April 07, 2014

Tawdriness and favoritism at the White House

Methinks the man on the right
is not "objecting" that much.
No, it's not quite like Bill Clinton auctioning off the Lincoln Bedroom for sleepovers.

But, the "selfie" that Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took at the White House when the Sox, as reigning World Series champs, visited last week, is a bit upsetting.

The "selfie" idea is getting beaten into the ground in general.

Second, in line with Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars, we start wondering if Ortiz's photo wasn't necessarily for personal narcissism, but like Ellen, was for commercial capitalism with Samsung.

Third, according to some Olympians, we find out that you ain't supposed to do that.

Ortiz says it wasn't a marketing stunt. OTOH, he's never explained exactly how he wound up being on a leaked roiders' list.

Samsung claims the same. OTOH, they're retweeting the pic, and probably getting more value out of it with its alleged spontaneity.
Samsung hired Ortiz to be its "social media insider" on April 1. Alex Radetsky, president and founder of Radegen Sports Management, the marketing firm that has represented Ortiz for 12 years, told Mashable that the deal doesn't require Ortiz to snap selfies with the President or anyone else. "It certainly was not part of the deal. it was spontaneous on his part," said Radetsky. ...


Since April 1, Ortiz has posted 11 photos on his Twitter feed at the time of this writing. Samsung Mobile US later retweeted the photo as well. A Samsung rep told The Boston Globe that “We were thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit. It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement. Similar to the selfie Ellen was able to capture during the Oscars, this was an opportunity for David to share the incredible moment with his fans."
So, color me skeptical.

Also, per the Olympians, did Ortiz and others get a similar warning? If so, and Ortiz shot anyway, it was premeditated indeed.

So, does Dear Leader cut a cut of the action? If not now, after Jan. 20, 2917, will Samsung cut a check? Even ask him to do a commercial? Or, accept a $100K speaker's fee?

We have this from Ortiz's "spontaneousness" link:
Two days after the photo circulated, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said the White House "objected" to the photo. "I can tell you that 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 said
Again, call me back about 33 months from now. And, tell us, per the "commercial" objection, if somebody from Samsung didn't even talk to 1600 Pennsylvania in advance.

Some people may call me a cynic rather than a skeptic, but I don't believe the peddled-for-public-consumption story line, nor do I believe nobody collaborated on writing that story line.

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