Reuters, AP photojournalists describe staging of Obama photo

Editor’s note: On May 12, news broke that the White House had decided to stop its practice of re-enacting photos for still photographers. Our story on that decision is here. Below is Poynter.org’s original story on this issue.

Until Wednesday, the White House debated whether to release photos showing Osama bin Laden’s body. In theory, the photos would be proof to any doubters that the terrorist is dead. But not all photos can be believed — not even when they seem to show the president of the United States making a historic speech.

Reuters White House photographer Jason Reed describes how the president made his speech to a single TV camera, then immediately after finishing, he pretended to speak for the still cameras.

Reed writes:

“As President Obama continued his nine-minute address in front of just one main network camera, the photographers were held outside the room by staff and asked to remain completely silent. Once Obama was off the air, we were escorted in front of that teleprompter and the President then re-enacted the walk-out and first 30 seconds of the statement for us.”

That means the photograph that appeared in many newspapers Monday morning of Obama speaking may have been the staged shot, captured after the president spoke. This type of staging has been going on for decades.

This is the cutline transmitted with this AP photo: “President Barack Obama reads his statement to photographers after making a televised statement on the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, May 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)”

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 Poynter.org 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 and the captions disclose that these are re-enactment situations as well,” 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.”

Senior AP Staff Photographer Pablo Martinez Monsivais was called in from vacation on Sunday to cover the White House announcement.

The AP’s Pablo Martinez Monsivais, who took this photo, told Poynter, “What was very unique this time was that the White House actually allowed the still press photography pool to photograph the president’s ‘walk in’ so that images could be distributed prior to the late, 11:45 p.m. address.”

“There is nothing that we do as photojournalists that is unethical” about this, he says. “We fully disclose in our captions that this is a re-enactment, after the live announcement. We put that in.”

“The statement for the photographers took place two to three minutes after the live speech and it happened very quickly — extremely fast — with each photographer rotating into the center position.”

Doug Mills, New York Times photojournalist and former Associated Press staffer, says it has been done this way “always, always … well, as long as I have covered the White House, going back to the Reagan administration. We [still photographers] have never, never, never, ever been allowed to cover a live presidential address to the nation!”

Poynter’s Senior Faculty for Visual Journalism, Kenny Irby, explains, “The most obvious concern is noise. The 35mm cameras emit shutter noise, that would be multiplied by several photographers and increased by the echo which resonates off of the marble floors. The other visual distraction is the placement of the teleprompter that impedes the photographers’ line of sight to the president.”

Harrington says there are alternatives to staging the photographs.

As video images are increasingly detailed, it is easier to use screen captures that meet still photograph standards. He also points to devices like the “Jacobson blimp,” which he demonstrates in a YouTube video.

The blimp is a hard case with a cut-out for the camera and a remote control that allows a photographer to capture images while the case mutes the sound of the camera. Harrington says other photographers have customized still cameras to make them quieter. In fact, a camera was customized to take an unusual photo of Obama during his inauguration.

Photographers take pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama after he announced live on television the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2011. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

But this practice of re-enacting a historic speech flies directly in the face of the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics, which includes this relevant passage: “Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.”

Harrington says, “I know we are splitting hairs here, but the White House photographers covering those re-enactments did not stage, request or direct them. They are covering an event. They photograph what they are presented with.”

Harrington says the re-enactment is an alternative to just handing out a White House photo. “Obviously you should refer to it as a re-enactment in the cutline of the photo; it does need to be disclosed.”

Both Reuters and the AP did disclose the re-enactment in the cutlines they transmitted with photos. For example, the AP cutline reads:

“President Barack Obama reads his statement to photographers after making a televised statement on the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, May 1, 2011.”

However, not all newspapers reprinted those disclosures.

Some newspapers disclose

Poynter’s Library Director David Shedden searched 50 newspaper front pages from Monday morning to see if papers that used the staged image disclosed it. Keep in mind, newsrooms were scrambling to create new front pages late Sunday evening.

This cutline was transmitted with this Reuters photo: “U.S. President Barack Obama is pictured after announcing live on television the death of Osama bin Laden, from the East Room of the White House in Washington May 1, 2011. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan and his body was recovered, President Obama announced on Sunday.” (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Some newspapers that we viewed used both the AP photo and its cutline, which disclosed the image’s origins.

