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December 5, 2013

The Most Important Michelle Obama Photo Ever, Clarified

…And then you wonder why the Administration is so skittish about photo access when its so easy to shut the cameras out and self-publish.

If you were anywhere around the social nets Wednesday, you would have seen the national media (then the haters) go into full frenzy over the image of Sunny, the newish White House dog, knock over a little girl right in front of the First Lady. The occasion was a White House holiday gathering for military families, and particularly, their children.

Screen Shot 2013 12 04 at 11 45 08 PM
Etc., etc., etc.

As perhaps the biggest bottom feeder, BuzzFeed published a thirteen photo post with the typically audacious title: Breaking Down The Most Important Michelle Obama Photo Ever. Beyond touting the money shot above and a Vine-type video of the action on a repeating loop, they also cropped-and-chopped different sections of Reuters photographer Jason Reed’s photo to set up one-liners about every facet of the scene.

Now I understand that the SEO formula involves an ultra-superlative or penultimate hook driving every title of every post, but in this case, using the word “important” (as in, “Most Important”) is less having, or even making fun than ultimately degrading Michele Obama and writing her off as a fool.


Not to say that the Administration isn’t having its troubles, but if we’re going to those lengths (and apologies to the community if you saw this before), but “The Most Important Michele Obama Photo Ever,” as we documented it and you elaborated on it at the time, was the FLOTUS official White House portrait back in February 2009.


As for the piece part, that’s Jefferson, the slave-owning third President painted by Rembrandt Peale, the element used by the first African-American First Lady to demonstrate the American consciousness moving foreground.

(photo 1: Jason Reed/Reuters caption: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama reacts as two year old Ashtyn Gardner from Mobile, Alabama, trips over another child’s walker after meeting Obama’s new dog Sunny at the unveiling of the decorations at the White House in Washington, December 4, 2013.screen grab/tweets: photo 2: Joyce Boghosian/White House photo 3: New York Social Diary.

  • black_dog_barking

    Holy shit! We have FLOTUS as Bull Connor, two less-than-completely-white klanspeople in the background, the military looking on with approval, while a little white girl is pummeled to the ground. Methinks we need a little more context in the caption. This is, if clarity is what you want from news photography.

    • LanceThruster

      That’s exactly what my first reaction was! Even the pointy cook’s hats look in keeping with that imagery.


      Birmingham’s Revenge!

  • bks3bks
  • acm

    I saw somebody post this as “time for some Photoshop fun” and I imagined her throwing up, elbowing somebody in the gut, etc. (Hadn’t even seen the kid in that tiny version!) Funny, sure, but come on….

  • TGuerrant

    Kid with walker has a Spock-like cool. “This chaos does not affect my intellect. And path to cookies is now wide open.”

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