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President Selfie

Apparently that photo was this week's fake controversy; I missed it, of course. But there's no reason to go into detail. Because the question is simple:

What kind of person takes a selfie at a funeral euology? What kind of President takes a selfie there? What kind of President takes a selfie at the state funeral euology of a revered international figure?

If this was a kid, taking a selfie in the pews at his grandfather's funeral, what would you think? I know what I'd think: I'd think a totally ego-driven, spoiled, narcissistic little princeling was mocking the dead. And if I were his parent, I'd take him out of the pew and out of the service and teach him some sense.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think this is repugnant.

As with so much else Obama has done lately, the mind reels.

NOTE I rather like "President Selfie." I think it might have legs; it skewers the narcissism.

UPDATE Dana Milbank points out the DC is "Selfie City." Exactly.

UPDATE I don't care who's holding the camera (it looks like they both are, to me). They both ought to have been dragged out of the service by grown-ups and given a talking to they'll remember.

UPDATE I'm wrong on the funeral. It's a eulogy. So what?

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Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

I think Michelle agrees with us but for different (narcissistic) reasons (jealous).

This has to be a new low in US Presidential History.

Revolting.

krakatowa's picture
Submitted by krakatowa on

I swear, Obama was hitting on that blonde lady. And Michelle did not look pleased.

Submitted by lambert on

Gawd knows what I'd look like, caught in an unguarded moment.

The NY Post coverage I read did some ugly riffing on that, but I really don't care about it.

Submitted by Dromaius on

They aren't paid to look like teenage tweeters.

Submitted by hipparchia on

... because keeping them separated from the hoi polloi makes it a little bit easier to cut down on the possibility of assassination attempts.

from all the descriptions i could find, the event was sometimes solemn, sometimes rowdy, and mostly celebratory. i'm just going to make a guess here, but i'd be willing to bet that had obama remained cool-calm-collected-somber-and-dignified while all around him were smiling and celebrating that your new england puritan wasp-ness would have been satisfied but your obama derangement syndrome would have been outraged at the narcissism of his aloofness.

Submitted by hipparchia on

more of the photographer's own words:

I took these photos totally spontaneously, without thinking about what impact they might have. At the time, I thought the world leaders were simply acting like human beings, like me and you. I doubt anyone could have remained totally stony faced for the duration of the ceremony, while tens of thousands of people were celebrating in the stadium. For me, the behaviour of these leaders in snapping a selfie seems perfectly natural. I see nothing to complain about, and probably would have done the same in their place. The AFP team worked hard to display the reaction that South African people had for the passing of someone they consider as a father. We moved about 500 pictures, trying to portray their true feelings, and this seemingly trivial image seems to have eclipsed much of this collective work.

http://blogs.afp.com/correspondent/?post/Selfie

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

Ok, then. You and the photographer (*) (two people) share the same view that Obama's behavior was somehow normal or acceptable. Cool. We get it.

(*) The photographer's words on this: "For me, the behaviour of these leaders in snapping a selfie seems perfectly natural. I see nothing to complain about, and probably would have done the same in their place." Good for the photographer. And good for you. Others disagree profoundly, and not because of an "Puritanism" or "New Englandishness." M'kay?

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

I wonder how this non-WH photographer got within "shooting" distance of President Selfie:

"And the AFP photographer who captured the moment dismissed the controversy, writing, “For me, the behaviour of these leaders in snapping a selfie seems perfectly natural. I see nothing to complain about and probably would have done the same in their place.”

Submitted by hipparchia on

I wonder how this non-WH photographer got within "shooting" distance

in the photographer's own words:

From the podium, Obama had just qualified Mandela as a “giant of history who moved a nation towards justice." After his stirring eulogy, America’s first black president sat about 150 metres across from where I was set up. He was surrounded by other foreign dignitaries and I decided to follow his movements with the help of my 600 mm x 2 telephoto lens.

from a description of a 600mm telephoto lens:

often used by photojournalists in tough shooting situations where they just can't get close enough to the places where the action takes place.

some searching online brings up prices for 600mm telephoto lenses in the range of $10,000-12,000 and photos showing that they're not just big lenses, they're more like small telescopes.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

This is a propos what, exactly? Not clear how the size and type of lenses come into this thread. Not sure it really matters either. Just wondering.

Submitted by hipparchia on

rg: Not clear how the size and type of lenses come into this thread.

cc: I wonder how this non-WH photographer got within "shooting" distance

Submitted by Dromaius on

But get a load of the shot at about 6 where everyone looks somber, except our inappropriately giggling president and his cute blonde friend.

Awful. And probably why Michelle got in the way.

Submitted by Dromaius on

I figured I'd post the pic that really best showed to me the inappropriateness of the behavior. Look at the sober expressions of most people in the area, a huge contrast to President Giggles. And honestly, I don't care what the fan boy photographer thought of the situation...and yeah, the photog was likely a fan boy with the 600mm lens pointed at Obama rather than people on stage.

My picture is #6 at this link

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Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

This sums it up. It could actually be used in a history class as an exhibit around which to focus a discussion about Obama's true nature and the zeitgeist of his reign.