The Wausau Daily Herald, Wisconsin State Journal, Biloxi Sun Herald, Lodi News-Sentinel, Yuma Sun, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Detroit Free Press, The Wichita Eagle and The Orange County Register used the AP photo and its cutline (or a variation).

The Orlando Sentinel page simply states, “President Barack Obama is shown after his announcement about Osama bin Laden Sunday.” The San Jose Mercury News had a similar caption with a Getty image.

Thirty other front pages we reviewed used an AP, Reuters or Getty photo, credited appropriately, with a caption that implied or strongly suggested it was an image of the live address.

The remaining nine front pages don’t say where the photos came from; although several look like the re-enactments, they could be screen captures from the live address.

What should happen next

It is time for this kind of re-enactment to end. The White House should value truth and authenticity. The technology clearly exists to document important moments without interrupting them. Photojournalists and their employers should insist on and press for access to document these historic moments.

In the meantime, anyone who uses these recreations should clearly disclose to the reader the circumstances under which they were captured.

Kenny Irby conducted interviews with David Ake, Pablo Martinez Monsivais and Doug Mills for this report. He also received the photos we used and obtained permission to reprint them here. David Shedden researched front pages. Thanks to Charles Apple, whose post on this subject inspired our reporting.

To learn more about making ethical decisions on deadline, take this free, self-directed NewsU course.

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  • Anonymous

    Am I missing something here? Isn’t it the PHOTOGRAPHERS who are at fault for going along with this charade? No one forced them to take the shot. Obama offered to pose for a phony picture, they could have said No Thanks! In fact, they SHOULD have said no thanks. The White House asks editors to reprint press releases, and they (usually) don’t. Does that make the White House bad? Of course not. What would be bad is if the editors gave in to this blatant manipulation and printed the press release–just like the photogs gave in and shot the phoney picture.

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter
  • Cyril Washbrook

    I find a number of the comments on this piece amusing. As the story very, very clearly indicates, this is a practice that has been going on for years, under a number of different presidents. And yet remarkably, it’s the president who decided to STOP the practice who cops the flak…

  • Anonymous

    This practice should be discontinued. For news it is unethical. When will it stop. Will they delay the broadcast five minutes and post-edit his real comments into something more palpable should the president make a mistake during “take #1″.  Only one image of Obama should have been published, and that image should have held a disclaimer stating that the president reenacted or posed for photographers after his address. All those news agencies that ran the image of him at the podium without the disclaimer was dishonest and unethical for news gathering.

    If I can reenact a live address, than I have the right to manipulate images in photoshop, stage news scenes to get the right affect and angle, setting the correct mood or what ever. When does it stop? Who makes the call? 

    DaveTW

  • http://twitter.com/Mario_Serg Mário Sergio
  • http://twitter.com/Mario_Serg Mário Sergio
  • http://twitter.com/Mario_Serg Mário Sergio
  • http://twitter.com/Mario_Serg Mário Sergio
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GRAS2QOGIA5LIZWYLSTYZYEVYU julikell

    Shocked! Absolutely shocked!
    (In truth, I AM shocked that Reuters would run this story in the first place.)

  • http://twitter.com/snapitnow Peter Kelly

    Snaps that aspire to be average. The first 3 are bad enough but the 4th snap, you know, the one with the candleabra growing on top of The President’s head, is beyond me. These are not photographs,they are,as I said, snaps.

  • Anonymous

    A few points. First, if news organizations did not describe the situation for the still photo in their cutlines, then the fault is with them, not with the White House. The cutlines are the responsiblity of the news services, and AP and Reuters supplied them. Don’t blame the White House for a copy editor’s error. And to use this as another excuse for ideological name calling or Obama bashing is simply bloody-minded silliness. Reagan did this, as the article says.

    Second, “reenactment” is the correct word, rather than a “staging.” That’s not playing word games, because it literally was “re-enacting” an actual event in the same place, without embellishment. There’s nothing substantially different in the still photo from the actual speech.

    If the technology exists to work around this problem, then let’s use it. (I wonder: Have the NPPA or the White House Correspondents proposed such changes to the WH?) In the meantime, I’m baffled about why this particular episode should stir up so much apparent outrage, since this has been SOP for 30 years, an open not-so-secret. In this case, it strikes me as an artificial controversy. (“I’m shocked — shocked, I tell you!”) It would have been a different matter if the now-famous situation room photo had been “staged” or “re-enacted.”

