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Associated Press Responds to Complaints About Ted Cruz Gun Photo

July 2, 2015

The Associated Press apparently got an earful of complaints about a recent photo they published of Republican senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz with a gun pointed at his head.

It seems many of the complainers rightly pointed out that President Obama is frequently photographed with a halo behind his head.


Image via the Conservative Treehouse.

The AP claims that the halo is just a side effect of the presidential seal and that they received the same complaints while Bush was president. From their blog…

Down-to-earth reasons for that heavenly glow

Is that a halo over President Barack Obama?

It sure looks like one, especially to critics of Obama and The Associated Press, who have complained in blogs and on Twitter that AP photographers sometimes give the president a heavenly glow. The criticism was seen and heard repeatedly this week after AP distributed photos showing presidential candidate Ted Cruz with a gun, seen in a wall poster, juxtaposed so that the pistol was pointed at his head.

“The halo issue has been around for over a decade,” said J. David Ake, AP Washington’s assistant chief of bureau for photography. “We received the same complaints when we photographed President George W. Bush with the presidential seal behind him. It’s never been our photographers’ goal to give the president a heavenly glow. The out-of-focus presidential seal is simply a tool to separate the subject from the background so he is not speaking in a sea of black. We’ve heard the concerns, however, and we now make the same picture with greater depth of field or a slightly different angle so it’s clear it’s the seal of office behind the president.”

After that, the writer never really gets back to the Cruz issue but I imagine they didn’t think it was a big deal anyway.

I also don’t buy the Bush spin about the halo. I think most people on the right would tell you that they got used to being bombarded with negative images of Bush, especially in his second term.

The criticism of Obama halo photos is connected to the cult-like devotion of Obama supporters, many of whom work in American media.

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