A funny thing happened at the memorial
On to the big news from yesterday: Obama took a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. Ismat Mangla from Al Jazeera America wrote, “World leaders: They're just like us!” Gaby Hinsliff from Grazia said, “Please god let this be a spoof. Three prime ministers (including ours) taking selfie.” James Chapman at the Daily Mail mentioned that “Michelle O [was] looking properly unimpressed by the Dave/Barack/Helle selfie.”
Now, the AFP writes the story behind "that selfie". Bob Ivry at Bloomberg News wrote, “Photographer sez Obama/Cameron selfie wasn't all it seems to be.” Melissa Jeltsen from MSNBC said, “On Michelle Obama's expression: ‘Photos can lie… Her stern look was captured by chance.’” Kevin Maguire with the Daily Mirror added, “Snapper who took selfie photo complaining about obsession with trivialities. Suffering self-awareness failure.”
For more on that, take a look at this “three-panel comic” (as labeled by comedian Rob Delaney) of Michelle Obama vs Prime Minister of Denmark at Mandela's ceremony. Karl Sharro tweeted: “This Obama - Danish PM thing has quickly become a real-time soap opera.” And Salon wrote a think piece on the whole thing, The media’s Michelle Obama problem: What a selfie says about our biases.
For a more official look at how the whole thing went down for the Obamas, check out the White House’s photo stream: President Obama Attends the Nelson Mandela Memorial Service. Reid Epstein at Politico mentioned there’s “No Obama-Castro handshake photo in official WH slideshow of Mandela memorial service trip.” Taylor Brown from BBC suggested: “Somebody get Aaron Sorkin on this one act screenplay.” Andrew Heining at Washington Post said, “Love this @petesouza shot of Bush showing pics of his paintings on an iPad, aboard AF1.” Anne Cronin at Politico had other priorities: “Where is the Official White House Copy Editor? (23: ‘The Bush's and Obama's board Air Force One in Johannesburg’).” We agree, Anne, that’s horrible.
As if all of this wasn’t nutty enough, Politico writes that the Nelson Mandela ceremony sign language interpreter deemed a 'fake'. John Gapper at Financial Times said of the news: “Bananas.” Jon Delano from CBS Pittsburgh figured out: “No wonder Zuma was booed!” Freelancer Andrew Mueller dreamt up a possible scenario: "What? The interpreter's late? Well, you go on and wave your arms around. Not like anyone's watching.” Steve Inskeep with NPR followed that up by suggesting: “Well, this could be the setup for the next SNL opening skit.” Take note, Seth Meyers.
Oh, and there’s news that ABC banned Zuma booing from news broadcasts. Geoffrey York from Globe and Mail explained: “China bans its media from any ‘sensitive’ topics during Mandela memorials. SABC does same.” He then added, “State broadcaster SABC banned its staff from mentioning the booing of Zuma; instead only referred to ‘unruly behavior.’” Freelancer Alex Forrest couldn’t believe it and tweeted: “Is this true?! “