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. Still photographers don’t HAVE to have the exact same shot as the TV camera. I don’t understand the premise that the shots must be identical. If the cameras are too noisy, then get the still photogs out of the room until after the president talks — but don’t recreate the speech. What’s the point? If the cutline is done correctly, it will make it clear that this photo doesn’t show the actual speech anyway.

    And the protests that this is the way it’s been done since Reagan, Eisenhower or whoever ring hollow. “Unethical things happen all the time” is hardly an acceptable excuse.

  • Anonymous

    I corrected you once already (above), but just in case, I’ll correct you again here.

    Professional digital cameras and film-based cameras share nearly every major part – shutter, prism, mirror, etc. Those are the things you hear when a picture is taken. You hear the mirror pop up, the shutter open and close, then the mirror coming back down. That happens in professional film cameras, too. It is all made up of physical sounds (metal against metal) that can’t be ‘turned off’.

    I am assuming you are referring to consumer-grade digital cameras instead. They can be made to be silent because they don’t have the same mechanisms.

  • Anonymous

    Incorrect. Professional digital cameras and film-based cameras share nearly every major part – shutter, prism, mirror, etc. Those are the things you hear when a picture is taken. You hear the mirror pop up, the shutter open and close, then the mirror coming back down. That happens in professional film cameras, too.

    I am assuming you are referring to commercial-grade digital cameras instead. They can be made to be silent because they don’t have the same mechanisms.

  • Anonymous

    You do know Chris Christie is a supporter of gun control?

    You do know that Chris Christie refuses to join in the multi-state suit opposing obama-care?

    Additionally, I believe he is pushing the green agenda.

    Nope–Not Christie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.zakariaie Jan Zakariaie

    Obama Acting!

  • peter klousis

    is it even possible to speak of obama without bringing in the name of BUSH, or without being called a racist, by some boot licker. it doesnt seem possible. thats all we`ve heard for two years, its bush`s fault that obama has failed, or you must be a racist for calling out obama on his lies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Al-Tompkins/730176264 Al Tompkins

    I keep reading these comments from photographers that the only way to see what the TV camera saw is to be where the camera is. But look at the second photo here–the still guy is positioned BELOW the TV camera level. It is about microphone level, not eye level. http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/05/05/6584474-obama-re-enacted-the-televised-address-sunday-night-for-still-cameras
    I want the still guys to be free to document the moment. But if they don’t, they should not fake it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QQMFAYW7VRMVQ5RXQVZW6YK5RM Pshtv

    wow is there ever a non-story. No photogs are in the live address area until after they go off air… Then they re-enact as they have for many President’s prior. Yet commentators are calling out Obama for this? I get many of us aren’t his biggest fan, but please….

  • Anonymous

    .I like the way Trump comes out and states the obvious, something a “real” politician never does. If we can tolerate a total disaster like Obama for one term then we can certainly give the Donald a chance for four years. I hope he runs for POTUS so at least we can learn more about him and his ideas

  • http://profiles.google.com/thetwowitnesses Jacob Isaiah 44:5

    Yes, the Lennon-McCarney duo were right on track. Once one understands that the line “In Penny Lane there is a Barber showing photographs of every head he’s had the pleasure to know” is referring to the Barber people of Africa the picture begins to gel since one very important demographic about those fine African lads is that they are like 99.99% Islamic.

    On top of that, work in John’s controversial statement: “Christianity and Rock and Roll will disappear. It may take 50 or 100 years but it will happen. I’m sure of it and I will be proved right”. Now, what on earth could John have been talking about? Well, one thing we know right now is that Rock and Roll doesn’t exactly flourish in Islamic societies. Plus, when we look at the state of Islamic expansion today we must admit that it appears that John’s quote has quite a good chance of materializing right before our very eyes.

    Anyway, Islam’s goal of controlling the world took a slight hit recently but nothing has changed. They will accomplish their goal regarding the spreading of Islam virtually everywhere. It just can not be stopped.

    The only thing you can do is prepare either yourself or your children, because the Christian anti-Christ will make it’s appearance in the form of a world Islamic leader around 2050, on that you can be sure. To put it another way – we aint seen nothing yet as far as Islamic expansionism goes. At this point the best way to prepare is to get informed – read thegoodguise at wordpress. Once you have a handle on things you will know what to do. Take care and post comments while reading the book with questions or whatever. Make yourself known…stand!!

