on the internet. This will not be the last “nude Sarah Palin” picture we see. It may not even be the last nude Sarah Palin photo you see on ErosBlog. But the next time you see one, it would be good to remain skeptical.

To be honest, the most interesting photo to me is the bikini one of the girl with the “Alaska” sash. Is that Palin? Finding it in company with Photoshops makes me skeptical, but it’s an attractive photo (actually, video screen capture I believe) and I’d enjoy having it confirmed.

As always when Photoshop enters a discussion on ErosBlog, commenters need to remember that I am ruthless about deleting expressions of insupportable certitude. Opinions and arguments are welcome, but absolute claims and excessive certainty (“that’s obviously fake”, “Of course that’s real”) are rude and foolish and will be moderated away.