Quantcast

Thursday, July 31, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Olympians say selfies were banned at White House

By Eddie Pells

AP National Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:11 p.m. HST, Apr 07, 2014


A handshake? Sure. A selfie? No way.

Some of America's Olympic athletes say they were asked to keep their cellphones in their pockets last week when they visited the White House and met with President Barack Obama.

The request came after the selfie Boston Red Sox slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz took with the president during his team's visit to the White House. Many criticized it as a marketing ploy after Samsung, the maker of the phone Ortiz used, used the picture in an advertisement. Ortiz denied taking the picture with the knowledge it would be part of a promotion.

"I was a little bummed," said Nick Goepper, a bronze medalist in slopestyle skiing. "I thought about trying to sneak one, but they were pretty adamant about it. I'm sure if they would've allowed it, there'd be 150 people with selfies with the president right now."

The Olympians were visiting the White House after competing in Sochi, Russia, in February. The president typically invites high-profile sports teams and athletes to Washington to congratulate them on their performances.

The White House confirmed that the athletes were asked not to take their own photos with Obama. The White House said that in the interest of efficiency, it has been practice for years for an official White House photographer to take pictures for large groups instead. It insisted there was no outright prohibition of selfies.

"There's no discussion of a ban," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

It isn't clear if similar instructions were given to the Red Sox when the team visited Washington. The Olympians' visit came right after the Ortiz selfie ricocheted around the Internet.

The selfie shows a sunglass-clad Ortiz grinning while standing next to the president and holding up a uniform with "Obama" across the back. Ortiz tweeted the photo, and it was resent by tens of thousands of Twitter users.

The White House was not amused. Spokesman Jay Carney said at the time that the White House objects any time the president's image is used for commercial purposes. On an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer said the White House expressed its concerns to Samsung about the ad.

"Maybe this will be the end of all selfies," he joked.

Turns out, it was -- at least for the Olympians.

Aerials skier Emily Cook said nobody barred general pictures during the general visit to the White House. But when they were in line to meet the president, they were told to keep their phones in their pockets.

"It would have been fun but I wasn't too bummed," Cook said. "He is the president, after all."





More From The Star-Advertiser

Obama welcomes World Series champion Red Sox




 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(2)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
2NDC wrote:
Sad.
on April 7,2014 | 11:53AM
HD36 wrote:
Wonder who paid for their travel to visit the messiah?
on April 7,2014 | 05:02PM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
The Green Leaf
Marine debris art

Political Radar
`Toss up’

Political Radar
Super

Political Radar
Hilton; Plaza Club

Political Radar
Direct mail

Political Radar
Direct mail