AP Apologizes After Poorly-Timed Photo of Romney Draws Criticism

The Associated Press caused a stir this week after publishing the above photograph of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Shot at Fairfield Elementary School in Virginia, the photo had the caption,

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney poses for photographs with students of Fairfield Elementary School, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, in Fairfield, Va.

The caption was innocent enough, but the fact that the photo looked as though a girl behind Romney was gaping at his rear end instantly drew criticism from across the web, with commentators calling it “unflattering” and “inexcusable“.

An apology was swiftly issued by the AP yesterday, and the organization updated the caption to explain the look on the girl’s face:

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney poses for photographs with students of Fairfield Elementary School, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, in Fairfield, Va. A student, right, reacts as she realizes Romney will crouch down directly in front of her and her classmates for the group photo.

AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll was also quoted as saying,

The original caption on the photo of Gov. Romney taken Monday at a Virginia school was literally correct — it said the governor was posing for photos with schoolchildren. But it was too generic and missed the boat by not explaining exactly what was happening. The student with the surprised expression had just realized that the governor was going to crouch down in front of her for the group photo.

We amended the caption on Tuesday with that explanation, but by then many people had seen the photo and were confused by or angry about it. Those generic captions help us process a large number of photos on a busy campaign day, but some photos demand more explanation and we fell short of our own standards by not providing it in this case.

As you might expect, parodies of the photograph have already begun popping up, and it’s likely only a matter of time before it turns into a full-blown Internet meme.

(via Washington Post via The Click)

Image credit: Photograph by Evan Vucci/Associated Press

  • Fry

    Obviously the people posting this picture were democrats. Of every photo they could have chosen…

  • Cat

    So why did they choose this one? It hilarious but why this one?

  • Tam Nguyen Photography

    Dat ass.

  • Toadman

    Where was the outrage when this was taken out of “context”

  • Bob

    @fry the AP has posted plenty of unflattering images of the President as well.

  • Shannon Sellers

    I think Mittens farted!

  • Matt

    Way to funny….

  • autumnbringer

    Actually, I remember seeing a video on a news channel (CNN maybe?) that played the video of that event.
    Amazing how different it looked in motion – he was just looking back to get his wife or daughter or something. So, at least someone did cover it.

  • brandon

    that’s right, just change the caption, but keep the poor photo. that’s the AP for ya’. dems at that. that’s just how they roll.

  • nthisrain

    Actually, there was plenty of outrage, aimed at conservatives, when people took that Obama photo out of context. It was all over the msm and all across the internet. Maybe you just have poor or selective memory.

  • Toadman

    I have neither… I laughed, just as I did on this one. Just about all my lib friends laughed as well. In fact I don’t recall any of the same sniveling from dems when it happen as we’re seeing here with the repubs. I don’t recall anyone from the left crying out for an apology or a retraction. In fact i remember Bill Maher making some sort of statement to the effect of “good he should be looking at some a$$” or something to that degree.

  • John Kantor

    The only good photo editor is a dead photo editor. The Liberal news media always does this to people they want to embarass.

  • Joanna Jackson

    Maybe he farted!

  • Dave

    Bring on the fake outrage of the right wing in 3…2…1

  • Jared Monkman

    you don’t have to be a democrat to dislike Mit Romney

  • Dan Donovan

    AP does not get it. It is not the original caption that was the problem, it just is a horrible photo when you look at it with or without a caption. It is crazy they think it is fine to run this photo at all.

  • Renato Murakami

    eh? Some people like to read too much into things… man.
    I, for one, think this picture is great.
    Shure the huge surprize on the girl’s face is funny-awkward, but it’s not like she’s in front of Romney or something.
    This is in no way a fabricated photo commiting some sort of offense to Romney.
    In fact, this is not too far from the Obama reading story to kids pic:
    It’s kinda goofy, but unless you’re absolutely trying to find (read invent, manufacture, create out of nowhere) a bad meaning to it, the picture is harmless, if not actually appealing to the human side of the candidate.
    But of course people will say Obama looks stupid in his pic, and people will say Romney did something on this pic to be ashamed of. The girl was surprized because Romney was humble enough to crouch for the pic, that’s it.
    AP has nothing to be sorry about. They are not the ones creating all these meanings to the pic. People reading too much into them are the ones that should be sorry, specially if they are judging their future to be representatives from one misinterpretation of a single frame alone.

  • tttulio

    Winning Caption: “What a perfect arsehole”

  • DafOwen

    Unflattering / apology …. ?
    British press would have had a field day with something like this!
    I guess AP are worried about photo access if he does get the job.

  • Felipe_Paredes

    Americans please dont vote this ass, seriously, every time a republican is in the us government, thousands of people suffer and die in the world

  • Jake

    I for one am just glad that this photo is now part of our world. Regardless of politics or taste, it’s damn funny.

  • Higor Ribeiro

    Please Americans do not elect Mitt Romney. We want no more wars. The Bush administration destroyed the global economy.

  • Matt

    Don’t worry. Us Democrats are working very hard to keep him as far away from the White House as possible

  • Matt

    That is a funny one of Obama, no harm in having a laugh at the people running for public office. As long as it is just a laugh.

  • Matt

    Seems that your the one with a poor memory and a active imagination. The reublicans get a lot more breaks in the media than the democrats.

  • Crissa

    I never could find a source of what was going on in that photo.

  • Crissa

    You don’t have to be a Democrat to like a funny photo.