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Keller @ Large: White House Biggest Exploiter Of President's Image

BOSTON (CBS) - So the White House is upset with David Ortiz for taking a selfie of himself with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday, which is now being used as a promotion by Samsung, which has a contract with Big Papi to use their camera on social media?

Yes they are, according to White House press secretary Jay Carney, who said Thursday: "As a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president's likeness for commercial purposes, and we certainly object in this case."

Oh, really?

Listen to Jon's commentary:

Keller at Large April 4 2014

A quick search of the internet finds an endless supply of commercial uses of the president's likeness, including items from the White House Gift Shop. Proceeds from those sales go mostly to charity, but the same can't be said of the Obama campaign operation, which notably employed a video of the president's moving speech after the Newtown tragedy to raise money.

And while I certainly wouldn't fault the White House for objecting to inappropriate uses or distortions of the president's picture, which Big Papi's selfie most certainly was not, it does seem to me that the White House itself is the single biggest exploiter of his image.

Large amounts of tax money are routinely used to fly the president around for flagrantly promotional or political purposes, with a fig leaf of "official business" used to justify it. Every president in the modern era does it.

The truth is, in addition to being president, any president is a box of cereal, relentlessly publicized in an effort to build support, raise money, and otherwise sell more cereal.

So leave Big Papi alone.

Uncle Sam will be taking at least half of any money he makes off that selfie anyway.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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