While America wondered just how mad Michelle was with Barack after selfiegate (not mad at all, apparently), the Danish papers had their own field day with Helle Thorning-Schmidt. But first, they wondered why it took the world long to recognize her.
In the Jyllands-Posten, a daily paper, a writer noted that at least a couple of big name media outlets failed to confidently i.d. their prime minister. According to the Posten: "'President Obama and David Cameron takes a selfie with an 'unidentified official',' wrote a reporter for the Washington Post directly to Twitter." Yes, an unidentified official, in charge of the unidentified block of land between Germany, Sweden and Norway. The Posten also singled out a very vague USA Today story titled "Click! Obama, Cameron Take a Selfie." USA Today thought they might know who it was, but they weren't sure:
We're not sure whose smartphone was used, though Obama has said he doesn't have an iPhone because of security concerns.
We're also not positive who the other person in the snap is — the AFP photo caption didn't identify her — but it appears to be Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
This all goes back to Agence-France Presse, which neglected to identify Thorning-Schmidt in all her glory. Daily paper Politiken, in a post that was (more or less) titled "Selfie of Obama and Cameron: Yes, but who is she in the middle?" noted that it took AFP two hours to identify Thorning-Schmidt and stop calling her an "unidentified government official." Anna Orye, an AFP photo editor, was "visibly embarrassed" when she spoke with Ritzau, a private Danish news agency, and explained why it took to hours to identify Thorning-Schmidt. Orye wasn't at work at the time the photo went out, but explained that it was a human error, and that the agency sent out about 400 photos a day.
She also said she hoped that the day's top-selling photo would be something Mandela related, not just the selfie.
Thorning-Schmidt has not been taking questions about the selfie — pretty much all the outlets mentioned above asked — but that might be because she has bigger things to worry about. The Copenhagan Post, besides wondering how Thorning-Schmidt "managed to nab a seat beside the leader of the free world," noted that "While Thorning-Schmidt was living large with Cameron and Obama, her government was in disarray after her justice minister Morten Bødskov (S) was forced to resign after he admitted to lying to parliament." (And on Wednesday, her foreign minister resigned due to health issues.)
The Posten found this slightly amusing. "It is not known whether the picture was taken before or after Helle Thorning-Schmidt had been informed that Morten Bødskov resign from the post of Minister of Justice," it noted. Well, she knows now.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.