IS THE KERRY PIC LEGIT?…. Several of the right’s major blogs were all aflutter yesterday over a picture of John Kerry, in Iraq a couple of weeks ago, apparently sitting alone at a mess hall. The picture, as the story went, proves that Kerry’s “botched joke” has caused lingering resentment among men and women in uniform. If the troops respected Kerry, he wouldn’t have been sitting by himself at the breakfast shown in the photo.

The picture, and the accompanying narrative about how the troops avoided Kerry, made the rounds by way of far-right radio-host Scott Hennen, who claims the “priceless story” was sent by “a friend of mine serving in Iraq.” (If Hennen’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he has an interesting history with the White House.)

The problem, however, is that the “priceless story” may not be true. Justin Rood explains.

At Hennen’s site, commenter “Anthony” noted that the picture’s embedded data, just a right-click away, shows the picture was taken on January 9, 2006 — several months before Kerry botched his joke….

News accounts at the time put Kerry in England around that time — which might explain the giant Union Jack hanging on the far wall.

At PowerLine, another problem surfaced: As commenter “Angus” noted, the flag hanging to the right of the Union Jack belongs to Portugal, which withdrew its mighty 120-man coalition force from Iraq nearly two years ago.

Between Cliff May’s email yesterday, and the questionable pic of Kerry today, conservatives aren’t having any luck at all lately, are they?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.