This piece gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the Obama Administration has carefully crafted its own image, by associating the President with respected figures in pop culture, virtually replacing the public news media with its own. "The White House has effectively become a broadcast company," according to Michael Shaw, publisher of Bagnewsnotes.com, a site dedicated to the analysis of news images.
Shaw explains how the White House has taken complete control of the image of the Obama Presidency and rendered professional journalist photographers obsolete by replacing them with his own crew of official staff of White House Photographers, led by Peter Souza, whose heroically composed photos are then uploaded to social media sites and comprise the only source of images from which the news media can draw upon, when reporting on the Administration. Images used on the front pages of newspapers around the world are thus controlled by the Obama Administration.
On November 2013, a White House Press Corps Reporter formed a question to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, by stating that any one of her colleagues would agree that today's journalists have less access to the President than even during the Bush (43) Presidency; ironic, considering that one of Obama's chief promises, as a Presidential Candidate was that his would be the "Most transparent in history." She then went on to ask whether the President might have been setting himself up for inevitable failure, by making that promise? Press Secretary Carney totally blew off the question.
What Carney did NOT expect, in response, was an Open Letter of Protest to the White House, signed by 38 Press Organizations, stating that, "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."
The White House responded by allowing crowds of journalists in, for a few days, with his own photographers framing these scenes in such a way that the President looked completely mobbed and victimized.
Obama is hardly alone in being a Head of State, using these new tactics, now available to all "Dear Leaders", via sites like Instagram and Flikr. Vladimir Putin and Bashar Al-Assad are among those who are heavy users of these same social media tactics.
As the ReasonTV narrator of this piece concludes, "We may never see our politicians in quite the same way, again."
President Obama Recognizes astronaut Scott Kelly 01/21/2015 11:00 AM EST
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly stands as he is recognized by President Barack Obama, while First Lady Michelle Obama (lower left corner) and other guests applaud. The President recognized Kelly during the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 20, 2015. This March, Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will launch to the International Space Station and become the first crewmembers to live and work aboard the orbiting laboratory for a year-long mission. While living on the International Space Station, Kelly, Kornienko and the rest of the crew will carry out hundreds of research experiments and work on cutting-edge technology development that will inspire students here at home in science, technology, engineering and math. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)