November 26, 2009

Who made Biden — and Katie Couric — look dumb?

It's not Biden's fault — or Couric's — that he — or she — looks like a doofus posing with reality show wannabes at the White House State Dinner. It's not their job to check identities. It's their job — at a party — to pose like this — or is there some gracious way to deflect posers? You might ask why they're throwing big parties when times are so bad. But what the hell? And when can we watch the big Oprah-Obama TV Christmas special? There's Obama putting up the White House decorations, the doorbell rings, and it's Oprah! The doorbell rings again... and it's — who? — Russell from "Survivor"?

33 comments:

rhhardin said...

Princess Di/Ann Coulter raccoon-eye shadowing will attract reality show wannabes.

AllenS said...

The question is this: what will Oprah get Barack for Christmas? He could use a nice smoking jacket.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Making Biden and Couric look dumb is the toughest challenge anyone's faced since the time Armani had to make Sophia Loren look buxom.

Fred4Pres said...

I could care less about how Couric and Biden look. Couric can look like a fool all on her own...grrrrrrr. And Plugs is just naturally silly looking. The problem with obnoxious gate crashers like these two jokers, is some underling at the gate they came in at will probably lose his or her job.

Shanna said...

When I went to the white house, they need my ssn in advance and they check id's at the door. I guess they don't do that for bigwigs?

I don't it makes Biden look dumb though. He's not in charge of checking for id.

EDH said...

I simply loved this classic Drudge link yesterday.

Obama leaves WH clutching GQ mag -- featuring himself...

Jason (the commenter) said...

It's their job — at a party — to pose like this — or is there some gracious way to deflect posers?

If posers weren't allowed at the party only the Indian delegation would have shown up.

PatCA said...

I'm sure there are terrorists of all sorts planning the next crash. Someone should arrest that stupid couple.

MayBee said...

Someone should thank that stupid couple and someone at the gate or in the WH social office should lose his job.

There is no way people should just be able to talk their way into a state dinner. Especially when both we and our guest are constant terror targets.

We are lucky this couple exposed the lax security.

Chase said...

I don't mind the State Dinners, and I'm happy that the our President and First Lady were featured elegantly in this one.

The 2 things that bother me:

First,the attempt to recapture "Camelot" in the descriptions of the party in the media such as the New York Times always include inferences and sometimes outright negative comparisons to previous (read Republican) administration lack of such "classiness". Why can't the reports just tell of the event and it's glamour without the smarmy sniping?

Second, and continuing on the same theme, Rush Limbaugh has a great point:

RUSH: Sally Quinn, ladies and gentlemen, was on Larry King Alive last night, and the way she described the crowd at the state dinner in the tent at the White House... Had I said it, what she said, I would be taken out of context and run out of this country.

I really hope Sally Quinn does not have any desires of owning a National Football League team.


QUINN: There are also a lot of African-Americans on this guest list, which I have not seen that many before and I think that that obviously is a statement that they're making. And then, you know, there's a tip of the hat to Hollywood and Bollywood. I mean, the Indians have their own film industry. An awful lot of -- of big donors, too.

RUSH: Now, can you imagine if I had said that? If I'm looking at the guest list and said this? And how does she know looking at the guest list? How does she know looking at the guest list? She's profiling! She's profiling by name. Because she said here, "A lot of African-Americans on this guest list. I've not seen that many before." I'm quoting Sally Quinn, Mr. Goodell. I didn't say it.

Watch it show up now (laughing).

AllenS said...

Maybe they said they were with Oprah.

SteveR said...

While its funny that people at the White House are made to look like a doofus, its not so funny that there are people there acting like doofuses.

former law student said...

Biden and Couric should have been able to count on the Secret Service doing their job, keeping out the uninvited.

Michaele Salahi looks like some strung-out ex-rock diva. A real-life version of Patsy on Absolutely Fabulous. I look forward to her rehab story.

Fred4Pres said...

I have no problem with state dinners, it is what President's do. It is useful too for foriegn leaders to get schmoozed and wined and dined (although Professor Bainbridge was not happy with the wine choices).

I thought Michele Obama looked great.

G Joubert said...

When you get down to cases many times doofuses can't be "blamed" per se for being a doofus.

Almost Ali said...

I'm just happy Obama unveiled his plan to unveil his plan.

SteveR said...

Well that's the plan anyway.

Chip Ahoy said...

Know what's deplorable about these pictures? I mean besides the whole security violation.

This is a nitpick, and I would have this pick no matter whose house this was happening. I'm visualizing the camera with a very expensive speed light attached directly to the hot shoe elevated a few inches above the camera body and aimed straight at the subjects like an ordinary flash except much stronger and most likely coordinated automatically with exposure and aperture settings. Looking at these photos, it's probably all on automatic. You can see the shine of overexposed reflection off subjects' teeth and off their un-powdered foreheads. The camera calculated the range of highlights to dark areas across its array of sensors and in the instant of a flash it calculated the mathematics that produced these images, and that's truly miraculous, or at least quite impressive.

