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By lots of football-tossing pictures, are you implying that the Flikr images are not hard-news?

While it's important to keep an open mind about the nature of what is and isn't shown, it's hard not to be seduced by the apparent transparency in these images. I read them as not just a reminder that the Obamas are "normal" people, but that "look what normal people can do for the country when they work hard. You, normal person, can work this hard for your country, too."


Great question, Leah. I think it is hard not to be seduced by the more vernacular kinds of images the White House is releasing. I don't really think any images that come from the White House should be understood as "hard news" from a photojournalistic point of view, but rather as part of the White House's necessary publicity needs and interests. The question I would like viewers to consider, with both the Flickr and the White House site proper, is why do they want us to see THIS image? Your suggestion about the normalcy of the Obamas is definitely part of what they want us to see, I think. That normalcy may in fact be "real" (I would like to think it is), but that's also part of the narrative they seek to communicate.

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