  • Anonymous

    I remember the strange expression on BO’s face when he was going to announce OBL’s death. Was it the staging? By the use of the word “I”, instead of “we” (military) he wanted credit . Instead of “we” (military), he used “I” making clear he would get the credit. Since then we have been bombarded with one conflicting story after another, each one leaving us with more questions with regards to the truth. But isn’t this the strategy of a “community organizer?” Keep overwhelming us with information and creating chaos? Of course, the complicit media do their part. The timing is very odd and the more fabrication we hear, the stranger the big picture. The Royal Wedding (in which he was not invited), the birth certificate issue, the rising gas prices. Then I watched the video of the dinner where BO and SNL mocked many serious issues and poked fun of Trump. Good grief, grow up! BO was not presidential at this dinner and how deceptive since he knew #1 terrorist OBL was going to be killed. As much as I want to believe OBL is dead, and pleased that BO gave the go ahead (opportunist that he is), I question the commotion BO has once again managed to create. Something is wrong with the whole picture. He wanted to take our attention off his eligibility issue. This why our founders of our country put limitations on eligibility of President being a natural born citizen — to avoid a breach of allegiances which will have profound effects on the future of our country. BO has breached his allegiance to our country in the last two years and we will continue to experience the horrible effects of this dictator. We will be lucky to be able to vote in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    I remember the strange expression on BO’s face when he was going to announce OBL’s death. Was it the staging? By the use of the word “I”, instead of “we” (military) he wanted credit . Instead of “we” (military), he used “I” making clear he would get the credit. Since then we have been bombarded with one conflicting story after another, each one leaving us with more questions with regards to the truth. But isn’t this the strategy of a “community organizer?” Keep overwhelming us with information and creating chaos? Of course, the complicit media do their part. The timing is very odd and the more fabrication we hear, the stranger the big picture. The Royal Wedding (in which he was not invited), the birth certificate issue, the rising gas prices. Then I watched the video of the dinner where BO and SNL mocked many serious issues and poked fun of Trump. Good grief, grow up! BO was not presidential at this dinner and how deceptive since he knew #1 terrorist OBL was going to be killed. As much as I want to believe OBL is dead, and pleased that BO gave the go ahead (opportunist that he is), I question the commotion BO has once again managed to create. Something is wrong with the whole picture. He wanted to take our attention off his eligibility issue. This why our founders of our country put limitations on eligibility of President being a natural born citizen — to avoid a breach of allegiances which will have profound effects on the future of our country. BO has breached his allegiance to our country in the last two years and we will continue to experience the horrible effects of this dictator. We will be lucky to be able to vote in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    The practice of “restaging” a presidential address from the White House has been with us as long as I can remember.

    It all boils down to the needs of TV, which is the reason for the address in the first place. There is only one good place to be to capture the same image the TV feed camera is delivering. It is where the TV camera is. In order to do shoot that image, the oval office is slightly rearranged. Cables are laid, lights are brought in.

    In my experience in shooting countless of these photo ops, once the TV address is done, the prime camera is pulled back, and the photographers are allowed in. Generally, the president rereads certain lines from his address so the still photographs can be done.

    I don’t see any ethical conflicts in this practice. It is just the nature of space and time.

    Dirck Halsead

  • Anonymous

    Are these kinds of photos even necessary, other than for the “dramatic” impact of a leader striding to the podium? Do we really care anymore? What’s one more shot of a politician giving a speech between friends?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kay.Stephan Kay Stephan

    Dare I say we need someone who will work full time on getting our country back on track? Someone who is an admitted workaholic? Someone named Donald Trump? I know, I know you probably all think I’m stupid, but think about it. He’s a self-made multi-millionaire. He’s a shrewd business man who won’t have the wool pulled over his eyes. AND he’s got tons of poise. He went to that correspondents dinner knowing what would happen. Obama bullied him for several minutes in front of a whole ballroom full of people and I thought he showed class and tremendous poise. What Obama did was very un-Presidential and down-right rude. One or two comments would have been sufficient if he felt the need to throw some barbs at Trump. Another thing, I don’t think The Donald would be going on vacation every two months when our country is going down the tubes economically. Even though he’s loaded, he’s more in touch with the common working man than Obama is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidpmcafee David McAfee

    Isn’t it funny how the media controls the minds of America with staged photo ops. The whole bin Laden show is probably staged as well. Think about it! We have a person in the White House who was incredibly unqualified to even run, yet he is there. His former chief of staff, Rham Immanuel, had a masters degree in ballet and now he is going to be mayor of Chicago. What an amazing world we live in!

