Photos of Obama Giving Address Were Staged
Pictures of President Obama announcing that Osama bin Laden is dead have been widely distributed in newspapers and on web sites. However, the pictures were likely staged. After delivering his speech, President Obama re-enacted for media photographers the first 30 seconds of his statement and even his dramatic walk-out. Apparently, it's not the first time this has been done. The practice dates back to at least President Reagan. Al Tompkins of Poynter.org writes about it here. He notes that taking pictures of a re-enactment appears to violate a passage in the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics that says "Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities." John Harrington, president of the White House News Photographers Association, defends the practice, although he says there should be appropriate disclosure in cutlines. "I know we are splitting hairs here, but the White House photographers covering those re-enactments did not stage, request or direct them. They are covering an event. They photograph what they are presented with."