They're attractive subjects but the lighting is unflattering. As you know, photography is all about light, its source(s), its intensity, its type, how rapidly the light is allowed to impress the camera sensors through what type of lens and through how small or large an aperture. And society portraits are all about flattery.

As a subject, my impulse would be to ask the photographer politely, "What's the problem, have forgotten your cable? Is it not possible for you to get your light off the camera one way or another? Have you not figured out the command settings for slave flashes yet?" I mean, come'on! They paid a small fortune for that one piece of equipment and there is simply no light possible more dull, shadow-killing, flattening and unflattering than straight on flash. It's lazy.

I apologize for worrying you with this nitpick, if it does cause you anxiety, and perhaps confound your own casual photography which need not consider all of these things, after all, these advances were created for your convenience and casual snaps in mind. But this photographer is presumably professional and this is happening at the white house at an event which presumably is important to these people and so you can expect the photography to be much more considered. I see these speed light flash units all the time at events and most are exceedingly expensive, and they're always attached to the camera. (In the very least the speed light can be aimed upward toward the ceiling to diffuse and fill around the subjects rather than flash rudely straight at them) One would expect their operators to have at least read a book or two on the appropriate and artistic use of their equipment and to have developed some sympathetic sense of how light flatters or harshens, mystifies or startles, washes out by blinding or diminishes to darkness, flows around objects, creates shadows, defines textures, bounces, diffuses, reflects and absorbs. Then apply that sympathy to their subjects at hand, to experiment with different positions and settings, and to carefully study the results, but I see none of that in these pictures. It's all simply: Compose. Snap. Next.

This concludes my photography-related nitpick.

Cheers, happy holiday, carry on.

PatHMV said...

Um, Chip... I'm pretty sure those are pictures from the couple's own camera, not an official WH photographer or anything. Notice the "via Facebook" tag. And the first line of the article, which talks about pictures "the couple posted on Facebook." If they were actual WH or professional party pic shots, I doubt they would have received them so quickly.

rcocean said...

"Who made Biden - and Katie Couric - look dumb?"

God, of course. When have these two ever looked Smart?

Lem said...

How did the crashers sit at a table with someone else's name on it?
Or did Obama 'change' that too?

David said...

The gracious way to deflect posers would be to say that you prefer not to pose for any photographs, since the party is not about you. But of course to most of these people the party is about them, their presence and their proximity to power. How could they resist being photographed.

Ralph L said...

How did the crashers sit at a table with someone else's name on it?
They apparently left before dinner.

After all the Clinton mess, I can't believe Biden would let a woman not his wife stand that close to him. But he ain't known for his wisdom, is he?

wv - rentesor - prostitutes of the neolithic

LonewackoDotCom said...

The crashers is just a minor story. What should concern everyone - but obviously doesn't - is that this is yet another example of a variant of the "military-industrial complex", with the media and entertainment added in. Here's a partial guest list. Instead of being outsiders who take the admin to task, those listed - and their employers - are in various ways simply an extension of the administration. Note also the Hollywood connection.

former law student said...

You might ask why they're throwing big parties when times are so bad.

They're entertaining on a budget. No meat, they grew the arugula in the back yard, etc.

The next WH state dinner will be a potluck.

Expat(ish) said...

It would be hard to find someone with a lower regard for our current president and VP. It would also be hard to find someone who thinks less of the spending patterns of elected officials.

However, people can't be allowed to crash a party at the White House - it endangers the president and our country.

I also think that we have to give (and this makes me grit my teeth) the WH the benefit of the doubt when it comes to events - they can be important and real work gets done there. (Alcohol is key!)

Happy gobble gobble day.

-XC

wv = gangste - srsly

booger said...

Posers amidst posers. No wonder they fit in so well.

rick said...

RE: the Indian delegation

I'll bet Jefferson Street Joe Biden thought he was back in a 7-11 getting coffee. (referring of course to his comment brought to light during the campaign)

wuzzagrunt said...

MayBee said...

"Someone should thank that stupid couple and someone at the gate or in the WH social office should lose his job."


There will be a bloodbath over this incident. I'd venture to guess, however, that all the casualties will be from the Secret Service.

The Secret Service is tasked with security, but the Social Office personnel most likely bear some of the responsibility. I doubt they will pay a price proportionate with their culpability.

For some reason, I can't shake the mental image of the First Lady loudly and rudely overriding a Secret Service agent's challenge of a Whitehouse "guest". I recognize that's just wishful thinking on my part.

Freder Frederson said...

You might ask why they're throwing big parties when times are so bad. But what the hell?

Obama just can't do anything right in your book, can he. I bet if he didn't have a "big party" (it was actually an official state dinner) you might ask why Obama snubbed the Prime Minister of one of our most important trading partners during his state visit.

richard mcenroe said...

Sarah Palin did it. Her reach is vast.

iqvoice said...

And all this time I thought that scene from "True Lies" where Arnold Schwarzenegger crashes the big "Black Tie" party at the Swiss Mansion was a bit phony. Turns out it was all too real!

WV: Subelies! Apropo!

Joe said...

Isn't Katie's job to be a reporter, not to party with the very people upon whom she is reporting?