Until today, you had no idea how bad it was. Beyond Samsung or Ellen. It’s a mental virus, infecting the nation, even the nation’s own commander-in-chief.
This week Red Sox star David Ortiz took a selfie with President Barack Obama onstage after he welcomed the team to the White House to celebrate its World Series win—a photo that has drawn condemnation from the administration after it emerged the stunt had been planned by the cellphone manufacturer to market its products. Earlier this year, when Obama welcomed French President François Hollande to the Oval Office, an array of French journalists posted photos of themselves to Twitter and Instagram.
But the problem runs far deeper, as this video clip shows. At the close of the White House’s weekly “West Wing Week” feature, Obama is bombarded with requests for “selfies.” “May I take a selfie, sir,” asks one member of the military posing for a photo with the president. “Tilt the chin up a little bit,” ordered one man posing with Obama. “See what you started,” the president says pointing to someone off camera. He’s taken so many that he’s an expert in lining up the proper angle, instructing neophytes in selfie best practices. “Grab it and take a shot,” he tells one man. “You’re taking a picture of him,” he cautions one uniformed man, who neglected to change his phone setting and was about to capture a picture of Obama’s official photographer.
Watch the president succumb to selfie fever in the video above, taken from the original White House feature.