AFP photographer Roberto Schmidt took the photo of President Obama taking a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. In a blog post, he insists that First Lady Michelle Obama wasn’t really angry, as the photo depicts her. He only learned of her “anger” later.
I later read on social media that Michelle Obama seemed to be rather peeved on seeing the Danish prime minister take the picture. But photos can lie. In reality, just a few seconds earlier the first lady was herself joking with those around her, Cameron and Schmidt included. Her stern look was captured by chance.
I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the NY Daily News published several other photographs of the time surrounding the infamous selfie.
Here’s President Obama enjoying himself immensely with the comely Danish to his side. Get a load of Mrs. Obama.
Here’s another. The chances of finding Mrs. Obama looking unhappy must have been unusually high.
Here’s another. Notice a pattern yet?
Oh, here’s a shot in which Mrs. Obama could possibly be interpreted to be smiling. Or taking on a rival. It’s really up to the viewer’s interpretation. The president is out of frame, presumably delivering his eulogy. AG Eric Holder, center, appears to be concerned that he may soon have a prosecution to bury.
Photographer Schmidt says photographs can lie, and that’s true enough. But so can photographers.
I don’t recall any photographer who took unflattering photos of President George W. Bush or any other Republican rushing to assure the world that we aren’t seeing what our eyes tell us we’re seeing.