Friday, May 06, 2011


Grandfatherly GOP apparatchik and hatchetman Andrew Malcolm of the L.A. Times blogs self-righteously about a story one of his colleagues wrote yesterday:

P.S. Turns out now, those photos of Obama giving his 'I caught Bin Laden' speech were faked

... It turns out now that all of the non-White House still photographs of the president's dramatic entrance down the hall into the East Room and the late Sunday evening speech itself were faked.

... The widely distributed press photographs were, in fact, shot during a reenactment of the entrance, the firm presidential strides down the carpeted hall and the speaking by the president right after the real event, as reported by our astute colleague James Oliphant.

... It is a minor matter unless truth is a concern....

The Obama crew is not the first to bar professional photographers from a White House event and then offer a pretend presentation for subsequent "coverage."

... But to use this arguably misleading photo gimmick around something as sensitive as killing the world's most wanted murderer in an era of bounteous conspiracy theories about the 9/11 events he engineered is naive at best, moronic at worst....

The key point here is that "not the first to bar professional photographers" bit. I'm sure the Obama-hating wingnuts who lap this stuff up greedily will assume that previous deceivers are all evil Satanic Democrats. In fact, if you go to the linked story by Malcolm's colleague, you're directed to a blog post from the Poynter Institute, which tells us this:

John Harrington, president of the White House News Photographers Association, tells me that the Obama Administration has used this technique before and they are not the first.

"I am aware of it happening in previous administrations. I believe Bush 41 [George H.W. Bush] did it too," Harrington says. "The times where I have known of it happening before is when the president is in the Oval Office and you are working in a very tight space."

Other photographers who work at the White House told that since the Reagan era (and possibly before) it has been the standard operating procedure that during a live presidential address, still cameras are not allowed to photograph the actual event.

"AP understands why the still photographers are not allowed into the live address area...," says David Ake, the Associated Press' assistant bureau chief for photos in Washington.

Because of the noise from the camera shutters and the placement of the teleprompter, "we are not able to photograph those events."

(Emphasis added.)

So, per Andrew Malcolm, both Saint Reagan and Malcolm's former boss's father-in-law were liars and morons.

Yeah, yeah, I know -- Malcolm's finely honed argument is that you don't want to do something like that on this speech because, well, this speech was so important. And, um, that makes sense -- if your perspective as a hack journalist is so limited that you believe that the seriousness of an event extends to the speech about the event and then to the photos of the president's actions leading up to the speech about the event.

Or if you just hate Democrats, as Malcolm does.


And yes, I know: many of us have done what I accuse Andrew Malcolm of doing in the title of this post. But I don't imagine he's ever done it until now, to the best of his knowledge.

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