I thought you might want to see this excellent mini-documentary by ReasonTV revealing how the White House uses photography to craft President Obama’s image, employing Canon-wielding propagandist Pete Souza instead of the White House press corps to present the president to the public.
In the video, news image analyst Michael Shaw, publisher of Bagnewsnotes.com, describes how important the exclusion of press photographers is to the White House and how effectively Obama’s public relations outfit uses social media to disseminate the desired image – literally and figuratively – of the president.
Shaw explains something I’ve never completely understood – Obama’s constant appearances in the presence of celebrities. Shaw asserts that by situating Obama within the popular culture, his advisors successfully erased the sense of unfamiliarity and even strangeness about a man who was very different from previous presidents – an African American whose middle name was Hussein and whose birthplace was in question among some.
I would add that Obama’s image gurus made someone whose political views were way far to the left of most Americans seem comfortably part of the American mainstream.
And, “the press was eating it up,” Shaw said. Only recently have reporters begun seriously insisting on more “access.”