May 5, 2014

That Sleazy Obama – Sebelius White House Correspondents Dinner Photo

WHCA Obama Sebelius

Go to the Getty page for the White House Correspondents Dinner and this photo is at or near the top, depending on your search option. Any way you look at it, it’s just a nasty photo – a furtive innuendo born of a camera angle, a stop-time sliver from a a completely typical greeting that should never have made Getty’s edit, not to mention, offered for worldwide sale.

But, wait a minute. AP moved one too?

Obama Sebelis whcd ap

You can imagine how many far right and outright hate sites pick up these images and a previous one, too).

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But still, it’s not possible more traditional sites would actually have run such a thing, would they?

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What possible narrative could accompany this photo of Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS Secretary leaving the administration on strained terms after all the problems surrounding the healthcare launch. This is plain and simply a crass piece of media merchandise. It’s one thing if this type of photo was taken of Bill Clinton. There’s at least some context there. But Obama, the father-in-chief? Mr. Squeaky Clean? At best, it suggests the long-in-the-tooth Obama administration has reached punching bag stage. (It’s probably too much to hope that the White House Correspondents Association weekend has too.) At worst, evoking the stereotype of the hyper-sexual black man and the penchant for white women, it’s still one more photo of America’s first black president with racist overtones.

(photo 1: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images, caption: U.S. President Barack Obama and outgoing Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius attend the annual White House Correspondent’s Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel May 3, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The dinner is an annual event attended by journalists, politicians and celebrities. photo 2: Rex Features via AP Images. caption: Kathleen Sebelius and Barack Obama White House Correspondent’s Association Gala Dinner, Washington D.C, America – 03 May 2014)

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Michael Shaw
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