  • http://www.watches-works.com/ omega seamaster antimagnetic

    Yea…and Moochele is dancing in the opening scene!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXVHQRNHAXCHKUCMIJHQ4XARPQ ZaXXoN

    I tend to agree to some point.

    but Paul Ryan isn’t “teflon”
    Darrel Issa isn’t “teflon”
    Chris Christie isn’t “teflon”
    and I can’t believe I’m saying this (it’s early in his term, but) being a NYer, Andrew Cuomo doesn’t appear, so far anyway, to be “teflon”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXVHQRNHAXCHKUCMIJHQ4XARPQ ZaXXoN

    are you professionally retarded? or is it just a hobby?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXVHQRNHAXCHKUCMIJHQ4XARPQ ZaXXoN

    the difference is professional digital cameras don’t make any “shutter sound” unless you, as the photographer, specifically CHOOSE that option

    to stage it and claim it is because the shutter clicking sound would be a distraction to either the President or the wiewer at home is a LIE

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXVHQRNHAXCHKUCMIJHQ4XARPQ ZaXXoN

    so basically you are saying we need President Chris Christie :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXVHQRNHAXCHKUCMIJHQ4XARPQ ZaXXoN

    BOGUS!!!! they use DIGITAL CAMERAS now! you can set professional digital cameras to make ZERO NOISE when the shutter button is clicked!!!!!!!! I know this from many years of digital camera sales AND owning a PROFESSIONAL digital SLR camera myself.

    there is NO EXCUSE nowadays to claim clicking of shutters would be a distraction to the viewer of live video! the only excuse is that photographers would be a distraction to Obama trying to read off his Teleprompter in Chief!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002029526939 Ben Caesar

    Obongo the puppet

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BCULRJDS2747RLZD3DEBMB3KY4 GMW

    Isn’t it nice that our golfer in chief was able to tear himself away from the greens in order to authorize his FIRST decision in office that was not designed to harm American interests and benefit the “muslim world,” but of course it had to be followed by a DECENT MUSLIM BURIAL, and apparently he didn’t even get that one right (or did he?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/brendanobrien88 Brendan O’Brien

    All, this practice started with Ronald Reagan and was followed by both Senior and Junior. Clinton did it too. Live TV is not live and Sesame Street is not a street.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Pope/100002317366719 Rich Pope

    Rahm Emmanuel said that actually.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rich-Pope/100002317366719 Rich Pope

    Well, I think it is dishonest because it’s not the authentic event. But if it helps photo-journalists sleep better at night, go for it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OU2YOPSBS4NVG65GJ4YZHK2XDM RD17

    Does anyone inside the government ever actually sit down and watch a movie and see the gruesome crap in a lot of movies out there? I’m sure the photo(if it’s even true) is nothing we haven’t all already seen yet. We do have internet and also I’m sure if there is a photo it will be leaked or one of those hacker groups will get in so we can all see it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZJO4WZXD7PMLQUOVR7CJWB3YPY Professor Fate

    Yet another example of the ‘transparent’ administration. Our Affirmative Action POTUS has been a stage managed creation of the mass media from Day One that lifted him from obscurity to the Oval Office in a whirlwind of publicity and hype. He’s tongue-tied without a clutch of speech writers and his ever present teleprompter. He’s all light and no heat. His taking over a week to decide whether tor not to take OBL out or not demonstrates his inability to formulate a decision in spite of overwhelming evidence. Send the pretender packing in 2012.

  • http://profiles.google.com/silver163 darkness darkness

    I am still seeking the stories that cries about other past presidents doing the same, can’t find it. Can you help mark?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VHKUGQHS23S3HSZS3QG6B4BK5I Mauricio

    liberals don’t believe in keeping their daughters legs closed nor the borders

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VHKUGQHS23S3HSZS3QG6B4BK5I Mauricio

    to the tune of “Sony and Cher’s “and the beat goes on”
    “And the Cheat goes on”
    “and the cheat goes aw-on”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BCULRJDS2747RLZD3DEBMB3KY4 GMW

    Par for the course… Obama Bin Lyin’ long before he ordered the hit on the other muslim-in-chief, what difference between the two enemies of America – one declared/one manchurian: two letters b & s. And our teleprompter prez is full of it.

