I guess the final tweet of an outgoing President is one of those times where it isn’t inappropriate to commemorate an event with a picture of Barack Obama. The picture they chose to tweet though was one that had created controversy in the past.
The White House twitter account sent out its final tweet of the Obama era just before President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony on Friday morning.
“Yes we can. Yes we did. Thank you for being a part of the past eight years,” read the tweet, which included a photo of the Obamas leading thousands of marchers in Selma, Ala., in 2015.
Yes we can.
Yes we did.
Thank you for being a part of the past eight years. pic.twitter.com/mjmr4RkxpV
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) January 20, 2017
That picture when it first came out in the New York Times was the target of accusations of media bias, because people thought it was deliberately cropped to exclude President George W. Bush and wife Laura who were also in Selma and at the front of the commemorative march.
Newsbusters pointed out at the time that space may have been an issue for the print edition but they used the same photo in their online version.
The online story by Peter Baker and Richard Fausset doesn’t have column-inch limitations, but its photo, too, excludes the Bushes. They did make the story after ten paragraphs
Hmmm NYT crops out Laura and W Bush pic.twitter.com/S9BW5J3Fu3
— Ben Smith (@BenSmithDC) March 8, 2015
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) March 7, 2015
Naturally the White House staff wanted to pick a photo of Obama among an adoring throng of fans, but there must have been plenty of those from which to choose.
I suspect they went with this one, not because of the perceived slight to the Bushes, but rather because it shows Barack and Michelle flanking Congressman John Lewis with whom President Trump had been battling on Twitter. Was it a subtle nod of support to the Congressman’s dishonest claims about the legitimacy of Trump’s election? Probably.