Can Everybody Please Shut Up About The Obama Funeral Selfie?
It happened on Tuesday. One day before the Fake Sign Language Interpreter Scandal broke, United States President Barack Obama put on the Classic Overbite Selfie Face for a photo with some mobile-phone-wielding blonde (who happened to be Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt) and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, a photo that has now become known as the Obama Funeral Selfie and has inspired the Great Obama Funeral Selfie Scandal of 2013, otherwise known as Selfie-gate.
How could Obama be so insensitive as to sit there and pose for a funeral selfie in the midst of such a solemn affair?
Well, it turns out things might not have been as solemn as the right wing nuts who have been blasting Obama for this ad nauseum would have you believe.
The man who took the Obama funeral selfie photo, photographer Roberto Schmidt, has taken to the Internet to explain a bit of the context surrounding the photo. CONTEXT. You remember context, don’t you?
Anyway, here’s what Schmidt had to say about all this on Wednesday on the website of AFP, the news agency for whom he took the Obama funeral selfie photo:
From the podium, Obama had just qualified Mandela as a “giant of history who moved a nation towards justice.” After his stirring eulogy, America’s first black president sat about 150 metres across from where I was set up. He was surrounded by other foreign dignitaries and I decided to follow his movements with the help of my 600 mm x 2 telephoto lens.
So Obama took his place amid these leaders who’d gathered from all corners of the globe. Among them was British Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as a woman who I wasn’t able to immediately identify. I later learned it was the Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt. I’m a German-Colombian based in India, so I don’t feel too bad I didn’t recognize her! At the time, I thought it must have been one of Obama’s many staffers.
Anyway, suddenly this woman pulled out her mobile phone and took a photo of herself smiling with Cameron and the US president. I captured the scene reflexively. All around me in the stadium, South Africans were dancing, singing and laughing to honour their departed leader. It was more like a carnival atmosphere, not at all morbid. The ceremony had already gone on for two hours and would last another two. The atmosphere was totally relaxed — I didn’t see anything shocking in my viewfinder, president of the US or not. We are in Africa.
Tuesday, it’s the Obama Funeral Selfie Scandal. Wednesday, it’s the Fake Sign Language Interpreter Scandal (note to Rush Limbaugh: I have it on good authority that the fake sign language interpreter was actually Obama’s sponsor in the Muslim Brotherhood… call me!) What is Thursday going to bring?
Of course, Schmidt was probably paid big bucks to write all that and make the Obama funeral selfie story go away by the same people who paid big bucks to the guy who secretly transported infant Obama from the Islamist terrorist base camp where he was born, so I guess just believe what you want.
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