  • Anonymous

    how do we know the situation room photo is real…

  • Anonymous

    Amanda, thanks for that link. It’s amazing how people blow this out of proportion when it turns out it is a common practice. Too bad facts won’t stop people from wasting time fuming about it (see comments from people coming from Drudge here).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NAZFHC675MGHSKZQJVKFAO7RFI dude

    The empty suit as usual.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6VZDNDDOKDCOKBW7SORPC2MPIA DJH

    Everything about this empty suited charlatan is staged – why the surprise?
    If the AP and the rest of the cowardly, biased MSM had done their jobs we probably wouldn’t be talking about this clown right now… although, the alternative while ‘conservative’ wasn’t much better – at least McCain has respect for the Constitution and doesn’t race bait every time an American citizen disagrees with him like our cowardly, thin-skinned, inept actor portraying the President.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NSVGZYNZJZAFHVVTIB3FPLRD3Y .

    I guess these photographers have job protection clauses in their union contracts that forbid their employers from simply capturing a screen shot from the video. What else can explain such a ridiculous and needless episode? As for former Presidents ( like Bush 41 ), I can see the point when no such technology existed

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZXISEHECKZJJR3PAXNYFPCPU24 Secret Weapon

    Phony pictures – phoney birth certificate. The Marxist beat goes on.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZXISEHECKZJJR3PAXNYFPCPU24 Secret Weapon

    Phony pictures – phoney birth certificate. The Marxist beat goes on.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FMNAUDEHLHIV2TXNZAIB3HSPGI SKR

    A pointless exercise since stills can be captured from videos.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5EZM2CDHH7FBGNSJAD7U3LZVGI M.

    Wow…hey, by the way, I hear the word on the street is that you’re going to be named head Unicorn Wrangler at the next Star Trek Convention at the Roswell (New Mexico) Hilton? Congrats…but don’t tell anyone I let the cat out of the bag…so to speak.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you mean a butt puppet?? LOL

  • Anonymous

    Yea…and Moochele is dancing in the opening scene! hahahaaaaa

  • Anonymous

    “Never let a good crisis go to waste” ….now who was it that said that? This fake Osama thing has gotten WAY out of hand…..

  • Anonymous

    Now that’s a surprise–NOT

  • http://twitter.com/AirForceOne888 Air Force One

    This whole thing just smells wrong. I mean, how could Obama manage to screw even this thing up??? He gets handed Osama Bin Laden on a silver platter and he manages to find a way to cause controversy and show yet again what a horrible decision maker he is.

  • Anonymous

    obama is a criminal pig

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YHFB4J7J7FR4WN5HWM73YY7ZMU Realist

    Its marketing how do you think obama got elected through the marketing arm of the campaign. This is how you should look, this is what you should say, this is how you should say it. We elect teflon presidents, senators and congressman which is why we are in so much trouble.

  • Anonymous

    The teleprompter is the phoniest trick of all, making it look like any President is “a great orator”. Even one with some sort of speech defect which results in a very unnatural speech cadence.

  • Anonymous

    the joker is but a puppet….

  • Anonymous

    the joker is but a puppet….

  • Anonymous

    so, where is your mosque?

  • Anonymous

    Symbolism over substance. Is the progressive way!

  • Anonymous

    the economy is bad because of the criminal traitor pig party: DEMOCRATS

  • Anonymous

    ARE THE BORDERS CLOSED YET?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G46B6HQ6SAKCI5HQH5L5S44WHU Clemmer

    Progressives have to stage everything. It’s the only way they can get sh*t done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-DeBerg/100002289010024 Bill DeBerg

    everything is staged. Beginning (for conversations sake) with 9/11, (staged.) Once you lie, you have to keep the lie going. It cant last forever. You will be found out.

  • Native_New_Yorker

    Are we surprised????? Nothing about Obama is real. Where are the jobs? Where is the balanced budget? Where is the plan for deficit reduction? Where are the jobs? A faux President is not what this country needs right now. We need a true leader, an individual with courage, integrity, decency, civility and tenacity. Obama fails on all counts.

  • lxhobson

    What’s the point of staging a photo of him addressing the nation, when they could have just shown a photo of him addressing the nation? I don’t get it…..

  • http://www.fatboy.cc Teddy Kennedy’s SEARCH+RESCUE

    Just another episode of “THE BHO SHOW”

    5 letter word for FRAUD… O-B-A-M-A

  • Anonymous

    Ha, ha, its all phony – your reasons for wars, politics, even your income taxes.

