The Death of the Presidential Selfie?

Obama’s selfie with Red Sox player David Ortiz was a sham designed by Samsung. He’ll have to think twice before taking another.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and President Obama take a selfie at the White House on Tuesday.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
Matt Vasilogambros
April 2, 2014, 8:33 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama can add an­oth­er job title to his re­sume: Sam­sung shill.

It turns out that the “spon­tan­eous” selfie that the pres­id­ent took with Red Sox play­er Dav­id Ort­iz at the White House on Tues­day was ac­tu­ally an or­ches­trated so­cial-me­dia move by the base­ball star.

After Ort­iz tweeted the pic­ture of him and the pres­id­ent on the South Lawn, it got a so­cial-me­dia boost from Sam­sung on Twit­ter. Ort­iz, as a newly signed so­cial-me­dia in­sider for the tech com­pany, used one of their devices for the shot. Then Sam­sung’s so­cial-me­dia team went to work tweet­ing out the photo and con­firm­ing it was taken with a Sam­sung Galaxy Note 3.

“When we heard about the vis­it to the White House, we worked with Dav­id and the team on how to share im­ages with fans,” Sam­sung said in a state­ment to The Bo­ston Globe. “We didn’t know if or what he would be able to cap­ture us­ing his Note 3 device.”

This mir­rors the Sam­sung-or­ches­trated selfie, and now most tweeted photo ever, that El­len De­Generes took at the Oscars last month.

The pres­id­ent was ob­vi­ously duped in­to help­ing Sam­sung sell more phones. “POTUS did not know,” Red Sox fan and White House press sec­ret­ary Jay Car­ney told Busi­nes­s­Week.

But how could the pres­id­ent have known?

Un­less he was ex­pli­citly told, he really couldn’t have. This will, however, make the White House press team and the pres­id­ent think twice be­fore Obama takes an­oth­er selfie with ath­letes or oth­er celebrit­ies.

And it’s too bad, really. The pres­id­ent tak­ing a selfie was an easy so­cial-me­dia win for him. It makes Obama look down-to-earth and hu­man.

The polit­ic­al selfie is no longer just a rare bit of in­no­cent Wash­ing­ton lev­ity. Now, with the help of Sam­sung, it’s just an­oth­er con­duit for cor­por­ate mes­saging.

What We're Following See More »
HALF OF 2016 LEVELS
Hiring of Deportation Officers Drops Under Trump
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration is failing to hire law enforcement personnel to enforce immigration laws despite a significant push to do so, according to new Homeland Security Department documents. The hiring of new deportation officers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement dropped in half to just 371 total in 2017, according to information provided to potential vendors for a contract to help ICE boost hiring."

Source:
HEARING THIS AFTERNOON
Mueller Indicts Attorney for Making False Statements About Gates
4 hours ago
THE LATEST
THE QUESTION
What’s the Value of Suspicious Transactions by Paul Manafort that Mueller Is Investigating?
4 hours ago
THE ANSWER

About $40 million, "a much larger sum than was cited in his October indictment on money laundering charges."

Source:
SHOW OF FORCE TO MOSCOW
Two U.S. Navy Destroyers Operating in Black Sea
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Under cover of darkness, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) slipped through the Bosporus Strait and into the Black Sea on Friday. The next day USS Carney (DDG-64) joined Ross. The ships are operating are part of an unspecified regional “proactive” presence mission in the sea bordered by Russia, according to the Navy."

Source:
CHINESE INVESTORS AS WELL AS RUSSIANS
Mueller Looking into Kushner Finances
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Special counsel Robert Mueller's interest in Jared Kushner has expanded beyond his contacts with Russia and now includes his efforts to secure financing for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition, according to people familiar with the inquiry. This is the first indication that Mueller is exploring Kushner's discussions with potential non-Russian foreign investors, including in China." At issue specifically is his quest for financing help on the beleaguered 666 Fifth Avenue building.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login