President Obama Took a Funeral Selfie.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 10:52 AM


A friend just sent this to me. Technically it seems to be a photo from Mandela's memorial service, which if you want to hairsplit, may be slightly different from his actual funeral. But still! Behold:


If you still think funeral selfies need defending, at the very least this is no longer something you can blame on millennials. Also, someone needs to track down this actual selfie. 


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Comments [23]

JL from Washington DC

I want to discard my impression of Obama and his counterparts indulging in what? A moment that appears to be inappropriate, if not insensitive to the occasion? My opinion of the photo is not favorable, but after the photographer explained, I guess it's okay.

I appreciate dancing and celebrating to be customary regarding a great and long life lived, however, heads of state taking a selfie seems wrong.

Dec. 16 2013 11:03 AM
T-boogie from Brooklyn

Maybe it would have been worth looking into the actual story - "hotographer Tells the Story Behind the Obama Selfie, Laments We All Made a Big Deal About It"

Dec. 15 2013 12:21 PM
clemo from Slovakia

Dec. 12 2013 01:58 PM
KG from westbury,ny

People were dancing in the streets. This man lived for 95 years. In Africa and a lot of black communities this is party time and it's ok to take a picture of yourself as a reminder that toy were at this joyous occasion. The people that live like this want you to enjoy their life. Live on them as a reminder of their good times and sing happy music. Not a solemn day of tears. Joyful tears and live on in their shoes.

Dec. 12 2013 01:53 PM

I am astonished that people are actually defending this. Whether or not this was a solemn affair or a joyous celebration of life, it is absolutely inappropriate to be taking pictures during a memorial service. Just disgusting.

Dec. 11 2013 03:35 PM
Charlie from Seattle

Not one, NOT ONE, report I saw on this event called it a funeral or solemn. It was a celebration of his life. Quoting from the NPR report, "rain could not dampen spirits" at the memorial. Sorry folks, but not everyone in the world is as miserable as you are and some of us want this kind of joy when people gather to celebrate a life.

Dec. 11 2013 10:51 AM
Heroic Hal

I just got through posting a comment on the NPR report about this that I hoped "On the Media" would pick it up to explore how shamefully the media has been distributing this photo without giving us the context (a joyous celebration of life, not a solemn, mournful rite) and putting unsupported thoughts into the First Lady's head based on an expression that she doesn't have (it seems completely neutral to me, as though she's watching something or lost in her thoughts). Then it occurs to me to see if you've already covered it--and I find you're on the same bandwagon. Journalist, cover thyself.

Dec. 11 2013 09:36 AM
Bryan Tripp from South Carolina

The guy looks like Richard Childress, next to the lady.

Dec. 10 2013 07:24 PM

After seeing this, please invite Michelle but not Barrack to my funeral. PJ can come only if he leaves his phone at home.

Dec. 10 2013 06:52 PM

Technically, it's the Prime Minister of Denmark taking a selfie. Obama is just leaning in, and helping stabilize the phone. [This strand of hair is at least a bit wider than the funeral/memorial dichotomy.]

Dec. 10 2013 06:39 PM

I think we're missing the real story here--Michelle's intense, disapproving scowl.

Dec. 10 2013 05:54 PM

Even if this wasn't technically a funeral (why is everyone in black?) and they weren't taking a "selfie" (why is her arm outstretched just to show family pictures?), it is improper behaviour for such dignitaries at this function.

Dec. 10 2013 04:43 PM
Emma - Denmark from Denmark

Here - near Copenhagen in Denmark - we are surprices, that people can be upset because of this wonderful picture. And you should be proud of your president, Mr. Obama. His speach today was absolutely fantastic. If people would only listen. But everybody seems to be busy complaining, that he and other world leaders had a laugh. The people complaining do not understand, what Mandela stood for - they are too busy beeing simple minded.

Dec. 10 2013 04:37 PM
LJ from California

Hey Netmonger from Rochester NY... body or not..this was a time of mourning for a historically significant figure in this world and there Obama and his "friends" are laughing and taking a picture of themselves. Don't you consider that disrespectful? If not, you are just another one of those lame people on your phone all the time, too selfish to think about others long enough to stop tweeting or posting pictures of yourself on FB or Instagram.

Dec. 10 2013 03:45 PM
Bill from Reading

They are just being politicians.

Dec. 10 2013 03:43 PM
PopeRatzo from Chicago, USA

Where do I go to cancel my public radio donations?

OTM has hit rock bottom.

Dec. 10 2013 03:37 PM
Netmonger from Rochester NY

Funeral selfie?!? Hair split? In what possible way could you call this a 'funeral'?!? Why do people think its OK to totally make s**t up like that in a news story that they would never do if talking to someone in purpose?! This ISNT a funeral. There is no BODY for one. Also: How do you know they are taking a picture?!? Did you ever think its possible one of them is showing the others a picture or a video? Just ridiculous.. Dont post s**t you dont know is true.

Dec. 10 2013 03:08 PM
Andersen from Copenhagen

Dear all American friends... just for your information, here in Denmark our prime minister also dont know how to is not only in South Africa.

Dec. 10 2013 03:01 PM

Isn't it much more likely that they're sharing family photos? I'm kind of surprised TLDR jumped on the clickporn bandwagon like this...

Dec. 10 2013 02:56 PM

I'm not convinced that's a selfie. I've rarely seen people take photos of themselves with that kind of hand configuration; it looks more like they're watching or looking at something, especially given the expressions on their faces--her mouth is wide open, the president isn't exactly smiling, and David Cameron looks less like he's posing and more like he's reacting.

Dec. 10 2013 02:24 PM

The unidentified official is the Danish prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Dec. 10 2013 11:57 AM
Ozzy O. from London, U.K.

Ugh. These people have no dignity.

Dec. 10 2013 11:31 AM

Michelle Obama does not seem amused.

Dec. 10 2013 11:21 AM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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