The White House admitted publicly today that many still photos taken of the President giving speeches were staged. Representatives speaking on behalf of President Barack Obama said the White House will end the little-known, long-running practice of having news photographers take pictures of the President re-enacting major speeches.
This comes in response to allegations of fakery surrounding Obama’s May 1 speech announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, said an Associated Press article. Obama spokesman Josh Earnest reportedly called the whole practice “a bad idea.”
“Even though The Associated Press and other news outlets said in captions to the photos that they were taken after the president delivered his address, many people who saw them may have assumed they depicted the speech itself. That raised questions of whether news organizations were staging an event,” the article said.
The practice arose as a courtesy to past Presidents, who might be distracted by photographers during live speeches, as well as to news organizations that did not want to run photographs handed out by the White House.
“The role of the official White House photographer is to show presidents in a good light. For example, if a president were to shed a tear or get visibly angry during a speech, it might make a great news photo, but probably not one the White House staff would want to circulate,” the article said.