AP photo of Michelle Obama shopping at Target may not have been luck

The Washington Post | Politico

Paul Farhi writes that there may be something to conservative criticism that the White House orchestrated a photo op of first lady Michelle Obama at Target last week. "Neither the White House nor the Associated Press will say how AP photographer Charles Dharapak came to be the only news photographer present at the Alexandria Target to capture Obama’s shopping excursion," Farhi writes. AP spokesman Paul Colford said simply that "it was the result of good source work on his part.” A spokeswoman for Michelle Obama says that it's not uncommon for her to "enjoy the city outside the White House gates," but Farhi notes that it is unusual "and perhaps unprecedented" for a single news outlet to report on it — especially considering that the press generally doesn't follow the first lady around. Moreover, Target requires news outlets to get permission in advance before photographing at a store, although Politico's Julie Mason reports that the store manager didn't know Obama was there until the end of her visit.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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