    Search income tax regulations for “excluded income”
    ECFR dot GPOACCESS dot GOV
    (title 26)

    Or just GOOGLE EXCLUDED INCOME

    Americans are really quite dumb.

    What can they NOT be made to believe?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LYQR57BVDQCKFLIKJOJT7LEVOA DrBobNM

    sorry, but why is this a big deal? SOP, and that’s about it. Much more pressing matters to be concerned with.

  • http://911essentials.com Aunt Bee

    “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” ~ Lily Tomlin

    ——— click on my name for more

  • Anonymous

    Yea, but then you would find out that the proceeds actually went into Obama’s reelection campaign fund. He would adamantly deny this and the sycophants around the nation would stand up for the lie even though there was absolute proof!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_THDOZ4LUH7QYYYXPT3QEG4RA6Y Trey

    Probably NOT the only thing that was staged…lol…this whole story reeks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_THDOZ4LUH7QYYYXPT3QEG4RA6Y Trey

    Probably NOT the only thing that was staged…lol…this whole story reeks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IVTVJ2IG7GMZWHF2CIM7ECLLE4 GW

    Who cares, the problems this nation has is not Bin Laden, it is the f@*$ing economy. Get back to work you monkey humping morons.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IVTVJ2IG7GMZWHF2CIM7ECLLE4 GW

    Who cares, the problems this nation has is not Bin Laden, it is the f@*$ing economy. Get back to work you monkey humping morons.

  • http://profiles.google.com/archdeaconmalli ArchDeacon Malli

    What a complete fraud. This crap about killing bin laden is the most pathetically transparent pile of horse manure since the crap about “the 19 arab hijackers who hate our freedoms”.

    This government is owned and operated by satanist zionist criminals, and it needs to be dismantled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Harvey/653501086 Mike Harvey

    I don’t really think staging photos is ever a good idea, I know it is done in Washington and I’m sure there are many other places where it happens, Canada even!, Hehe, But in these days of what I will call “Digital Apathy” the web is full of unreal images, videos and all sorts of content that has been created and recreated. We have seen it sneaking into newsrooms over the last few years, in the form of untruthful images. Many times after the fact, an editor will figure out that something is not right, and the “photoshop’ed” image is discovered. But if we in the news business do not stand up for our own ethics, where does that leave us? Our ethics is what separates us from the rest. I agree that we can publish images as long as we disclose in the cutline what is not real. But If we can all work toward being able to only take truthful images in the moment of time, then we can stand proud and assure our readers that we are the unbiased news source that they can depend on.

  • http://www.myfoxdc.com/ myfoxdc

    The digital technology exists to take a frame grab from the video that is every bit as good as a photo from a still camera. The easy, logical solution for the administration is to tell print/web organizations to use the frame grab. Eliminating the staging unfortunately could eliminate the need for photographers. Be careful what you ask for.

  • http://profiles.google.com/newshawk Bill Cooke

    The captions sent with the AP and Reuters photographs are misleading. The captions should have read: “President Obama is shown re-enacting a speech he gave a few minutes earlier at the White House Sunday.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/newshawk Bill Cooke

    This IS splitting hairs. Everything photographers get to photograph at the White House is staged. It’s one photo op after another. The photographers wait around until they’re called, they’re ushered into a room and they take pictures and they’re ushered out. Why was this re-enactment different than any other photo op? Answer: It wasn’t.

  • Anonymous

    Kenny,

    See Al’s comment above. AP and Reuters should state clearly that it’s a reenactment for the benefit of the photographers so we can let our readers know. Yes, their captions were accurate but not fully forthcoming, were they? The argument that this is the way it’s done and has been done for years and years, doesn’t wash anymore. Would we accept that argument in any of our work places or newsrooms? I wonder if the WH photo corp asked if these situations can be pooled with a blimped camera? Yes, there are a lot of photo ops in D.C., but there are also a lot of real moments. That’s why the Situation Room photo, even though it came from the WH, was so extraordinary. It was a real moment. That Bin Laden statement by Obama was history and a lot of news organizations assumed it was real and so their readers and viewers now think it was real.

