Shooting Photos of Presidential Notes

Daryl Lang writes in Photo District News, about Reuters, which recently shot a close up photo of a note written by President Bush asking it he could take a bathroom break.

“The news service explains why they put the photo on the wire: “Heads of state seldom attend Security Council meetings, and it’s possible that Bush was simply asking his secretary of state what the proper protocol was to be excused.

Online, some accused Reuters, and the media in general, of being insulting or juvenile. A letter writer to Editor & Publisher wrote, “You ought to all be ashamed of yourselves for this stupid trivia and childish focus.”

It’s unclear how widely the picture was published; Hershorn says The (Toronto) Globe and Mail published it but he wasn’t sure of any other outlets. Hershorn says he decided to transmit the picture because it was interesting.

“There was no malicious intent,” he says. “That’s not what we do.”