Selfie-gate: Obama attacked over Mandela memorial photo

Press and social media lash out at US president, David Cameron and Danish PM over 'disrespectful' snap

LAST UPDATED AT 09:43 ON Wed 11 Dec 2013

IT has been dubbed ‘Selfie-gate’ by The Sun, while The Times says it showed a “distinct lack of decorum”.

Both papers are referring to Barack Obama’s decision to pose for a ‘selfie’ – or smartphone self-portrait – alongside David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

While ‘selfies’ are all the rage, the idea of three world leaders posing for one at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela has outraged sections of the press.

The Times struggles to disguise its distaste as it describes how Obama “giggled and playfully patted” Thorning-Schmidt as the Danish PM lined up her smartphone for the infamous picture.

The paper even suggests that the Thorning-Schmidt snap will perhaps be regarded by historians as the point when selfies — loosely defined as a smartphone or webcam self-portrait uploaded to a social media website — “overreached themselves”.

The Daily Mail suggests that Twitter erupted in “fury” when the trio’s “selfie” went public. It quotes a tweet by a user called James Armitage who wrote: “What selfish morons take a ‘selfie’ at a memorial service? Oh yeah that's right, Barack Obama and David Cameron.”

The paper also notes that Michelle Obama – who was not part of the infamous self-portrait – “looked less than impressed”.

It adds: “Like a bunch of giggling teenagers, they grinned as they bunched together, the Scandinavian blonde flirting and pulling Mr Cameron closer into shot…”

The final word should go to the Tubmlr social networking site Selfies at Funerals which has been chronicling the inappropriate practice for some time. “Obama has taken a funeral selfie, so our work here is done,” it said. “Thank you world and good night!” · 

Disqus - noscript

"Are not they allowed to be human?"

In a word - no. We expect and require those who are elevated (or who elevate themselves) to positions of authority and public office to be or at least ACT a little better than the lowest examples of trailer park peasantry over whom they presume to rule.

The fact that this was a memorial service - usually a somber event (except apparently among Democrats and liberals - remember Clinton's shuck and jive and crocodile tears at the Wellstone memorial) just illustrates the utter lack of class that exists among this set.

Respect is earned. Zero has earned exactly that - none.

Time for Obama et al to go. Show an ounce of class Mr Obama - resign. Don't wait. Do it now.

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.