"Charity is commendable, everyone should be charitable. But Justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don't go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth, justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.
Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table"
~Bill Moyers

Friday, July 10, 2009

Following Free Republic, Drudge's lead, media run with Obama photo that doesn't show what they claim


He later updated his post with video of the exchange from ABC's Good Venezia also added video from Good Morning America to his post.

After a Free Republic member posted a Reuters photo described as "U.S. President Barack Obama (C) and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) tak[ing] their places with junior G8 delegates for a family photo at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy," Matt Drudge promoted the same photo.
Subsequently, ABC News' Jake Tapper, Fox News, and the New York Post followed their lead, highlighting the photo online and on screen, in some cases with provocative, needling, or scolding commentary. But a review of the video, which the media promoting the photo either did not watch or did not allow to give pause, makes clear that Obama was attempting to navigate high steps, while reaching back to help someone behind him do so as well. As Fox News host Greta Van Susteren said after airing video of the event, "Yes, a
still picture can lie. And this one does."

As Media Matters for america has documented, media figures previously attacked Obama based on an interpretation of a photograph that was similarly disproved by video evidence.

The Reuters photo posted on Free Republic by TornadoAlley3 at 2:45 p.m. ET:*

At 3:14 p.m. ET, the Drudge Report posted the photo with the headline, "Mr. President!" Drudge later revised the headline to "Second Stimulus Package!" The Drudge Report subsequently included a link to Tapper's blog post under the headline, "ABCNEWS: NO HE DIDN'T ..."

Media figures making dubious claims about the photo following its posting on Free Republic and the Drudge Report include:

  • The Fox Nation picked up the photo with the headline, "Another Stimulus?" which was later revised to "Busted?"

The Fox Nation subsequently posted the following photo with the headline, "Girl
Obama Was Checking Out Is 17?"

  • At 5:20 p.m. ET, Tapper posted the photo with the headline, "When In Rome...?" Around 4 a.m. ET on July 10, Tapper posted on Twitter, "that foto of POTUS seeming to be sneaking a leer is misleading, im told -- video shows the moment was completely innocent." He also updated his blog post, including video of the incident:

On first glance, the snapshot appears to show President Obama caught in a
moment of less than lofty analysis. But upon looking at the video, the moment might seem to appear quite innocent -- one of those times when a picture can be misleading. The president was on a higher step and was stepping down -- so he looked down to assure his footing as the woman was walking up the stairs.

Although: not everyone agrees. Judge for yourself.

He later updated his post with video of the exchange from ABC's Good
Morning America

  • On the July 9 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated, "[S]o
    there I am. I'm on the radio today, and I click on to the Drudge Report. And I
    say, 'Oh, Barack Obama in his Bill Clinton moment,' " before showing the
    photograph on air. After Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers stated,
    "They're looking at something else, like out of -- it's the camera angle. ...
    [I]t's not in the picture," Hannity replied, "He's looking at her backside,
    can we just say it?"

  • In a July 10 New York Post article published online at 3:28 a.m. ET and linked to by Drudge
    by 6:10 a.m. ET, Todd Venezia posted the photo and wrote:

Baby got Barack!

The leader of the free world and his French counterpart were caught sneaking a peek at a the pink-satin-draped booty of a 17-year-old junior G-8 delegate just moments before the summit's official group photo was snapped in Italy yesterday.

Obama wasn't the only head of state getting Yankee Doodle randy.

Venezia also added video from Good Morning America to his post.

  • The following day, Fox & Friends aired the photo with the caption, "Tail to the chief." Co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen Carlson, along with guest co-host Andrew Napolitano, asserted that the photo was evidence that Obama "sneak[ed] a "peek" at "a beauty's backside." Carlson stated of the photo, "That's just a natural reaction, is it not, guys?' Napolitano responded, "It surely is. That's why there's so many pictures of it."

Fox & Friends subsequently aired another photograph from the G-8 summit with the caption, "Yes, nice can":

As video of that incident makes clear, the claim that Obama is "check[ing] out the ladies" from this photo is also baseless.

From the July 9 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

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