Twice in the last month, two popular selfies were torpedoed across social media.

First, it was Ellen DeGeneres’ picture at the Oscars and, most recently, Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz took a selfie with President Barack Obama. The Red Sox visited the White House on Wednesday to celebrate their World Series victory last year, as all professional sports team do in this country.

Ortiz’s selfie generated plenty of attention even more than a day after it was taken because it was revealed that it was a big marketing stunt (as was the Oscar selfie), and it seems that President Obama was not let in on the plan.

“As a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “And we certainly object in this case.”

The picture has been retweeted more than 47,000 times. At the time, it seemed like a fun, candid moment, but rather it was a calculated act. The immediate result was felt on Thursday when none of the Winter Olympians was apparently allowed to take a selfie with the president.


Selfies – yes, the word sucks – was a fun way to show an interesting moment. People took pictures of themselves at parties, with friends, with celebs, it didn’t matter. Now we see pictures from celebrities, even minor ones, and there is just no way to know if that picture is true. We get a snippet of a moment, but now these moments are being forced.

I should have seen this coming. I never really gave it much thought before this though. But if there was a way to make money, some company was going to find a way to exploit it. Looks Samsung has jumped on that first, getting Ellen and now David Ortiz to do their dirty work.

Editor’s Note: I thought about replacing the tweet Susan used with one that displayed the picture, but I decided not to further the spread of the image.


  1. Susan, i did not know this. Damn, the culture’s been hijacked. re the photograph, which was snapped by Mr. Ortiz who has an endorsement deal with Samsung which noted it had coordinated with Mr. Ortiz in advance of his White House visit “on how to share images with fans.” Ahem. Not a real selfie at all. More of a ”PRfie”. Can we coin a new word for these fake things? Any suggestions.

    The Obama ”PRfie” was reminiscent of the group usie / selfie Ellen DeGeneres faked with A-list celebrities while hosting the Oscars abd La DeGeneres also has a deal with Samsung. Has everyone sold out? Has no one no shame anymore?

    O America! Land of the scam, land of the glam.

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