A seemingly innocent moment during a World Series celebration has drawn the ire of the White House. When the Boston Red Sox took to the White House earlier this week in celebration of their World Series win, David “Big Papi” Ortiz snapped a selfie with President Obama. The resulting backlash has now reached top level officials.
Though Obama is no stranger to selfies, having drawn criticism for the act previously, The White House is now objecting to the circumstances surrounding the recent pic. It seems Ortiz, who has a promotional contract with Samsung, snapped the seemingly innocuous picture as a stunt. Samsung has admitted they worked with Ortiz “on how to share images with fans”, and re-tweeted the image themselves.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is not amused. “As a rule the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes, and we certainly object in this case.” Carney hasn’t said if The White House was working with Samsung on discontinuing use of the photo, or whether there have been any efforts on their part to have it removed from the public eye.
Samsung hasn’t used the photo outside of Twitter, but it did go viral quickly. An endearing pic of a World Series champion and the leader of the free world found its way across Twitter, and onto several major viral news sites. Finding it was a stunt rather than a moment not only cheapens the effect, it violated White House policy. We’ll be interested to see what happens if the Sawks can repeat as champs this year.