The Annotated White House Flickr Feed, with Ana Marie Cox and Jason Linkins: Barack Obama's Top-Secret Message To Fox News

Did you know that our President does lots of things each day? The White House staff photographers knew! And here are Air America‘s Ana Marie Cox and the Huffington Post’s Eat the Press editor Jason Linkins to explain it to us common people.
DUNKSANA MARIE: Let’s start with this basketball picture.

JASON: I encourage Awl readers to enlarge this image, for truly it contains multitudes.

ANA MARIE: In the first place, please note the lack of powerful women at this basketball game.

JASON: Yes. This basketball game is sexist. Party unity my ass.

ANA MARIE: Because at blacktops and basketball courts across the country, what do you see? Men and women playing pick-up basketball with each other.

JASON: A good day of roundball leads so naturally into some light fornication, at the top of the key.

ANA MARIE: Now, direct your attention all the way to the back of the picture. Next to Obama, that’s poor Ken Salazar, without his cowboy hat, made to run the fast break.

JASON: I feel for him.

ANA MARIE: I think his shirt says “Dad!”

JASON: Even still, I feel for him. How can Obama credibly claim to have dismantled the Bush torture regime if he’s making Ken Salazar do this?

ANA MARIE: Tim Geithner, there at midcourt.

JASON: He sort of looks useless.

ANA MARIE: And yet he looks like he could be useful! That’s his curse.

JASON: Also back there is Arne Duncan, who I thought was a baller? He played in Australia though, where there’s trapezoids on the court and they wear hot pants and you have to account for the Coriolis Effect when you run your backdoor cuts.

ANA MARIE: But the star of this picture is, of course, Reggie Love.

JASON: This is what a real athlete looks like. Look at his face! Calm like a bomb. That vertical leap is what scares Glenn Beck the most about the Obama administration.

ANA MARIE: If I could make a related point about Reggie Love?

JASON: Please do.

ANA MARIE: Basically? YUM.

JASON: Ha! Who is that underneath Reggie Love, looking on in terror?

ANA MARIE: That’s Pennsylvania Representative and Iraq War vet Patrick Murphy, who’s spearheading the Congressional effort to end the ban on gays in the military.

JASON: Well, don’t ask and don’t tell anyone about that time he got cold postered by Reggie Love!

ANA MARIE: Obama of course, is just hanging out in the back. Like with health care reform.

JASON: Indeed. Well, Choire, this would probably be a good time to insert your page break.

ANA MARIE: All of you using RSS readers will want to click out now!


“Mon Dieu! Monsieur President, would you mind running your hand back through the dishwasher, this time on ‘pots and pans,’ s’il vous plait.

Pete Souza manages to find the one occasion where the White House Press Corps casts a long shadow.


This is where they make Fox News sit, now.

ANA MARIE: If you enlarge you’ll see the chairs are clearly marked, so no one confuses the black President with the guy from Denmark, named Lars.

JASON: “All you world leaders look alike.”

ANA MARIE: Well, they used to! It’s a fair point.

Obama sends his secret message to Fox News.


Our main man Pete Souza has the whole framing gimmick, as we’ve endeavored to explain. But fellow White House photog Chuck Kennedy is working on discovering the most potent and majestic blend of cloud-to-marble architecture ratio possible.


ANA MARIE: America, let’s just be honest. Obama’s just not that into astronomy. Your big clue: he can’t really see through the telescope when the huge floodlight is on. He’s just going through the motions, to satisfy you.

JASON: I think you’re just supposed to be impressed with the fact that he can snap his fingers and get people to scatter these bad-ass telescopes all over the lawn and shit.

Chuck Kennedy captures Deputy Director of Oval Operations Brian Mosteller doing his best imitation of an Obama cardboard cut-out. Years later the memory of this moment would form the basis of his rather intense mid-life crisis.


Okay, Mr. President, why don’t you man up and play some goddamned MURDERBALL!

The President recognizes that he’d come off more impressive if he just played horse.

White House personal secretary Katie Johnson is scandalized after Robert Gibbs tells her the “peanut butter and jam” joke in front of the President.

We both approve of Katie Johnson’s very cool, non-skankboot boot.

Argh. Here’s Pete Souza, framing Obama in the bend of somebody’s elbow. When this White House Flickr shit finally comes to an end, he really has a bright future in the field of porn cinematography.

Oh, crap. Chuck Kennedy is infringing upon both the framing and stalking-Obama-on-the-White-House-grounds trademarks of Pete Souza.

Most people who win the Nobel Prize respond by saying, “Wow, I won a million dollars! Peace out, denizens of the third world!” Ok, not really. But only Barack Obama was ever made to fret about having won.

And only Obama was required to bring in a fleet of speechwriters, computers, and whatever was delivered in that giant FedEx package to help him say, “Thanks for the trinket, Norway,” in a way that wouldn’t seem ungrateful or embarrassing.

“See, this goddamned fucking draft is just not going to cut it! UGH. FUCK A NOBEL COMMITTEE, WITH DYNAMITE!”

Obama returns from talking about the Nobel, wondering why he can’t chew some goddamned bubblegum anymore without inciting a media firefight. “And now, I’ve got to figure out how to integrate Kathleen Sebelius and Hilda Solis into our five-on-five game, because I’m the only motherfucker in the country who has to think about fending off some horseshit Politico front-pager when he plays basketball.”

Every once in a while, Pete Souza likes to show that if he wanted to, he could be reading all kinds of of classified shit.


“No, seriously! I could do your job! If you wanted! I COULD do it!”

“Yes, Joe. We know.”


“You want me to bend over and do WHAT, now?”

Disappointed in his inability to win President for a Day responsibilities, Joe Biden returns to an afternoon of sexually harassing Valerie Jarrett, one of the powerless, non-basketball-playing women of the White House.

To make Kal Penn feel more at ease in Washington, Obama rounds up every Asian he can find to be his White House sidekickS. And since that dickwad Mike Allen might be hiding somewhere, writing his dumbassed blog, he has to make sure he auditions some of the powerless non-basketball-playing female Asians to be his “Beltway Harold.”

Pete Souza, the Diane Arbus of place setting photography.

Here’s Obama at the HRC fete. Maybe if he were that large, he could get rid of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

The Man Who Wasn’t There.


Pete Souza’s advice to Chuck Kennedy: “Get lots of gratuitous shot of random crap through windows. You’ll want to remember these days, driving in cars with presidents.”


HAPPY DOG. Rightfully the center of attention.

I love the caption on this: An advisor holds a file during President Barack Obama’s phone call with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the Oval Office.” WHAT MAKES THIS ADVISOR HOLDING A FILE DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE OTHER RANDOM PEOPLE HOLDING A FILE? Oh, well, I’ll tell you why, fuckchop! Obama just happened to be talking to Brazilian President Lula at the time. See: it MEANS something now. It’s REAL, dude. Puts that shit into some fucking PERSPECTIVE. Can’t handle it? Well get out of the darkroom! Not that Pete Souza uses a darkroom! Shit, if he had to actually develop these fucking photos, you think he’d be running around shooting file folders and bowls of fruit?


“Just make it out to, ‘My friend George.'”


ANA MARIE: Obama is applauding a child who just sang a song to Obama.

JASON: Is it one of those indoctrination songs I keep hearing about?

ANA MARIE: Are there any other kind?

You must be this tall to be chief of staff!

Thanks to ACORN, all of these children are registered to vote, in Chicago.

See, if you let Cappy Kennedy eat off the table, sooner or later, the powerless, non-basketball-playing women of the White House are going to want to as well!

Previously: We Definitely Know What You Did At Every Minute This Summer