American Elephants

No Unflattering Pictures Of Obama Will Be Allowed. by The Elephant's Child

The White House has decreed  that photographs of the president and his family will be the work of the White House photographers, and then distributed to the media. Ron Fournier wrote in the National Journal on November 21, 2013:

The fast-moving trend is hampering reporters and videographers who cover the White House, but Mills’s profession has probably been hardest hit. “As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government,” reads a letter delivered today to Carney by the WHCA and several member news organizations including The Associated Press and The New York Times.

The letter includes examples of important news events that were not covered by media photographers, and yet pictures were taken by the White House image team and widely distributed via social media. This happens almost daily. …

Again, this is propaganda–utterly lacking a skeptical eye. The irony is that Obama is using technology that democratized and flattened the media to centralize and strengthen the powers an institution, The Presidency.

Today, I noticed that the Washington Times is striking back! Here is the caption under a White House distributed photo of the president visiting Walter Reed:

President Barack Obama autographs a banner while visiting a wounded service member at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., June 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Obama clearly doesn’t like unflattering pictures. He doesn’t like being photoshopped, and if you use his picture in a commercial or political way, expect a SWAT team to break down your door first thing in the morning when you are expected to be asleep. You have been warned.

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