  • http://twitter.com/clickslap Pete

    NOT OBL, But ??? See Picture at http://www.2012infocenter.com

  • Anonymous

    I suppose the captions could say “rereads” instead of “reads,” but the wording above seems clear enough. If he’s reading his statement for photographers, what else could it be but staging for photos?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523301806 Manny Fantis

    Gimme a break. No One Cares

  • Anonymous

    For ages, courtroom decorum required photographers wishing access to use Leica cameras, and the world went on. Now, it’s even easier (and cheaper) to obtain silent equipment — no reason for denying still photographer access at all, other than to remind the press of the looming thumb of power.

  • http://www.amandaemily.net Amanda Emily

    Yes. Page 117 in “FDR and the News Media” by Betty Winfield includes a quote from Pathe News DC bureau manager George Dorsey describing the staging for the newsreel cameras.

    There’s a preview of the book in question here with the relevant quotes http://books.google.com/books?id=SuPXJAhSSq0C&lpg=PA117&pg=PA117#v=onepage&q&f=false

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Al-Tompkins/730176264 Al Tompkins

    The wording in the cutlines from AP is just not clear enough. It sounds like he is actually “doing news” but he is not, he is play acting. He is not answering additional questions or giving additional information. That is not clear in the cutline.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Al-Tompkins/730176264 Al Tompkins

    I am interested in what you are saying. Has this been documented somewhere?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Al-Tompkins/730176264 Al Tompkins

    The problem is many of the photos we saw had NO cutline but a quote or a name text only.

  • Anonymous

    Yeap Steve, the independence of credible media is very important and given the many vast technological developments, it seems to me that we should be able to develop a win, win, win solution that we all allow for an effective solution that would allow a still photographer to at the very least, pool the still moment. Maybe on a rotation.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Adron, I agree that the caption is the place to provide important context and perspective about what is being witnessed in the frame.
    The issue of staging is an age-old debate.
    And many of the reasons for why we did such things are not valid today.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Adron, I agree that the caption is the place to provide important context and perspective about what is being witnessed in the frame.
    The issue of staging is an age-old debate.
    And many of the reasons for why we did such things are not valid today.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Adron, I agree that the caption is the place to provide important context and perspective about what is being witnessed in the frame.
    The issue of staging is an age-old debate.
    And many of the reasons for why we did such things are not valid today.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Bill,
    Reuters and Ap both use wording that state that the photo is after the fact.
    Ap: President Barack Obama reads his statement to photographers after making a televised statement on the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, May 1, 2011.
    Reuters: U.S. President Barack Obama is pictured after announcing live on television the death of Osama bin Laden, from the East Room of the White House in Washington May 1, 2011.

  • Anonymous

    So true Adron, the caption is the place to offer important context and perspective that is outside of the photographic frame. At the end of the day, the long standing debate about staging in Washington politics goes on.

  • http://twitter.com/nmphotog Adron Gardner

    As long as the cutline is accurate, who cares? The vast majority of what comes out of Washington coverage is of people standing or sitting for the purpose of display next to buildings made for display of people saying things they only would to a camera.

    You can’t get more staged than that. It is the nature of covering D.C..

  • paul g5

    I think that the government should set up a pay-per view website with all the details (photos & Film) of the Osama Bin laden execution and burial at sea, price being, maybe $25.00. The proceeds would then go to the families of the 911 victims. As gruesome as it sounds it would have many benefits, it would eliminate the long drawn out conspiracy theory issue that a situation like this would obviously create. The government would have a database of all the nut cases that would want to look at something like that, at home and broad. And it would give back to the families of the victims, victims that many of whom never received a proper burial!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Raymer/1022975594 Steve Raymer

    While the news media can not control how any White House controls the press or stage-manages events, it seems that editors and broadcasters should tell the public when something is clearly staged only for the cameras. We call them “pseudo events” for a reason. And as I tell students almost every day, our media only has credibility because it is independent of government, not part of it.

  • http://www.amandaemily.net Amanda Emily

    This has been going on in Washington for a very long time. Even back in days of FDR’s fireside chats, the president would re-enact portions of his speech after his radio broadcast for the benefit of the newsreel cameras.

  • Anonymous

    Why didn’t AP’s caption say Obama was reenacting the reading of his statement? Yes, it’s true he’s reading it to photographers as the AP caption states, but they should be upfront about it and say why. The excuse that this has been going on for years is pretty lame, in my opinion. The White House has been doing it this way because the press corp goes along with it. Why not have one pool photographer with a quite camera document it?

    Bill Gugliotta
    Director of Photography
    The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)